Continue to falter
Dallas has lost three games in a row, including a 100-94 setback to the Utah Jazz as five-point road underdogs Monday night, while going UNDER the total for the first time in four contests. The Mavericks did manage to have five players core in double figures for the fourth consecutive game, with star forward Dirk Nowitzki finishing with a team-high 20 points on 7 of 14 shooting from the floor. The team is 9-12-1 against the spread (ATS) as an underdog this year, with the OVER going 12-10 in that situation.
Los Angeles owns the best record in the NBA entering Wednesday night’s action, as it looks to push its franchise-record home winning streak to 13 games, with the offense averaging 107.1 points per game in that span. The Clippers have scored 107 or more points in winning their first two games of a four-game set at Staples Center, which includes a 115-89 blowout victory over the Golden State Warriors as six-point home favorites, while going OVER the total for a third-straight contest.
NBA handicappers need to realize that the Clippers and Mavericks have two of the better benches in the league when looking over the pro basketball odds page, as they rank second and third respectively in the league in points per game from their reserves. Los Angeles could be without reserve guard Jamal Crawford, who is listed as questionable with a left foot injury that has sidelined him the last two games. He scored a game-high 20 points in the team’s 112-90 victory as 8.5-point home favorites in the first meeting this year.
Paul is the player to watch
Chris Paul is one of the main reasons that the Clippers have won three of the last four meetings in this series, as he’s put up great numbers over the course of his career when taking on the Mavericks. The former New Orleans Hornets star has played in 24 games against Dallas, averaging 21.5 points and 8.8 assists, with his scoring average being his second highest against any league opponent.
The Mavericks are 1-13 on the road when allowing 100 or more points during the 2012-13 NBA campaign, which could be the key statistic to look at when handicapping this game, with the Clippers averaging 101.9 points through 35 games. It’s still important to note that 12 of the last 17 series meetings in Los Angeles have gone UNDER the total.
I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their pro basketball picks, as the OVER is 3-1 when the Mavericks play as road underdogs of 9.5 to 12 points, while the Clippers have gone above the number in six of their last eight games when playing on three or more days rest.
NBA Free Picks: Over 200.5