Go 'Under' For Your NBA Picks When Mavericks Visit Undervalued Spurs

Jason Lake

Sunday, January 17, 2016 1:55 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016 1:55 PM UTC

The Dallas Mavericks have done a very good job of beating the NBA odds, but nobody can hold a candle to the best team in the entire league: the San Antonio Spurs.

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Jan. 15: 13-15-1 ATS, 5-1 Total
[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2883071, "sportsbooksIds":[169,1096,93,19,92,238], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
Free NBA Pick: Under 195
Best Line Offered: at WagerWeb


Every year, it seems like the Dallas Mavericks are about to fall apart. And then they don't. Dallas hasn't had a losing season since 1999-2000, when Dirk Nowitzki was a fresh-faced sophomore playing alongside Dennis Rodman. So far, so good for this year's crew; the Mavericks have their heads above water at 23-18 SU, making them a highly profitable NBA pick thus far at 24-16-1 ATS.

And then you have the San Antonio Spurs (35-6 SU, 28-13 ATS). Are you kidding me? Forget about the Golden State Warriors: The Spurs are playing better than anyone in the league – even better than Rodman's Chicago Bulls from 1995-96, when they finished 72-10. But do we ever hear about the Spurs? Nooooooooo. Which just might get them over the hump in Sunday's matchup with the Mavericks. As we go to press, San Antonio is laying 11.5 points at home on the NBA odds board with a total of 195.


Best Team Ever?
Right away, the fact that both these teams are undervalued should make us think about hitting the total instead of the spread. But let's compare first. Basketball-Reference, those titans of advanced stats, have the Spurs at +12.35 on their Simple Rating System. That's higher than the Warriors (+10.32 SRS), higher than the 95-96 Bulls (+11.80 SRS), and more importantly for our purposes, about 12.5 points higher than the Mavericks (–0.14 SRS).

Ooooh. That's a healthy piece of real estate with the Spurs playing at home. Not that we can take these numbers and ignore everything else, but it's still promising. Both teams are healthy, which takes away a potential complicating factor. This isn't the start nor the end of a back-to-back for San Antonio, so no need to give Tim Duncan (18.0 PER, +5.5 BPM) or anyone else the day off. It is the first of back-to-back games for the Mavs; I highly doubt Rick Carlisle would give Nowitzki a maintenance day here, but who knows.


The One Where Chandler Doesn't Play
And yet... let's go back in time to November 25, when these two teams played in San Antonio. Final score: Spurs 88, Mavericks 83 (DAL +10). San Antonio had its full lineup that day, while Dallas was without Chandler Parsons – not that Parsons (12.0 PER, –0.8 BPM) has been playing his best basketball, but he did go off for 25 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday. Dallas lost 110-107 in overtime as a 6-point home dog.

Dude... Bail? I think bail. There's just too much buttery goodness on both sides. Let's go with the UNDER instead. It's 24-17 for the Mavs this year, 22-18-1 for the Spurs, and 5-0 in each of their last five meetings. It's all copacetic.

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