Bragging rights in Texas are up for grabs once again, as the Rockets and Mavericks renew their rivalry. The NBA odds board show Houston favored at home - what direction are we going to go?
RIght now, the Rockets are giving away four points to the visiting Mavericks. These two teams have both been standouts in the Western Conference, and we should be expecting a closely-contested battle tonight.
We should also be seeing a lot of points being scored, as NBA odds makers have released a total of 207.5. All in all, this should be one of the most entertaining games of the night.
The Rockets had the misfortune of playing the Warriors twice recently, and they haven't fared so well, but other than that Houston has been playing well. They've won two in a row, getting the best of both the Lakers and Suns, with both victories coming on the road no less. The game against Phoenix was close, but it was blowout city against LA for James Harden and company.
Harden proved to be unstoppable inside Staples Center, as he racked up 37 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals in 35 minutes. With Dwight Howard out injured, the impetus fell on Harden to carry the load (even more) offensively, and he obliged by ruthlessly attacking the Lakers in the win.
It's going to take more of the same, and some help from the supporting cast, if Houston's going to get a win over the Mavericks. Dallas has one of the most talented rotations in the entire NBA, and you have to figure they're going to be hungry to redeem themselves after a disappointing game last night.
Just how bad was it for Dallas last night? It wasn't pretty, as the Mavericks had no way of slowing down Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Randolph had 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Gasol put up a 15/6/4 line, but it was the former that put the nail in the coffin for Memphis. The Mavericks have to be infuriated with their lackluster effort.
Chandler Parsons and Monta Ellis scored 19 points apiece, but overall the Dallas offense lacked spark, and on the other end of the floor the Mavericks had a rough go of it. The Grizzlies are hardly the most dangerous offensive team in the NBA, so allowing them to come into your building and score 109 points isn't going to go over well.
The road gets even tougher now though, as Dallas has to take the short trip to Houston to take on one of the most dominant players around in Harden. The bearded one has been on a total roll this season and has proven practically impossible to stop. However, Dallas has its own shooting guard in Monta Ellis who knows a thing or two about getting into an offensive groove. Overall, you couldn't ask for a much better matchup between two of the West's best.
We don't have a great read on either side when it comes to an ATS play. We like what both of these teams are doing and don't see much of an edge on either side.
That's why we're going to go ahead with the OVER for our NBA picks, as we believe we'll see an up-tempo contest with a lot of easy buckets. Both teams are ranked in the top seven in terms of points scored per game, with the Mavericks all the way up in second. They're putting up 107.5 points a contest, which puts them behind only Golden State.
Houston, though, is one of the few teams out there that can keep pace offensively with Dallas, and that's what we expect to witness tonight. Let's not get intimidated by the high number and roll with the OVER.
NBA Basketball Pick: OVER 207 at Pinnacle