NBA Picks: Back Home Favs Mavericks to Cover Against Nuggets

Jason Lake

Saturday, November 28, 2015 12:56 PM GMT

Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015 12:56 PM GMT

The Dallas Mavericks always find a way. They're a profitable NBA pick this year, and they're 9-point home faves for Saturday night's game against the Denver Nuggets.

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Nov. 27: 4-8 ATS, 1-0 Total

 

Yes, there is life after DeAndre Jordan. The Dallas Mavericks didn't quite get Jordan's name on a piece of paper this summer, so they went to Plan B and got some other new players. Seems to be working out a little better for Dallas (9-7 SU, 10-6 ATS) at this point. The Mavericks have covered eight of their last 10 games going into Saturday's tilt with the Denver Nuggets (6-10 SU, 7-9 ATS), who have dropped four straight SU and ATS. Seems like one of the easier NBA picks we'll get to make here at the home office.

Then again, maybe the Mavericks aren't all that. Over at Basketball-Reference, they've got Dallas at –0.71 points on their Simple Rating System. Are the Mavs a below-average team in disguise? Are they too chalky as 9-point home faves on our NBA odds? All these questions and more will be given some serious thought.

 

Take Me Home
For the sake of completeness, B-R had the Nuggets at –4.68 SRS going into Friday's action. The old rule of thumb says that home-court advantage is worth 3-4 points in the NBA. Let's see... carry the one... that means Dallas –7 or –8 would be a “fair” point spread given the season's results thus far. In fact, the Mavs have a point differential +1.8 at home this year, so even seven points might be a bit generous.

How about Dallas being below-average? They've got an overall point differential of +0.4 on the season. And they've played just six home games compared to 10 road games. This must be one of those “strength of schedule” things. It's true, the Mavs did get to fill up on cupcakes for a while there. Then they went on a tough three-game road trip and lost all three games as underdogs; however, Dallas played well enough to cover against Oklahoma City (–3.5) and San Antonio (–10). That's not nothing.

 

What's the Frequency, Kenneth?
By the time you read this, Denver's SRS numbers will have been revised downward after Friday's 91-80 loss to the Spurs (–7.5 away). The Nuggets were competitive until late in the third quarter, then San Antonio crushed them underfoot. Kenneth Faried (20.6 PER, +0.6 BPM) had to miss this game with a sprained left ankle; you may recall Faried from our award-shunning preview of Tuesday's Clippers-Nuggets game. Where did this injury come from? Why is there no timetable for his return?

Factor in Faried's absence, plus Denver playing on zero days of rest after flying into town, and we're reasonably confident in picking the Mavs for Saturday's matchup (8:30 p.m. ET, NBA-TV). Even better, they're available at –8.5 as we go to press. We'll take it, and may the sphere be with you.

NBA Pick: Mavericks -9 at Pinnacle

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