Bet Mavericks Plus the Points vs Blazers for NBA Picks

David Lawrence

Thursday, November 6, 2014 1:52 PM GMT

Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014 1:52 PM GMT

The Western Conference of the NBA just has one really good team after another, rolled out in assembly-line fashion. Two of the teams trying to contend for the title are Dallas and Portland. The Trail Blazers are a 2.5-point favorite on the betting lines.

The Dallas Mavericks Can Win Because…
Their team is built to do well in more ways than Portland is. The Portland Trail Blazers have established a very intentional philosophy of shooting a lot of threes, spacing the floor, and giving LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard room to operate. That’s the Blazers’ game right there. If the team isn’t making its threes, it’s very hard for Portland to win. Teams will continue to pack the paint, focus on getting the defensive board, and if the Blazers’ shots don’t fall, they’re lost. Portland is really good at playing the kind of game it wants to play, but the Blazers remain a team that has to play one way to win. Dallas can play different styles and still win in the end.

The Mavericks have the ballhandler who can break down defenses in Monta Ellis, a player who has been able to showcase the full measure of his game since leaving the basketball prison known as the Milwaukee Bucks. Dallas is in position to win fast-paced games because Ellis can push the tempo and get the team to run the floor. However, the Mavericks can also play a halfcourt game with Dirk Nowitzki posting up and, either with his back to the basket or in a face-up situation, hitting the 17-footer over the top of a smaller defender. Dallas is a flexible team, more so than Portland, and that’s something which matters. Having world championship head coach Rick Carlisle on the bench doesn’t hurt the Mavs at all. What also doesn’t hurt Dallas is its league-best 111.8-point-per-game scoring average. Portland averages just under 98 points per game, a full 14 points lower than Dallas.

 

The Portland Trail Blazers Can Win Because…
They're playing much better defense than Dallas is right now. The Mavericks might score a lot, but they’re allowing 105 points per game, which puts them in the bottom four of the entire NBA. Dallas has been a shootout-happy team so far, playing very loose defense and being vulnerable to lapses of concentration that last for about half a quarter. Dallas is getting by on its natural talent and what is a very balanced lineup, but if it continues to play so casually on defense, a very explosive and gifted Portland team is going to snap out of its slumber. As was said above, though, Portland is the team that’s playing much better defense than Dallas. While the Mavericks are struggling at that end of the floor, Portland is giving up just over 92 points per game, which is fourth-best in the Association. If you take a bottom-four defensive team versus a top-four defensive team, and you consider the fact that the top-four defensive team is playing at home, you’d obviously want to pick the top-four defensive team at home. That’s Portland.

 

Outlook
The Blazers did just beat the Cleveland Cavaliers by 19 at home covering NBA odds, but Cleveland is playing terribly right now. Portland is not scoring well and Dallas is. The Mavericks have more flow at the moment and they’ll probably be able to go into Portland and play their kind of game. Take the Mavericks with your NBA picks.

Free NBA Picks: Dallas +2.5 at Bet365

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