Free NBA Picks: Fade the Mavs, Take Well Rested Celtics -1.5

Jordan Sharp

Monday, January 18, 2016 5:23 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 18, 2016 5:23 PM UTC

One of the final games of the evening features the Boston Celtics heading into Dallas to play the Mavs fresh off a loss last night. The NBA Odds have the Celtics as slight favorites.

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NBA Pick: Celtics -1½ 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


Are the Mavs Finally Fading?
After opening the season really well and giving their fans hope that this season could once again be one where they make a deep run into the playoffs, the Mavs have shown their true colors recently. Losing out on DeAndre Jordan in the off-season hurt, but getting into the dog days of January has hurt them almost more in the recent weeks.

The Mavs are only 4-6 SU since the New Year came around, and after opening the season with one of the better offenses in the league, the New Year has not brought a better Mavs team into 2016. In the month of January, the Mavs are averaging only 91.6 points per game in regulation, and after two overtime games already this month, the Mavs look like they are finally wearing out.

Now they face a team that could also be fading slightly, but is still a very dangerous team thanks to their youth and depth. The Celtics are only 2-4-1 ATS in their last seven games overall, but after a brief hiccup to begin the New Year, Boston has won their last three games in a row SU, and in doing so they are averaging 113 points per game while doing it. With the Mavs offense struggling as of late scoring fewer than 90 points in their last three games in a row, the Celtics on the road might actually be a pretty good bet.


The Sharp Pick
One of the big reasons I like the Celtics in this one is they have been very good on the road this season both SU and ATS, and especially against the West. Boston is 11-8-1 against the NBA odds this season when playing away from home, and against the West they have been a stellar bet so far when playing on the road at 5-1 ATS. While they haven’t been great ATS on the road recently going only 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games away from home, with the way they are playing recently I think they can correct their woes.

These two teams played once very early in the season back in Boston and the Mavs won on the road and covered as +5 underdogs. Like most NBA Odds early in the season, the sportsbooks had the line set completely wrong, but with the way they have played recently, this one is right on target. Dallas is giving up close to 100 points per game when playing at home this season, which is below average compared to the rest of the league, and while they don’t get much credit for it, Boston has been a great team this season when it comes to the advanced statistics. The Celtics rank third in the league in pace of play this season, coming in at 101.1 behind only the Warriors and Kings, but their Defensive Rating has been even more impressive.

Only the Warriors and Celtics have paces of above 100 and also have a DRtg below 100, and while Boston has been up and down this season in their Offensive Rating, they should be able to take care of business against a middle of the road defense here this evening. Dallas is only 3-4 ATS this year when playing at home against the East, and with the Celtics averaging close to 107 points per game against inter-conference opponents this season, take Celtics as the NBA pick tonight.

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