Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. EST
Free NBA Pick: Mavericks ATS
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
Even though neither one of these teams seem to be able to win a game coming into this one, the difference is that only one of them is playing good basketball and losing. The Pelicans are simply not as good as previously advertised.
Pelicans’ Road Woes
One of the Pelicans’ biggest problems has been their inconsistency when playing on the road. New Orleans is one of the league’s most dangerous offenses when they have home court advantage this season, but that has been far from the case when they travel.
New Orleans goes from averaging nearly 115 points per 100 possessions at home to 109 on the road. Plus, the Pelicans’ defense stays relatively consistent no matter where they play, that isn’t saying much, because their defense isn’t that good.
Dallas is in a similar boat as New Orleans coming into this one, which I think makes this line even more valuable. Both have pretty long losing streaks and neither team has been blown out during their losses. However, if you look at how badly the Pelicans have played on the road and how good the Mavs are at home, you can judge for yourself why Dallas is in a nice spot to cover this spread.
The Sharp Pick
With DeAndre Jordan in the middle the Mavs defense is definitely on the come up n 2018. However, the best play from this Dallas defense has come at home, where they are allowing just 105 points per 100 possessions. That ranks 9th-best in the league for home teams as we approach the schedule after Christmas. For reference, a vaunted defense like Memphis is allowing just 103.1 points per 100 possessions at home.
If Dallas can bring that kind of defense in this game, especially against a team that is averaging far fewer points on the road, the Mavs will win this game outright by a pretty decent margin.
Add in the fact that the Dallas offense is dropping nearly 113 points per 100 possessions at home and this is a fine play.
I understand that stopping Anthony Davis is a problem, but Jordan is actually pretty qualified in that department. He has been a force defensively when he is defending his man inside of 10 feet from the basket, so as long as the Pelicans can help him out if Davis is around the perimeter, I feel pretty good about that matchup. However, Davis has destroyed Jordan is past matchups during his Clippers days.
In their lone meeting this season with Jordan in a Dallas uniform, Davis dropped 27 points on 10-for-20 shooting. Jordan by comparison only had 2 points in 24 minutes in what was an embarrassing loss.
That too is worth considering for this game on the day after Christmas. Dallas has not forgotten that loss back in early December in New Orleans. With both teams on losing streaks, I think it will be Dallas playing at home and after getting blown out earlier who will have the momentum and energy.
We also almost got through an entire article about the Mavs without me mentioned that Luka Doncic is a future Hall of Famer, so we might be saying. “Anthony Davis, who’ after this game.
Final Score Prediction: Mavericks 114, Pelicans 110