NBA Picks: Mavericks vs. Spurs Series Price

Steven Suarez

Friday, April 18, 2014 5:29 PM GMT

After strolling to the number one overall seed in the Western Conference, the Spurs enter the playoffs as one of the top NBA betting favorites in the first round. Will Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks have anything to say about that?

Odds Overview
Oddmakers haven't given the Mavericks much of a chance at all, as they're trading at right around +550 to win the series. 

The Spurs are overwhelmingly favored at -800, which obviously isn't a great value play however you want to spin it. It does show you just how formidable Gregg Popovich's team is though.


Dallas Mavericks (+550)
The Mavericks are just relieved to have made the postseason, having squeaked out the eighth seed over Phoenix. Dallas went 49-33 overall, which included a 26-15 SU record at home and 23-18 mark out on the road. 

Though they struggled for the most part defensively, few teams were as efficient in their half-court offense as the Mavericks.

It all starts with Dirk Nowitzki of course. He played in 80 games this season and put up averages of 21.7 PPG and 6.2 RPG while shooting 49.7 percent from the floor, 39.8 percent from beyond the arc and 90.0 percent from the line. So close to a 50/40/90 season.

Dirk was joined by Monta Ellis as his main sidekick. Ellis had a significant impact in his first season with Dallas, averaging 19.0 PPG, 5.7 APG, 3.6 RPG and 1.7 SPG. He's formed a nice understanding with the big man and we know those two will be the main focal points offensively.

Elsewhere, Jose Calderon, Shawn Marion and Samuel Dalembert know their roles well and are going to stay within themselves, while Vince Carter, Brendan Wright and Devin Harris played effective minutes off the bench. Those three should feature quite a bit come playoff time.

When it comes down to it, while Dirk is obviously a legend, it's difficult to picture him carrying Dallas to another improbable playoff run like he did in in 2011, especially with San Antonio in their way first. Only time will tell though.


San Antonio Spurs (-800)
Ho hum. The Spurs finished with an NBA-best record of 62-20 and that came despite numerous games of rest for influential players like Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

With almost an equally good record on the road (30-11) as at home (32-9), San Antonio looks locked and loaded for another great showing in the playoffs.

We all remember what happened last year and you better believe that feeling of redemption has been on this team's mind throughout the season. They know they let it all go to waste in that fateful Game 6 of last year's NBA Finals.

It hasn't seemed to affect San Antonio's performance in 2013/14 though. Popovich has done another masterful job of tinkering with his rotations and getting the absolute maximum out of all of his players. Six different Spurs averaged in double figures during the regular season.

More importantly, the veterans weren't pushed to their limits and should be as fresh as they can be heading into the playoffs. No one on the team averaged more than 30 minutes per game on the year, quite a staggering statistic for a squad that won over 60 games. Duncan, Parker and Ginobili are ready for what could possibly be their last run together – will they make the most of it?

As for this first round matchup, there's no question who the better team is and we don't imagine the Spurs will waste much time in proving so. They should be able to scoot past the Mavericks without much of a fight.

Series Pick: Spurs in 5