Early morning NBA odds have Dallas favored by 5.5 or so points at the sportsbooks. The Mavericks are 9-5 both SU and ATS, while the Nuggets are 6-6 both SU and ATS. Easy enough to make them one of our NBA picks right?
Despite the UNDER hitting on Saturday, sportsbooks have opened at another high number of 212 for the Total. The OVER is 8-6 in Dallas' games so far, with the trend at 7-5 for tilts involving Brian Shaw's team.
Our coverage and picks from their last meeting:
A shaky start to the season has turned around for the Nuggets, as they've won two in a row and five of their last seven coming into tonight.
Denver started off strong in their recent win over Dallas, out-scoring their opponents 35-22 in the first quarters. The Nuggets took a 65-53 lead into halftime. The second half didn't go nearly as well, as Denver almost choked away the win before ultimately prevailing 102-100.
Ty Lawson paced the Nuggets with 20 points and nine assists, while Kenneth Faried was everywhere, racking up 18 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks. Randy Foye, Wilson Chandler, Nate Robinson and Darrell Arthur all scored in double figures as well.
Lawson has been practically carrying the team on his shoulders so far. He's putting up 20.8 PPG, 8.5 APG and 4.2 RPG, with the next top scorer on Denver (Faried) averaging only 11.1 points a game.
The supporting cast did their job against the Mavericks two days ago though and Lawson will be hoping they come up big again in Dallas.
The Mavericks had their four-game winning streak snapped in Denver and will try to begin a new one here this evening.
Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis were the ones keeping Dallas competitive. Nowitzki hit 9-of-22 shots on his way to a game-high 27 points and also helped out with nine rebounds, while Ellis scored 25 points (8-of-14 FG) with six boards, two assists and two steals.
DeJuan Blair (eight points, 10 boards, two steals) and Vince Carter (16 points) did good things off the bench, but Shawn Marion, Jose Calderon and Samuel Dalembert combined for only 20 points in the loss.
Overall, it wasn't the most efficient of offensive nights for the Mavericks, who shot 40.2 percent overall and 33.3 percent (7-of-21) from beyond the arc.
The good news for Dallas? They've been been outstanding at home, going a perfect 7-0 SU and 5-2 ATS on their home court this season.
Though the Mavs ultimately fell short the other night, they still have to feel pretty good about their effort down the stretch to even make a game of it.
We look for them to carry over that momentum and beat Denver here at home, while also covering the NBA odds as favorites.
Dallas doesn't exactly have the best defensive numbers out there, but they make up for it with a highly effective offense that's tied for third in efficiency. They're scoring 106.5 points per 100 possessions, putting them in a tie with the Clippers and Trail Blazers. Only Miami and Houston are above them.
Nowitzki and Ellis were getting any shot they wanted two nights ago and we think they'll have big games again tonight. We take Dallas to cover as one of our NBA picks for Monday.
Pick: Dallas Mavericks -5.5