NBA Picks: Rockets vs. Mavericks

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 12:52 PM GMT

The Dallas Mavericks have won seven of their last nine games after suffering a blowout loss by 20 points or more this season. Who should we back with our NBA picks when they take on the Rockets?

 

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

Can they win three straight?

Houston hasn’t won three consecutive games since doing just that from Jan. 25-28, as it comes off a 136-103 blowout victory over Dallas as 5.5-point home favorites Sunday, while going OVER the total for a second consecutive contest.

The Rockets are 8-9 straight up (SU) and 10-7 against the spread (ATS) after two or more consecutive wins, with the OVER cashing in 10 of those 17 opportunities.

Running out of time

Dallas has dropped four of its last five games, which has led directly to falling 5.5 games behind the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.  

The Mavericks are 20-15 SU and 15-20 ATS in March the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 21-14 in that situation.

Series history

I’m definitely not going to recommend that readers blindly back the Mavericks due to the revenge factor in this rematch, but it’s important to note that they’ve still won 23 of the last 30 regular-season meetings in this series.

Dallas has won five-straight games against Houston at this venue, which has played a part in the favorite covering the number in four of the last five meetings in this series.

Harden and Nowitzki

James Harden is a major reason why the Rockets lead the NBA in scoring 107.0 points per game, as he has put together 50 20-point performances this season—after accomplishing that task just 29 times over a span of three seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Dirk Nowitzki was held to just eight points in 26 minutes of action versus the Rockets last time out, as the Mavericks have lost five of their last six games in this series when he doesn’t contribute 15 or more points.

[gameodds]5/220377/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Mavericks as one of their pro basketball picks Wednesday night, as Nowitzki will likely bounce back with a huge performance, while they’ve covered the number in 10 of their last 11 games following a SU loss.

Personally, I’ll be looking to back Dallas in the first quarter for my NBA picks here, as it has held an advantage after the opening 12 minutes in all three meetings this season.

NBA Picks:  Dallas Mavericks -.5 First Quarter

Recommendation:  Dallas Mavericks -2 at 5Dimes