Mavs & Celtics Smart NBA Picks as Boston Looks to Keep Streak Alive

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 4:25 PM GMT

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015 4:25 PM GMT

Two streaking teams collide in Boston as the Mavericks, winners of their last four, take on the Celtics who are also gunning for their fourth consecutive victory. Let’s see what the NBA odds have.

Dallas Mavericks (7-4 SU, 6-5 ATS)
The Mavericks are getting it done on defense even if their offense has been less than stellar. On Monday night they defeated the Philadelphia 76’ers 92-86 but didn’t manage to cover the 8 ½ point impost hung by the NBA odds makers. Dirk Nowitzki led all scorers with 21 points but it was the encouraging play of Chandler Parsons, who is still rehabbing from offseason knee surgery, that inspired confidence that his progression back into the lineup is going as planned. Parsons poured in 20 points and played a season-high 20 minutes in the Mavs’ victory.

Dallas has played a lockdown defense that has limited the opposition to 39.5 percent shooting during their four game winning streak and forced 27 turnovers on Monday night in Philadelphia. The one piece of the puzzle that has not been clicking is offseason acquisition Wesley Matthews who has averaged 10.1 points per game on little better than 34 percent shooting. The Mavs are averaging 100.8 points per game which ranks them tied for 15th and have allowed an average of 99.5 which ties them for 12th in the league.

 

Boston Celtics (6-4 SU, 6-4 ATS)
The Big Green Machine is clicking on all cylinders winning five of their last six and if you have been inclined to back Boston in your NBA picks recently then you have watched them not only win but cover in those five victories as well. The Celtics have won partly because of the contributions of Isiah Thomas who was shooting barely 31 percent during the three-game game stretch prior to the current winning streak. Since that time Thomas has lit it up to the tune of 53.2 percent shooting averaging 22 points and eight rebounds per contest. Avery Bradley has averaged 17.5 points in his two games since returning with a leg injury. Small forward and former Maverick Jae Crowder bucketed a season high 16 points against the Rockets in Monday’s 111-95 win to boost his scoring average to 10.8 PPG.

Though the Celtics are lacking that superstar that defines all the top tier teams they do have plenty of depth. Head coach Brad Stevens has employed virtually the entire bench this season and those playing minutes are helping his players get into a groove, contribute and grind the opposition down with fresh legs. Boston currently ranks 9th in scoring averaging 102.5 points per game and 4th in points allowed holding opponents to just 95.9 points on average.

 

Final Analysis
We know that the Mavericks have owned the Celtics in recent memory winning four straight from the Green but let’s not forget that in terms of ATS covers it was a 2-2 split. This game features a new look Boston team that has been rabid on defense. The Mavs are no longer the scoring juggernaut that they have been in years past with Nowitzki getting long in the tooth and the supporting cast not as deep.

I like the Celtics to continue their winning ways and break that Dallas winning streak against the Celtics. Boston has a far deeper bench that can keep Dallas struggling to make shots. Once the Boston lead moves to double digits expect to see the three-pointers fly from the Mavericks and when that happens we can call this game over. Below are some stats to consider:

The Mavericks are 6-15 ATS in their last 21 road games.

The Mavericks are 8-21 ATS in their last 29 games as an underdog.

The Celtics are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall.

Celtics are 11-5-1 ATS in their last 17 games as a home favorite.

NBA Pick: Celtics -4 ½ at Bovada

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