NBA Pick: Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets ‘under’ 217½

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, March 3, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

Sunday, Mar. 3, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

The oddsmakers may have finally caught up to the pace that the Rockets play at as they have gone ‘under’ in three of the last four games, and the Mavericks are on a 4-0 ‘under’ run.

In a game that may be a tad lower scoring than the exorbinant total on Sunday night, the Dallas Mavericks (26-32, 10-20 away) pay a visit to the Houston Rockets (32-28, 19-9 home) at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX at 7:05 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 217½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -103.

Yes, the Rockets play at the fastest pace in the NBA, leading the league with a tempo rating of 98.8 possessions per game. However, the oddsmakers have finally caught up for the pace and the Houston ‘over’ gravy train is starting to get derailed.

Sure the ‘over’ is still 33-27 in all Houston games this season, but the ‘over’ percentage was much higher until recently as the Rockets had a three-game ‘under’ streak snapped on Friday in a 118-110 win over the Orlando Magic, which is a team that has been playing zero defense as of late.

It is not as if the Rockets have started playing any defense or anything, as the three ‘unders’ prior to Friday still averaged a combined 209.0 points. Rather, as almost always happens, the oddsmakers are now padding Houston’s totals to the point were the ‘unders’ are starting to have value. The posted totals of those three ‘unders’ were 220, 211 and 207.5 respectively, and tonight’s posted total seems similarly inflated.

After all, as high scoring and entertaining as Rockets games are, their games are averaging a combined 210.3 points overall and 214.9 points at home, and while those are certainly high numbers, they are still safely less than tonight’s posted total. Also, the last time these teams faced each other in Dallas on January 16, the Mavericks won 105-100 in a game that still stayed ‘under’ that posted total of 213 and would be even more easily ‘under’ this posted total tonight.

The Mavericks are in dire straights in regards to their playoff chances as they are five games behind these Rockets, who currently hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, with two other teams (Lakers, Trail Blazers) sitting between the Mavs and Houston.

One thing that Dallas has done to try and get back into the race is play better defense recently, holding its last five opponents to 95.6 points per game on 42.5 percent shooting. That has helped propel Dallas to a 4-0 ‘under’ run. Unfortunately for Dallas, it is only 1-3 in those four games with the win coming in Brooklyn 98-90 over the Nets on Friday. That is because the Mavericks have failed to reach 100 points in any of those four contests.

Now we are obviously not calling for a defensive struggle here, but a carbon copy of last time with the game staying ‘under’ the excessive total despite both teams reaching 100 points certainly seems feasible, so go ‘under’ in Houston on Sunday.

[gameodds]5/219963/238-19-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick : Mavericks, Rockets ‘under’ 217½ (-103)

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