NBA Picks: Expect Mavs & Heat To Start The New Year With Low-Scoring Affair

Charles Stark

Friday, January 1, 2016 4:24 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 1, 2016 4:24 PM UTC

Two good NBA teams with conflicting styles clash tonight in Miami where the Heat take on the Dallas Mavericks. Find out our best NBA picks for this matchup tonight.

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Free NBA Pick: Under 195½
Best Line Offered: at Bovada


The NBA odds are out for tonight's game as Miami has had a few days off since their tough overtime loss to Memphis and Dallas is coming off their Curry-less matchup with the Warriors. I like for Miami to control the tempo, so I am anticipating a low-scoring game and using that for my NBA picks.


Dallas Mavericks
Dallas is averaging 101.9 points per game while shooting 44.3% from the field, and allowing 101.2 points per game on 44.7% shooting from the field. Offensively, the Mavericks are one of the more efficient teams in the league ranking 11th in shooting efficiency and 13th in effective field-goal percentage at 50% per contest. They are a perimeter orientated team and have done little damage in the paint averaging just 38.1 point per game which ranks 26th in the NBA. Dallas does spread the floor and likes to get out and shoot the three averaging 27.8 per game with ranks fourth in the league, and making 9.5 of those per game which ranks seventh. Tonight they face a pretty stiff task though, against the Miami team that is very good defensively from the outside in. On the defensive side of the ball, Dallas is marginal and rank in the middle of the league in most of the important offensive categories, but tonight they should have some success against the Miami team that likes to grind it out. Where they should also have some success on the defensive side is in the paint where they allow just 39.3 points per game with ranks sixth in the NBA, this should be a good matchup against a Miami team that can score in the interior.


Miami Heat
Miami is averaging 97 points per game while shooting 46.3% from the field, and allowing 95.5 points per game on 43.1% shooting from the field. As mentioned they do a lot of damage in the interior averaging 43.5 points per game in the paint, and are overall quite an efficient scoring team. Most of their damage is done with their two point shooting at 50.8% per game which ranks fifth in the league, this is a contrast to their three point shooting at 33.2% per game which ranks as one of the worst in the league. Although they don't have any efficiency problems when it comes the scoring, one of the reasons I like the under is the pace of Miami. On the season, the Heat are averaging just 78.9 field-goal attempts per game which ranks last in the NBA, and I expect with them at home, they will control the tempo. Defensively, Miami is as good as ever ranking third in scoring defense and sixth in opponent shooting percentage. Across the board they rank as one of the best teams in the league on this side of the ball, ranking seventh in opponent assist per game, and eighth in opponent field goals made per game and opponent three point shooting percentage.

With Dallas coming off an up tempo, minor upset game against the Warriors, I look for them to come into this game a little less sharp than normal. Miami should get out and defend very well and control tempo from the tip which should lead to a low score. For one of your NBA picks today, I recommend backing under the total in what should be a defensive first low-scoring affair.

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