The Celtics find themselves in unfamiliar territory tonight, posted up as 4.5-point underdogs for tonight's game in Dallas. Which way do we lean for this NBA Pick?
Currently we see an O/U of 196 on the board, with the UNDER having hit in six of the last eight head-to-head meetings between Boston and Dallas.
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The Celtics have lost two straight (vs. MIA, @ NO) and are 2-4 SU over their last six. One of those losses came on the road against a god awful Charlotte team.
On Wednesday night Boston lost by a point to the Hornets in the Big Easy. They were beaten up badly on the glass (45-28) and still fell short despite forcing 20 turnovers from New Orleans.
Paul Pierce scored 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting, while Kevin Garnett put up 20 points, six boards and three steals. Poor guard play – Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley combined for only 10 points – proved to be the downfall for the Celtics.
Boston has been a profitable team to back at 8-3 ATS over their last 11 games overall, while cashing in four straight Friday contests.
It will be an emotional return for Jason Terry, as he visits the American Airlines Center for the first time since moving on from the Mavericks and joining up with the Celtics.
The Mavericks are playing better despite a 113-96 loss to Brooklyn the other night. They're 6-3 SU and ATS over their last nine.
As opposed to Brooklyn and their top-heavy approach – Deron Williams had 31 points and Brook Lopez had 38 points and 11 rebounds – Dallas went for more balance. Eight players had at least eight points in the loss, with the Mavericks led by 16 points out of Dirk Nowitzki.
Now that they're healthy, the Mavericks have some serious talent coming off the bench. Vince Carter, Darren Collison, and Elton Brand have been on the second unit for Dallas lately.
Dallas is also set to get Shawn Marion back tonight after missing eight games with a calf strain. As we mentioned, Rick Carlisle's squad has been doing quite well in his stead, but it never hurts to get a high-energy player like Marion back into the fold.
Like Boston, the Mavericks have been on a roll in terms of spread betting performance. They're 24-9 ATS over their last 33 matchups overall.
Check out Joe Freda's pick on the Lakers vs. th Wizards~
We really like the look of the OVER here, as the Mavericks have really found their groove offensively lately. They've averaged 102.2 PPG over their last five.
Thing is, their defense has been shaky (allowing 102.2 PPG in same span), leaving the door open for Boston to match them in the scoring department.
Both teams have a lot of scoring talent coming off their respective benches, so we don't see the tempo dropping much when it's time for the second units. The UNDER has cashed in four straight road games for Boston, but we think that trend comes to an end tonight.
NBA Picks: OVER 196 at Bet365