Free NBA Pick: Back Kings Against Short-Handed Mavericks

Matthew Jordan

Sunday, March 27, 2016 1:06 PM GMT

Dallas is fighting for its playoff life, while Sacramento is playing out another disappointing season as they face off for the last time this season, so lets check the NBA Odds to find value in this game.

Mavericks Say Goodbye To Parsons
Dallas' chances of landing one of the Western Conference's final playoff spots -the Mavericks have missed the postseason only once this century- took a big hit with the loss of small forward Chandler Parsons for the rest of the season.

Parsons on Friday had successful surgery -do you ever hear of an "unsuccessful" surgery?- to fix a torn meniscus in his right knee; that's the same knee on which Parsons had major microfracture surgery on May 1, 2015. Parsons got off to a really slow start this season off that first procedure with a severe minutes restriction. But he had really come on once fully healthy and playing heavy minutes. Parsons averaged 18.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game in the past two months, shooting 51.9 percent overall and 47.7 percent from 3-point range. He was clearly the team's best player.

Might this affect Parsons' decision to opt out of the final season of his three-year, $46 million deal this summer? It was a no-brainer that he was going to, but some teams might be scared off after two major surgeries on the same knee. Although this surgery isn't anywhere near as severe as the first and Parsons could likely start working out in just six weeks. Dallas is still considered likely to re-sign him, with the Orlando Magic as the top competition. Parsons is from the Sunshine State and played at the University of Florida.

Frankly, it might behoove the Mavs to miss the playoffs and take their chances in the lottery. They aren't beating Golden State, San Antonio or Oklahoma City in the first round of the playoffs. Dallas does owe Boston its first-round draft pick, however. It is protected from No. 1-7. That was from the Rajon Rondo trade of last season, an utter disaster for the Mavs.

Dallas (35-37) lost a second straight game Friday, 128-120 at Golden State. Wesley Matthews led the Mavs with 26 points. They played without Dirk Nowitzki, Deron Williams and Devin Harris. Nowitzki simply got the night off to rest. Williams has an abdominal strain -he will miss this game too- and Harris was away with the team for the birth of his child. Nowitzki and Harris should play here.

The Mavericks are 39-32-1 against the spread on NBA odds this season and 36-35-1 'over/under.'

 

Another Lost Season For Kings
Sacramento is going to finish with a losing record and miss the playoffs for a 10th straight season, the second-longest postseason drought in the NBA behind the Minnesota Timberwolves. There's likely zero percent chance that Kings coach George Karl is back next season. He has had troubles with star center DeMarcus Cousins all year and Karl was reportedly almost fired during the All-Star break. This franchise is probably the most dysfunctional in the NBA right now but at least it moves into a new arena next year.

The Kings (28-44) ended a two-game losing streak with a 116-94 home blowout of Phoenix on Friday. DeMarcus Cousins had 29 points and 11 rebounds and rookie Willie Cauley-Stein had a career-high 26 points. Rajon Rondo had 12 assists to set the franchise single-season record. Sacramento had lost seven straight games at Sleep Train Arena. It's the final season the team will play there. That's the thing with this team: there's some talent there. It shouldn't be this bad. Rondo is probably to play here with various injuries. Ben McLemore is expected out again. Marco Belinelli is questionable.

On the season, the Kings are 31-40-1 ATS on NBA picks and 35-36-1 O/U.

 

Season Series
As noted, this is the final meeting of the season with Dallas leading 2-1. On Nov. 30 in Sacramento, the Kings were 2-point favorites and won 112-98 behind 31 points from Cousins, 16 in the fourth quarter. Parsons led the Mavs, who had won six straight in the series, with 14 points. On Jan. 5 in Dallas, the Mavericks were 6.5-point favorites at sportsbooks and won 117-116 in double overtime in one of the more entertaining games of the season. Williams took an inbounds pass with 2.3 seconds left, pump-faked Rudy Gay and drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Dallas was down seven points with 1:20 left in that second OT. Cousins had 35 points, including a buzzer-beating  layup to tie it at the end of regulation. The Kings were without Rondo. It was Dallas' 22nd straight home win over the Kings, but that streak ended on March 3 as the Kings won 104-101 as 6.5-point underdogs. Rondo had 18 points and 12 assists -- he was booed every time he touched the ball as Rondo was such a flop in Big D last year after coming over in trade from Boston and basically quit on the Mavericks. Parsons scored 28 to lead Dallas.

NBA Free Picks: As long as Cousins plays, and you never know with him and  his various injuries, take Sacramento. Go 'under' the total. The Mavs are 1-4 ATS in their past five in Sacramento. The 'under' is 8-1 in the past nine meetings.   

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Free NBA Pick: Sacramento Kings +1 -105
Best Line Offered: at Heritage