NBA Picks: Mavericks vs. Thunder

Jeff Grant

Monday, February 4, 2013 2:56 PM GMT

The Oklahoma City Thunder will try to win their ninth game in a row against the Dallas Mavericks Monday night, as the two Western Conference rivals meet up at Chesapeake Energy Arena.


Let’s take a closer look at this rivalry from a betting perspective, which features two of the better scorers in the NBA. Is there any value lying on the NBA odds boards, and how can we take advantage of it?

Closing out a road trip

Dallas has dropped two of three on its current four-game road trip, but managed to come away with a 109-99 victory over the Phoenix Suns as 2.5-point road underdogs last time out, while going OVER the total for the seventh time in nine contests. The Mavericks have compiled a disappointing 8-18 straight-up record on the road this year, but have produced a money-making 15-10-1 against-the-spread (ATS) mark.

Alternate world

Oklahoma City has fallen into quite a pattern of alternating wins and losses over its last eight games, as it looks to bounce back from a 115-110 setback to the Cleveland Cavaliers as 11-point road favorites Saturday, while going OVER the total for a second consecutive contest. The Thunder have covered the number in eight of their nine games after suffering a loss as a favorite during the 2012-13 campaign.

Bouncing back 

The Thunder would seem to be the obvious choice for your NBA picks, considering they’ve won 10 of 11 games this season after suffering a defeat. Oklahoma City has also enjoyed a nice 5-0 ATS run in that situation, which should provide even more confidence in laying the number in this Western Conference rivalry game.

Durant and Nowitzki

Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki are both listed as questionable to play in this affair, which is certainly something to monitor throughout the day. Oklahoma City ranks first in the NBA in averaging 105.8 points per game, with Durant leading the charge, while also hitting 31 of 31 chances from the charity stripe in the first two meetings in this series.

Dallas has played its last two games without the services of Nowitzki, as he’ll be looking to get back on track in this matchup, considering he’s been held to just 27 combined points on 26.7 percent shooting in the two games.

[gameodds]5/217153/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their sports picks Monday night, as Durant may be less aggressive on the offensive end with a minor back injury, while the Mavericks will be motivated to put forth a strong defensive effort in trying to snap their current losing streak in this series.

NBA Pick: Under

For more free picks, be sure to check out our NBA Picks: Monday Night Value Picks article.