Defensive Edge to Make the Difference: Add Mavs -5 Over Rockets to Your NBA Picks

Ross Benjamin

Friday, December 4, 2015 5:07 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 4, 2015 5:07 PM UTC

We’re going to examine Friday’s NBA contest between Houston and Dallas. Go inside to read our insightful betting preview article that culminates with a NBA pick.

Texas NBA Showdown in Houston on Friday
The Mavericks and Rockets will meet on Friday night in a Southwest Division battle. The opening tip at the American Airlines Center in Dallas is slated for 8:35 PM ET. Current (10:45 AM ET) NBA odds, indicates that Dallas is a 5 point favorite, and the posted total is 209.5. In the only other meeting (11/14) between these teams this season, Dallas came away with a 110-98 win as a 7.5 point road underdog. That game narrowly went over the total of 207.5. These division rivals went 4-1 under the total in their encounters played at Houston last season. Three of those contests transpired during a 2015 NBA Playoff series won by Houston 4-1.


Poor Shooting and Matador Defense
Houston started the season 4-2, and then went 1-7 in their next eight games. Since that time, they’ve managed to go 3-1 in their last four contests. Obviously they’ve been far from consistent thus far, and their erratic play cost former head coach Kevin McHale his job in the midst of its previous losing spell. One thing that needs to drastically improve for Houston is their play on the defensive end of the floor. The Rockets are allowing a mammoth 107.6 points per game. During their past five games, opponents are shooting 49.5% from the field. They’re not shooting the ball well enough to overcompensate for its shoddy defensive play, regardless of the fast tempo they like to play at. Houston is shooting a miserable 42.1% from the field this season, and has converted on only 30.9% of their three point attempts. Friday will be Houston’s fourth game in six days, and three of those will have been played on the road.


Hot at Home
Dallas enters today having gone 5-0 SU&ATS in their last five home games, and their average victory margin was 9.4 points per contest. The Mavericks haven’t played since Tuesday’s 115-112 overtime victory at Portland. They’ll be a well rested team by NBA standards for tonight’s game. Friday will be just their fourth game in nine days, and they won three of the previous four. Dallas will certainly have an edge defensively in this matchup, they’re allowing opponents to shoot just 43% from the field this season, and are holding them to only 31.5% from beyond the three point line.


Final Analysis 
Dallas provides a much tougher matchup for Houston than they did in last season’s playoff series. We saw a glimpse of that in their first encounter of the year. The Mavericks are much better defensively, and Houston doesn’t shoot the ball nearly as well as they did a season ago. I like the home favorite in this spot for one of my NBA picks on Friday.

NBA Pick: Mavericks -5 (-106) at Pinnacle

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