NBA Picks & Betting Tips for Pacers vs. Mavericks

Jason Lake

Sunday, March 9, 2014 5:59 PM GMT

Care for another go around at fading the Indiana Pacers? They're losing money more quickly than a hedge-fund manager on quaaludes. Next up: the Dallas Mavericks, laying a single point on the NBA betting lines.

Jason’s record on his early NBA picks for 2013-14, up to March 7 inclusive:

78-58-1 ATS

20-18 Totals

I could do this all day. The Indiana Pacers lost another one on Friday, falling 112-86 to the Houston Rockets as 5-point road dogs. That's six straight ATS losses for the Pacers. Unfortunately, that's also three straight SU losses. We don't want those. As long as Indiana is winning and not covering those giant NBA spreads, all is well. Losing actual basketball games in the standings will only cause attention and bring the market down.

Let's hope there's still room to fade the Pacers on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET) when they visit the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs have been solid money-makers since the holidays, although they've fallen into a zigzag pattern that has reached eight games, and they're “due” to come up with an ATS loss against Indiana. Good thing it's all an illusion. Sunday's NBA odds board has Dallas favored by a singleton at home with a total of 198 points, down from 199 at the open.

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Turner Sports

What else can I tell you about the Pacers (46-16 SU, 33-28-1 ATS) that you don't already know? We've been tracking their recent ATS slump very closely and getting our money in good, for the most part. Indiana gave us more of the same on Friday, losing just about every facet of the game to the Rockets. And yes, Evan Turner (13.1 PER) had another poor outing for the Pacers, scoring five points in 15 minutes off the bench while posting a minus-20. That's not easy to do. Rasual Butler (15.0 PER) ended up seeing 22 minutes of floor time as Turner was sat down early in the fourth quarter.

Like I was saying, it was all good when the Pacers were still winning SU, but now that they've lost three in a row for the first time this season, measures are being taken. Indiana reportedly held a 15-minute impromptu team meeting after the Rockets loss. Meanwhile, head coach Frank Vogel tried to deflect some of the blame away from his players, claiming that their recent opponents have been playing “above themselves.” I'm sure Houston loved hearing that.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Basketball Agency

You could argue that the Mavericks (37-26 SU, 35-28 ATS) have been playing above themselves all season. They're hanging tough in the Western Conference playoff hunt, holding down the No. 8 seed as we go to press. Not bad for a collection of raw youngsters and old veterans cobbled together around Dirk Nowitzki (24.2 PER) in the twilight of his Hall of Fame-worthy career.

Mind you, that was the idea last year, too, when the Mavs loaded up on players like Chris Kaman (16.3 PER), Elton Brand (15.2 PER) and O.J. Mayo (13.9 PER). That didn't quite work out; Dallas finished in 10th place in the West, four games out of a playoff spot at 41-41 (48-34 ATS). But the Mavs sure did rake in the cash, and they're doing it again. It's amazing what can happen in the West when you're no longer considered an elite team and the media finds someone else to tell the world about.

As for the matchup itself, Dallas won its earlier meeting with Indiana this season, 81-73 as a 9-point road dog on Feb. 12. This was when Danny Granger (10.4 PER) was still on the team, and he actually had one of his better games since coming back from injury, scoring 13 points in 20 minutes off the bench. The Pacers know they'll have to do better than that, even if Turner shows up at his best on Sunday.

NBA Pick: Take the Mavericks +1 (–105) at Pinnacle