Houston is The Solid Betting Choice: Rockets vs. Mavericks Game 5 NBA Pick

David Lawrence

Monday, April 27, 2015 2:52 PM GMT

Monday, Apr. 27, 2015 2:52 PM GMT

Rockets & Mavericks have played the most high-scoring series of the 1st round of playoffs. Can Dallas somehow continue to score at least 120 points per game and surprise the NBA odds on Tuesday.

The Dallas Mavericks Can Win Because…
They're figuring out ways to score at a higher rate, thereby overcoming their obvious defensive limitations. The Mavericks were supposed to be a lot better on defense as a result of getting Rajon Rondo, but that never happened. What the Mavericks have been forced to do is rely on their offense and see how far it could take them. Dallas wasn’t able to make everything happen in Games 1 and 2, but in Games 3 and 4 over the weekend, the Mavericks found some things in their offensive game. With Rondo no longer a part of the team, the Mavs scored 128 points in Game 3 and 121 in Game 4. They merely split the two games, but their loss in Game 3 was by only two points. They certainly played the Rockets much more closely than they did in the first two games in Houston. Some might say that Dallas played better because it was at home, but the true connection to make is that the Mavericks functioned at a higher level on offense because Rondo was out of the picture. Monta Ellis has benefited more from Rondo’s departure than anyone else. He scored 34 in Game 3 on Friday and added 31 more in Game 4 on Sunday. More than Dirk Nowitzki, it is Ellis who is spearheading the Mavericks’ attack. He’s in a great rhythm, and if he can continue to score in the 30s, he’s going to draw so much attention from the Rockets’ defense that his Dallas teammates (Dirk and others) are going to get great looks at the basket. A positive domino effect can enable the Mavericks to win another game and send the series back to Dallas for Game 6 on Thursday.

 

The Houston Rockets Can Win Because…
Their offense is still decent, and as soon as Dallas falls off even slightly on offense, the Rockets will be able to pounce as NBA odds home favorites. Houston has scored at least 109 points in every game this series. Houston was not bad on offense in Game 4, shooting 47 percent from the field and earning roughly twice as many free throws as Dallas did, 40-21. The other thing to notice about this game is that Dwight Howard went 3 of 13 from the free throw line. He had been shooting comparatively well at the line in recent weeks, compared to his career. He’s made improvements on his free throws, but Sunday, he just didn’t have it. In this game, one should assume that Howard will be much better at the line – shooting in one’s home building should help. The Rockets, despite scoring 109 in Game 4, got just three field goals combined from starters Trevor Ariza and Jason Terry. Even modest improvements from both should give Houston near 120 points, which should be enough to win.

 

Outlook
The Mavericks bounced back in Game 4 but is their defense ready to withstand James Harden and the rest of the Rockets on the road? Houston has gotten whatever it has wanted on offense. The Mavericks have no margin for error and with this game being played in Houston, it’s hard to bet on Dallas.The Rockets are the solid choice for your NBA picks.

NBA Pick: Houston -6.5 at The Greek

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