NBA Picks: Bet Mavericks -7 vs. Banged Up Cavaliers

Darin Zank

Sunday, January 4, 2015 11:44 AM GMT

Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015 11:44 AM GMT

The Dallas Mavericks have won five of seven games since adding Rajon Rondo to the mix, and while they're only 3-4 ATS in that span, they might just be getting rolling. Dallas visits Cleveland to take on the LeBron-less Cavaliers Sunday afternoon.

Mavs-Cavs Betting Odds
Most of the NBA betting odds market opened Dallas as a six-point favorite over Cleveland, with a total of 205; in the early betting many books then bumped the Mavericks to -7.


Mavs-Cavs: The Match-Up
Cleveland went off this season with a wins betting OVER/UNDER of 59. In retrospect, that number looks terribly inflated.

Cleveland just snapped a three-game losing streak with a 91-87 victory at a shorthanded Charlotte Friday night, covering as a two-point road favorite. The Cavs trailed by six points at the half, but used a big third quarter to propel themselves to the victory and the cover. However, just prior to that Cleveland had lost three in a row both SU and ATS to the Pistons, Hawks and Bucks. At 19-14 Cleveland owns the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference.

Dallas, meanwhile, went off this season with a wins betting total of 50; at the moment the Mavs are on a pace to win 57 games. Dallas has won four in a row and seven of its last nine, after taking care of the Celtics Friday night in Boston 119-101, covering as a six-point favorite. Dallas led by 20 in the second quarter, and by 28 through three quarters, allowed the Celtics to get within 10, but closed out the victory and the cover from there.

The Mavs shot 47 percent from the floor, made 13 of 27 shots from long range and 16 of 17 from the line, and held Boston to 43 percent shooting.

Dallas began its winning streak with a 102-98 victory over the Lakers last Friday, then beat Oklahoma City 112-107, then pounded Washington 114-87. At 24-10 Dallas owns the fourth-best record in the Western Conference. This is the first meeting this season between these two teams; last season the Mavs swept two games from the Cavs, by scores of 102-97 and 124-107.


Mavs-Cavs Key Numbers
Dallas ranks second in the league in FG shooting at 48 percent, 16th in FG defense, allowing opponents to shoot 45 percent, just 24th in rebounding at -2.4 per game but averages a 23/12 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is pretty good.

Cleveland ranks 16th in FG shooting at 45.5 percent, 25th in FG defense, allowing foes to shoot nearly 47 percent from the floor, 13th in rebounding at +.5 per game and averages a 22/13 A/TO ratio.


Mavs-Cavs Betting Trends
Cleveland has leaned toward the UNDERS this season by a 20-12 margin, even as Cavs games have averaged a rather normal 200 points. Cleveland has also played five UNDERS in its last six games, hitting the 100-point mark just once in that span.

Dallas is 19-15 on the totals, as Mavs games have averaged a league-high 213 points.
Cleveland is 11-7 SU, 7-11 ATS at home this season.
Dallas is 11-5 SU, 10-6 ATS on the road.


Injury Update
James has missed the last three games with a sore knee and back, and will reportedly will remain out for a couple of weeks. Also, F Kevin Love is dealing with his own sore knee, but is expected to play Sunday. Cleveland is already playing without C Anderson Varejao, who's out for the season with a torn Achilles. So the Cavs are a little banged up at the moment.


Mavs-Cavs Free Pick
Dallas with Rondo is looking pretty good, while Cleveland without LeBron is not. We like the Mavericks in this spot for our NBA pick, at a spread that seems manageable.

Free NBA Pick: Dallas -7 at Pinnacle

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