Oklahoma City is just 8-14 SU without Kevin Durant, but 11-10 ATS, while Dallas is 2-2 SU but 0-4 ATS since bringing in Rajon Rondo to play the point. So it looks like another tough call for our free NBA pick on Sunday evening's Thunder-Mavericks battle in Big D.
Thunder-Mavericks Betting Odds
Most of the NBA odds opened this game with Dallas favored by three points, the total proffered at 210, and while the line was holding steady in the early betting, the total got bumped to 211.
Those who think OKC might win this game outright could get +130 on the moneyline at Heritage.
Thunder-Mavericks: The Match-Up
Oklahoma City started 5-13 this season, as it understandably struggled without Durant and Russell Westbrook. When those two came back the Thunder reeled off seven wins in a row. And even as Durant has missed the last five games with a bad ankle OKC has won its last two, beating the Spurs in San Antonio Thursday night 114-106, then dispatching of Charlotte Friday 98-75.
The Thunder shot 52 percent from the floor against the Spurs, winning outright as six-point dogs, then shot just 41 percent against the Hornets, but held Charlotte to just 29 percent shooting.
Also, OKC's last three losses have come by five points at league-leading Golden State, by a bucket to New Orleans and in overtime against Portland.
At 15-16 the Thunder own the 10 spot in the Western Conference standings, but only trail eighth-place Phoenix by two games.
Dallas lost two in a row earlier this week, to Atlanta and Phoenix, but snapped that mini-losing streakFriday night with a 102-98 victory over the Kobe-less Lakers. The Mavs shot 51 percent from the field, held LA to just 36 percent shooting, but missed 11 of 24 free-throws, which helped keep them from covering the spread as 13-point favorites.
In his fourth game for his new team Friday night Rondo tossed in 21 points, grabbed eight boards and dished seven assists.
So at 21-10 the Mavs own the five seed in the West, a game and a half behind fourth-place Memphis.
Thunder-Mavericks Recent History
This will be the first meeting this season between these two teams. Last season Dallas took two of three games from Oklahoma City, winning the one game at home and splitting two games at the Thunderdome.
Also, two of those three contests played UNDER on the totals.
Thunder-Mavericks Key Numbers
OKC ranks just 22nd in the league in FG shooting at 44 percent, but second in FG defense, limiting foes to just 42 percent shooting. The Thunder also rank second in rebounding at +4 per game, but own a 20/14 per-game assist-to-turnover ratio, which is nothing to brag about.
Dallas ranks second in FG shooting at 48 percent, and 17th in FG defense, allowing opponents to shoot 45 percent. The Mavs also rank just 22nd in rebounding at -2 per game, but own a 23/12 A/TO ratio, which is nice.
Thunder-Mavericks Betting Trends
OKC has tilted toward the UNDERS this season by a 21-10 margin, as Thunder games have averaged just 193 points. And in games Durant has missed that average falls to 188.
Dallas is 17-14 on the totals, as Mavs games have averaged 212 points.
Dallas is 11-5 SU but 6-10 ATS at home this season, while OKC is 7-9 SU, 5-10 ATS on the road.
Durant has missed the last five games with a sore ankle, and his status for this game is uncertain.
Thunder-Mavericks Free Pick
In expecting Durant to miss this game, we'll try not to over-think our NBA pick here, and go with Dallas, the home team at the short spread. We also like the UNDER in this contest, because when OKC has played without Durant this season the games have trended toward the low-scoring.