Mavs to Cover Cavs, and a Rocky Mountain High for Nuggets

mavs sixers

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, April 1, 2018 5:53 PM GMT

Sunday, Apr. 1, 2018 5:53 PM GMT

By the Numbers is an NBA picks column published each Sunday. Let’s repeat what we did last week when our two top plays -- both underdogs in the Knicks and Trail Blazers -- won outright!

NBA: By The NumbersMavericks (23-53 SU, 39-37 ATS) vs. Cavaliers (46-30 SU, 28-47-1 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Mavericks +11Best Line offered: Bookmaker

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What's Trending

Cleveland is 16-41 ATS as a favorite this season.

Cleveland is 11-25 ATS at home.

Cleveland is 11-23 ATS when playing against a team with a losing record.

Dallas is 22-10 ATS in Sunday games over the past three seasons.

Dallas is 29-16 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record this season.

Dallas is 14-10 ATS in the second half of the season.

Analysis

With just six games remaining, the Cleveland Cavaliers could find themselves slipping from the No. 3 seed in the East all the way down to No. 5 if they’re not careful. But it appears the Cavs received that wake-up call a few weeks ago, reeling off seven wins over their last eight and covering the number in six of those eight games. On Friday night they welcomed the Pelicans to The Q and sent their guests packing after picking up a 107-102 victory and narrowly bringing home the cash for all those who backed them in their NBA picks as 4½-point home favorites.

Let’s not sugarcoat this matchup. The Mavericks are simply begging for a merciful end to what has been a disastrous season. Dallas has lost seven of its last eight straight up but has gone 4-4 against the spread over that span. The issue here is that the NBA odds board reflects the Cavs as double-digit favorites, which is like a dog whistle to all the squares who love to lay the lumber. The first and only meeting between these clubs was in early November when Cleveland won 111-104 in Dallas and cashed as six-point favorites.

Fast forward to tonight and we see Cleveland as 11-point favorites against a team that plays decent defense, currently ranked 12th, and can at least keep this from becoming a blowout. Funny thing about Dallas is although their place in the standings is low, their record of 39-37 ATS illustrates that you fade them at your own risk. Back the Mavs plus the points.

Bucks (41-35 SU, 32-39-5 ATS) vs. Nuggets (41-35 SU, 35-38-3 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Nuggets -4½Best Line Offered: Heritage

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What's Trending

Denver is 19-8 ATS versus poor defensive teams -- allowing 106+ points/game -- in the second half of the season over the last two seasons.

Denver is 15-5 ATS over its last 20 games versus Milwaukee in Denver.

Milwaukee is 13-22 ATS avenging a loss vs. an opponent this season.

Milwaukee is 8-11 ATS after scoring 115 points or more.

Milwaukee is 2-5 ATS when the total is greater than or equal to 220.

Analysis

The Nuggets have won and covered their last three meetings with the Bucks, including their only matchup this season when Denver won 134-123 on February 15. As Denver enters this game, fresh off a thrilling 126-125 road win in Oklahoma City, the Bucks are wrapping up a four-game road swing in which they are 2-1 both straight up and against the spread.

The long and short of this matchup is that the Nuggets thrive on shootouts, whereas the Bucks would prefer a more moderately paced tempo. Denver is No. 6 in scoring, averaging 110 points per game, while Milwaukee is 15th at 106.3 points per game. But the big advantage Denver will have is on the glass, where they rank 10th and Milwaukee ranks last.

Denver is a -4½ home favorite on the NBA odds board. With your NBA picks, watch the Nuggets press the action and win this one going away, just as they did in their last meeting. Lay it and like it.

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🚨 GAME WINNER 🚨 pic.twitter.com/NtHGUWL1f2

— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) February 2, 2018
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