NBA Picks: Mavericks vs. Spurs Game 1

Jeff Grant

Thursday, April 17, 2014 1:28 PM GMT

The San Antonio Spurs are favorites to represent the Western Conference in the 2014 NBA Finals, but they may struggle out of the gate against the Dallas Mavericks Sunday afternoon.

No Big Deal
San Antonio is the No. 1 overall seed in the 2014 NBA Playoffs and will be making its 17th consecutive appearance in postseason play.

The Spurs are the only team in the league to be above .725 in both home and road games, which led to clinching their 20th Southwest Division title since 1976-77—the most of any team over that span.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise is 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS in the first round of the playoffs, with the UNDER going 6-2 in that situation.

[gameodds]5/264163/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Dangerous Opponent
Dallas has won six of its last seven road games, but it landed in the No. 8 spot after suffering a 106-105 overtime defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday.

The Mavericks are capable of making noise in the postseason if forward Dirk Nowitzki can elevate his play, as he averaged a team-high 21.6 points during the regular season.

NBA handicappers will find that the squad is 14-22 SU and 17-19 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record.

 

Quite A Trio
Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have played 675 career games together, which is one of the main reasons that the Spurs will be heavily backed in the futures market to capture the title.

The trio has won 498 games—second all-time in that category—trailing only Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish of the Boston Celtics.

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Series History
The Mavericks dropped all four regular-season meetings against the Spurs, while the UNDER has cashed in eight of the last 11 affairs at this venue.

Dallas has won 30 of 34 games when holding opponents under the century mark, but that number will be hard to achieve against a team that averages 106.3 points per game at home.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Mavericks as one of their NBA playoff picks, as the road team has covered the number in six of the last seven meetings between these in-state rivals.

NBA Pick: Dallas Mavericks +9 at BetOnline