NBA Picks: Look For A Mavericks Win Against Short-Handed Clippers

Mark Lathrop

Sunday, April 10, 2016 12:33 PM GMT

With teams resting starters, it is a goldmine for bettors late in the season. Our handicapper looks at the Mavericks vs. Clippers for an easy angle and NBA Pick.

Dallas Mavericks vs L.A. Clippers  
With the Los Angeles Clippers (51-28) locked into the 4th seed in the Western Conference, they’ve been playing their last few games with just the goal of getting Blake Griffin back in the mix. The Dallas Mavericks (41-38) on the other hand are in a fight for the 6th seed in the West, which would avoid a first round matchup with either the Spurs or the Warriors. The odds in this game have opened with the home team Clippers as slight 3-point favorites, and the O/U total has been set at 195 at BetOnline.

Both teams are expected to be missing players in this game, with the Dallas Mavericks likely without J.J. Barea and Deron Williams for this matchup. The Clippers are the healthier team at the moment, but Austin Rivers and Wesley Johnson are still listed as doubtful. Given that the Clippers are locked into their playoff spot, I’d say their chances of playing are extra doubtful.

The Mavericks come into this game winners of six straight, and are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games. This has included ATS wins against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trailblazers (twice), Charlotte Hornets, and Golden State Warriors. They’ve fed off of some crappy teams too in the mix, but overall have been playing steady ball for a good part of three weeks now.

The Clippers locked into their playoff spot at just the right time, as they have run into a soft spot in their schedule. This has allowed them to rest players and still go 8-1 SU in their last 9 games. That one loss was against Oklahoma City. But in the last three games they have easily handled the Lakers twice and slipped by Utah on Thursday night as a 13.5-point underdog.

These teams have met three times this season already, with the Clippers leading the season series 2-1. Each winner has also covered the spread, with the last game in early March in Dallas a particularly impressive win for the Clippers – a 109-90 demolishing of the Mavericks as they outscored Dallas 59-38 in the second half. The Under has also cashed in two of those three games, which had broken a trend of eight straight games cashing the Over between these teams over the last three years.

The O/U total of 195 on the NBA odds boards in this game is set much lower than the first three matchups, which were set at 212.5, 211.5, and 209.5, respectively. Dallas has shot terribly in the two games that went under the total though, shooting less than 37% from the field on both games. Three-point shooting has been especially problematic for the Mavericks, as they shot just 16% from beyond the arc a month ago.

 

Betting Analysis
Looking at past matchups is likely a fool’s errand in this game though, as Doc Rivers is dead set on resting starters a ton the rest of the way. When the Clippers traveled to Utah in their last game they did not take Paul, Griffin, Johnson, Jordan, or Redick. That may be the true reason that the O/U total is where it is – no scorers could be playing for the Clippers tonight. It was definitely the reason they were underdogs against the Jazz.

With this game meaning something to Dallas though, I like their chances on getting a win against a shorthanded Clippers squad, even with their own injury concerns. A matchup with the Spurs or Warriors in the first round is something to definitely avoid, as it would mean a trip to the second round would be all but ruled out. Take the Mavericks +3 in this game as one of your Sunday NBA picks.

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Free NBA Pick: Mavericks +5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage