NBA Picks: Mavericks vs. Trail Blazers

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 1:12 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 1:12 PM GMT

The Dallas Mavericks are playing their best basketball of the 2012-13 NBA season, as they prepare to take on the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden. Let’s take a closer look at the betting odds for this Western Conference affair. 


Making a run

Dallas is certainly a team to watch heading into the NBA All-Star break, as it has won six of its last eight games, including a 110-95 blowout win over the Phoenix Suns as eight-point home favorites. The Mavericks have scored 100-plus points in each of those contests—leading directly to the OVER going on a 6-1-1 run in that span. When making your NBA picks tonight, remember that this franchise is a dangerous road underdog, considering they compiled a 10-3 against-the-spread (ATS) mark in January.

The Mavericks currently are tied for the 10th position in the Western Conference playoff race, but given their current form, this looks to be a team gearing up to turn it on in the second half of the season.

Sandwich game

Portland has won just three of its last 10 games, which includes a rare back-to-back situation against the Los Angeles Clippers—resulting in each team winning on its home floor. The Trail Blazers fall into one of the stranger scheduling patterns for any team during the 2012-13 campaign, as they will play another home-and-home series versus the Utah Jazz after this affair.

Series history 

When looking over the NBA odds page, sports bettors will definitely find the Mavericks as an appealing option, considering they’ve won 24 of the last 32 regular-season meetings in this series, including 10 of their last 15 at the Rose Garden. Dallas shot a season-high 61.5 percent from the field in a dominating 114-91 win over Portland as four-point home favorites on Nov. 5. The underdog has covered the number in four of the last five meetings. 

Opening 12 minutes may tell the story 

The Trail Blazers are 9-0 at home this year when leading after the first quarter, but it’s important to note that they’ve been outscored by an average of 1.2 points in that situation for the entire season. On the other side, the Mavericks may have one of the worst road records (7-16) in the entire league, but they’ve actually held an advantage over foes away from the Lone Star State in the first 12 minutes this year. 

Scoring punch

The Mavericks have had at least five scorers in double figures over their last eight games, with one of those players being star forward Dirk Nowitzki, who has averaged 14.2 points since returning to the lineup from offseason knee surgery. Portland isn’t as deep as tonight’s opponent, which is demonstrated in the starting five leading the league in averaging 80.4 points per game.

[gameodds]5/141784/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers add the Mavericks to their sports picks tonight, as they’ve gone 14-5 ATS as road underdogs of three points or less over the last two-plus seasons. The Trail Blazers will ultimately fall to 6-11-1 ATS in their 18 opportunities as a favorite this year. 

NBA Pick: Dallas Mavericks +2.5
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