In what should be one of the better games of the night, the Blazers head into Dallas to play the Mavs, and after the overnight NBA Odds opened as a pick em’, the Mavs have now become -3 favorites, with a total 217. Even though they have lost significant value from the night before, will Dallas be able to cover this spread at home, or will the Blazers break out of their inconsistency, and cover this game?
Ups and downs
Neither one of these teams have been playing well recently, and they are both for very different reasons. The Blazers just got back LaMarcus Aldridge, and integrating him back into the lineup after he missed only a couple of weeks is proving more difficult than most thought. Aldridge and the Blazers have been very inconsistent since Aldridge’s return, and even though I don’t think it will last much longer, it might tonight in Dallas.
Dallas hasn’t been great ATS at home this season, but tonight against the Blazers, I think they have a good chance at covering. Dirk Nowitzki is starting to play like a top 10 NBA player again, and it is boosting the Mavs back into the playoff picture. Tonight if Aldridge has to defend Dirk for a majority of the night, I think it gives a nice advantage to the Mavs. Even if they switch to someone else defending him, it will create other mismatched in favor of Dallas. In other words, Dirk is the mismatch.
Even though their loss to the Nuggets is a little disturbing, the Mavs were coming off two straight losses to tough teams before that. Also, Ty Lawson was back for that game, and he makes the Nuggets a completely different team. It is a little more forgiving for the Mavs to lose to them with Lawson in the lineup.
The Sharp Pick
The Blazers aren’t a great matchup tonight against the Mavs, and it could lead to Dallas being the play at home. In my video, I talked about the line being a pick em, however even at -3, I think the Mavs are the play. Dallas has covered five of their last six meetings with the Blazers, and even though they lost the most recent one ATS, they covered five in a row versus Portland before that.
Dallas also might be able to gain another advantage tonight by going with a small lineup once the game gets going. This may be the only way to counteract the size that Portland presents. If the Mavs go small and play Dirk at center, the Blazers might be forced to take Robin Lopez out of the game, which would really hurt the Portland defense and rebounding.
Already the Blazers have not been a perfect example of what road defense looks like, and if they aren’t able to play their defensive anchor, Lopez for most of the game, it might look even worse tonight in Dallas. The Blazers are giving up over 105 points per game on the road this season, and with how fast they play, the Mavs are going to have plenty of scoring opportunities tonight. I see a final score of 114-109 in favor of the Mavs, so add -3 to your NBA Picks tonight.
My Pick: Mavs -3