NBA Picks: Pacers vs. Mavericks

Jeff Grant

Thursday, March 28, 2013 11:54 AM GMT

Thursday, Mar. 28, 2013 11:54 AM GMT

The Dallas Mavericks are trying to make a run at the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, as they prepare to take on the Indiana Pacers Thursday night. When it comes to placing our NBA picks, where should we look for value?

Let’s take a closer look at the NBA betting odds for this non-conference affair at the American Airlines Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.

Impressive in the Lone Star State

Indiana captured an impressive 100-91 victory over the Houston Rockets as 5.5-point road underdogs Wednesday night, while going UNDER the total for the fourth time in five contests.

The Pacers are 5-2 against the spread (ATS) in their last seven games on zero days rest, while the UNDER is 5-1 in their last six opportunities in that situation.

Aiming for .500

Dallas is 1.5 games back of the Los Angeles Lakers for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference standings, while sitting just a win away from reaching the .500 mark for the first time in 3.5 months.

The Mavericks have scored 104 or more points in winning their last three games, including a 109-102 triumph over the Los Angeles Clippers as 1.5-point home underdogs Tuesday, while going OVER the total for a fifth consecutive affair.

Nowitzki is the key

Most online sportsbooks have clearly undervalued the Mavericks over the last 36 games, as they’ve compiled a 26-10 ATS record in that span, with much of that success due to the emergence of star forward Dirk Nowitzki.

He is coming off a season-high 32-point performance against the Clippers, while averaging 20.7 points and 8.2 rebounds over his last nine games. Nowitzki is shooting 54.8 percent from the floor and 44.8 percent from beyond the arc during that stretch.

Vulnerable on the road

The Pacers are 16-19 away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse during the 2012-13 NBA season, including a 5-7 mark versus non-conference opponents. Indiana has failed to cover the number in 15 of its last 21 games when playing an opponent with a winning home record.

It’s important to note that the franchise hasn’t won three straight games against Dallas since 1995, while it seeks to win back-to-back games on the road in this series for the first time since 1981 and 1982.

[gameodds]5/222996/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’ve established the Mavericks as one-point home favorites in this matchup, which basically signals that readers should back the underdog with their NBA picks in this spot once a line is available on the SBR Odds page.

Sports bettors need to keep a close eye on the injury report throughout the day, as Pacers forward Danny Granger (knee, questionable) and David West (back, probable) could return to the floor after missing 13 and six games respectively.

Handicapper Line: Dallas Mavericks -1

Check out our NBA Picks: Thursday Night Teaser for more betting options.
comment here