Two teams coming off season-opening victories last night hook up as the Mavericks visit the Clippers Thursday night. Should we take the dog and the points for our free NBA pick on this one?
Mavericks-Clippers NBA Odds
Most of Thursday's NBA odds market opened this game with Los Angeles favored by nine points or so, with a total of 211. In the early action many shops then bumped the spread to -10, and more.
Bettors thinking about taking Dallas to win this game outright could get a price of +558 on the NBA betting moneyline at 5Dimes.
Also, the Clippers went off this season with a wins OVER/UNDER of 57, the Mavs at 36.5. That's quite a difference, considering these teams only finished six games apart in the Western Conference standings last season.
Dallas went 50-32 last year, earning the seven seed for the Western Conference playoffs. But the Mavs then lost to Houston in five games in a first-round series.
Over the off-season the Mavericks added guards Deron Williams and Wes Matthews, but lost G Monta Ellis and C Tyson Chandler. They also lost Rajon Rondo, but at least they won't miss him.
Dallas then opened this season with a 111-95 victory at Phoenix Wednesday night, winning that game outright as a six-point dog, cashing in at +210 on the NBA betting moneyline. The Mavs led the Suns by nine points at the half, then pushed that lead to 28 in the third quarter, cruising home from there. On the night Dallas shot 47 percent from the field, hit 10 of 21 shots from 3-point land, held Phoenix to just 39 percent FG shooting and won the turnover battle by an 18-8 margin.
Eight Mavericks scored in double-figures Wednesday night.
The Clippers, meanwhile, also opened this season with a victory Wednesday night, 111-104 at Sacramento. LA shot 53 percent from the floor, while holding the Kings to 44 percent shooting.
Forward Blake Griffin went off for 33 points Wednesday night on 14-of-20 shooting, G Chris Paul dished out 11 assists while committing just two turnovers and JJ Redick chipped in with 15 points.
This handicapper connected on a pair of free NBA picks on that contest, hitting with the Clippers at -5.5 points and the OVER on 212 points.
Los Angeles went 56-26 last year and won its first-round playoff series against San Antonio, but blew a three-games-to-one lead and lost in the conference semis to the Rockets. The idea for this season is to put that collapse in the past, where it belongs, and advance to the next step, which for the Clippers would be the Western Conference finals.
Mavs-Clips Recent History
LA took two of three games from Dallas last season, winning by scores of 120-100 and 115-98, losing 129-99. Both teams shot a collective 49 percent from the field in those three games combined, which helps explain how all three games played OVER.
Stretching back a bit further the Clippers have taken seven of the last 10 meetings with the Mavs, although Dallas has managed a split of those 10 games ATS.
Mavs-Clips Free NBA Picks
Both teams are coming off season-opening road victories Wednesday night, so there's no advantage to be found there. And while Los Angeles is the better team, that spread is probably inflated toward the home-standing Clippers by at three or four points. However, Nowitzki is not the baller he once was, and Chandler's absence will be felt on the defensive end of the court for Dallas. So while we often take the underdog in spots like this, for our free NBA pick on tonight's game we like LA, minus the points.
NBA Pick: Clippers -10.5 (-101) at 5Dimes