Dallas Feeling Good About Themselves These Days
The Mavericks have moved to 23-16 (21-17 ATS), which is the first time they have been seven games over .500 since the end of the lockout season two years ago. What a difference a year makes since Dallas did not see their 23rd victory until Feb. 23 last season.
A portion of the improvement is the metric, offensive efficiency, which measures a variety of regular game statistics like shooting, rebounding, assists, blocked shots, steals and turnovers and is calculated into a figure.
Your typical sharp NBA basketball handicapper studying the betting odds is aware of these stats and Dallas is fifth in the league in this category, up from 12th where they concluded last year.
The Mavericks are 9-10 SU and 12-7 ATS on the road, with a scoring differential of just – 0.8 on the season.
Dirk Hurt, but Not Necessarily Injured
In the 107-88 blowout of Orlando on Monday, Dirk Nowitzki got hacked on the arm late in the first half and then was continually grabbing his right arm, shaking and flexing his hand.
“I bruised my triceps first and then hit my forearm, so I had a double bruise going on,” Nowitzki said. “I’m glad we didn’t need me in the fourth quarter. I shot an airball right away coming out of the half. I didn’t have a good feeling pushing through it. But that 3-ball (in the fourth quarter) went in so that was all right.” Nowitzki is expected to play, but any possible side effects are unknown at this time.
For those making NBA picks, Cuban’s crew is just .500 ATS (11-11) off a straight up victory.
Clippers Winning Despite Swirling Circumstances
The Clippers have moved ahead of the Lakers in the court of public opinion in L.A., being in first place in the Pacific Division with a 26-13 record (23-16 ATS).
The Clips are a little less exciting since Doc Rivers took over as head coach, as he is more interested in winning and defense than having his players on ESPN’s Top 10.
L.A./1 (up from 2 previously) has started 2014 with a bang at 5-1 with four covers and doing so without injured Chris Paul. In his place has stepped in veteran Darren Collison who has managed the offense extremely well and making sure his teammates are getting touches. The loss while important is not critical for the Clippers during this portion of the schedule and will only matter in certain matchups.
The other obstacle for Los Angeles is the rumor that will not go away and that this trading Blake Griffin. Rivers and the Clippers front office are describing this as “nonsense”, yet every NBA general manager knows having Griffin and center DeAndre Jordan on the floor together creates issues in offensive floor spacing, because both are better near the basket.
To Griffin’s credit, he’s taken his job more seriously and is an improved shooter from 19-feet in and a dramatically better free throw shooter (70.6 percent).
Betting Odds, Scheduling and Head to Head
The sportsbooks opening line has the L.A. Clippers as a five-point favorite with a total 206. Dallas comes in 35-16 ATS in their past 51 away games, while the home team is 19-10 ATS after playing a game as favorite.
As stated, Dallas is making a short Western sojourn and is 11-9 and 9-11 ATS when playing with one day off. This is L.A.’s last home game before opening a cross-country seven-game road trip and they are 18-5 and 14-9 ATS with a single day’s rest.
The Clippers have taken three straight at the Staples Center over Dallas with two covers.
I make a lot of sports picks utilizing various tools and I have the Clippers covering with 56 percent certainty, since they win by 7.8 points a game when favored by 3.5 to 9.5 points in the NBA odds.
NBA Pick – L.A. Clippers by 7 points