An NBA Finals rematch helps kick off the stretch run of the NBA season, as the Miami Heat head into Dallas to play the Mavs. The NBA Odds have Dallas as a +2 ½ home underdog in this one, with a total of 207 ½. Will these two teams be rested or tired coming off of All Star Weekend?
The life bar
Remember when almost all old-school video games had a life or energy bar that tracked the amount of life you had left? That is how I’m gauging these players after the All Star Break. How much do they have left in the tank after this short break? These two teams had four members competing in Sunday’s All Star Game, and even though no one besides Lebron James played a ton of minutes, the weekend was probably still not as relaxing as Eric Spoelstra would have hoped for.
These two teams (especially their stars) might not be as rested, and I think it could lead to a higher scoring game tonight in Dallas. These two have cashed the over against one another a ton in their games since the 2011 Finals, and I don’t see why some extra time off is going to make these two suddenly become defensive stoppers.
Even though they have had more than three days off technically, the Mavs are 8-2 this season cashing the over on 2-3 days off. This team thrives at home on the offense end, and everyone had time off except for Dirk, who played a total of eight minutes Sunday.
In other words, the Heat’s defense might not be enough for a rested Mavs team at home, and I fully expect Miami to have to pick up the pace offensively to keep up with Dallas. Monta Ellis is a bad matchup for Dwyane Wade’s knees (the same knees that played in the All Star Game but sits out regular season games) and with James having to put forth more defensive effort guarding Dirk tonight, it means more shots for Monta.
The Sharp Pick
These two teams had several participants in All Star Weekend, including the game itself on Sunday night. Unlike the two teams above, this shortened break might affect some of the defense tonight between these two teams. Three Heat starters played in the ASG, as did Dirk Nowitzki.
Going back to the end of their Finals matchup against one another in 2011, the Mavs and Heat have cashed the over in seven meetings in a row. At 207 ½ tonight, the total is a fair price for an over wager once again. Five of the last seven games played in Dallas between these two have gone over the total as well.
Furthermore, the Mavs have been killing it at home this season. Their scoring improves by about 4 points per game from their overall numbers, and they have cashed the over in four of their last six home games.
Against the West this season, the Heat are scoring well at about 107 points per game, however their defense is giving up about 100 points per game. The Mavs should be able to get well past 100 points tonight coming off the All Star Break, and I see a final score of about 109-107, making the over the play for our NBA picks.
NBA Pick: OVER 207 ½