This is the 2nd leg of a home-and-home series between the Spurs and Mavs, with Dallas winning & covering the NBA odds on Tuesday. The Spurs have revenge on their minds tonight.
Dallas Mavericks (45-27 SU, 30-38-4 ATS)
Before they hosted San Antonio Tuesday night the Mavs had lost their previous two games and because they were favorites against both the Grizzlies and the Suns they obviously failed to cover the NBA odds as well. Dallas was installed as a 3 ½ point home underdog but they didn’t need a single one of those points as they came to play much to the delight of the partisan fans and notched a 101-94 victory over the defending World Champs.
Tonight they are in hostile territory facing a hot San Antonio team that despite their setback in Dallas has reeled off four wins and ATS covers in five tries. Shooting guard Monta Ellis was the difference maker Tuesday night as the nine-year veteran tied his season high with 38 points on 16-of-27 shooting and was perfect from the charity stripe. While the offensive explosion from Ellis was a welcome sight the Mavericks have also gotten it done with defense over their last pair of road tilts allowing only 95.5 points per game. Dallas has gone 1-8 straight up over the past three seasons when playing at the AT&T Center but are a rock solid 6-3 ATS when factoring in the NBA odds.
San Antonio Spurs (45-26 SU, 33-36-2 ATS)
The problem with backing the San Antonio Spurs with cold hard cash is that the NBA odds makers are always harnessing them with big handicaps as evidenced by their sub .500 mark against the number. This season the team has faltered from the lofty expectations their fans have for them each and every season. As of this writing they are tied for the 6th seed in the West with the very same team they will take on tonight.
San Antonio rebounded with a vengeance from their loss in Dallas when they welcomed the Oklahoma City Thunder into their lair Wednesday evening and gave them an old fashioned Texas beatdown. When the smoke cleared the Spurs had annihilated the Thunder 130-91 and gave their backers nothing to worry about as 7 ½ point home chalk. The win was a true team effort as Tony Parker led all Spurs’ scorers with 21 points but Boris Diaw provided a big spark off the bench when he poured in 19 of his own. The Spurs shot a scorching 58 percent from the field and nailed 13-of-21 from the beyond the arc. The Spurs are now 5-1 ATS in their last five home contests.
The quote that intrigued me after the Spurs demolished OKC was uttered by Tony Parker when he said,
"I'm still mad from last night (referencing the loss against Dallas on Tuesday night). Then we come in tonight and we play great, so this is going to be the challenge this year, to try and find some consistency. If we want to do anything, we're going to have to play good on the road and put games together, just play for five, 10 games in a row."
The Spurs put the clamps on MVP candidate Russell Westbrook in their last outing and they understand that limiting the opposition’s backcourt scoring is essential. I believe they will do just that but don’t you think that giving 9 ½ points to a divisional rival in the heat of a playoff battle is a bit much? I do and though Tony Parker and company have revenge on their mind I can’t ignore the fact that the Mavs beat them by seven just a few nights ago and in addition Dallas has had the benefit of resting between the two meetings while the Spurs had to take on the Thunder just a day later. The Mavs are 6-3 ATS over the last nine in San Antonio and I'm placing my NBA Picks expecting them to be 7-3 in NBA odds when this one is through.
NBA Pick: Dallas +9 ½ at 5Dimes