Even though the Blazers knocked off the Spurs last night, Tony Parker was hobbled with an injury, while Tim Duncan was extremely ineffective against LaMarcus Aldridge.
Tonight with the Blazers heading into Dallas, they will have to tighten up their defense if they want to win. While they have continued to play very well, I think their time is coming where they will start to be a good fade, and it could be tonight for the Blazers on the road.
Undervalued in Big D
While the Mavs have lost all three of the games where they were home underdogs this season, the Blazers haven’t been terrific when they are favored on the road this season. The Blazers are 5-6 ATS when they are road favorites, and even though they have been very good overall on the second night of a back to back, a lot of those no-rest wins cam very early in the season when back to backs don’t mean much.
Dallas was the first team the Blazers lost to on the second night of a back to back this season, and since that loss, the Blazers are only 2-2 ATS when playing with no rest, opposed to their overall record this season of 7-3 ATS when playing on consecutive nights.
While the Mavs are hovering around .500 in most ATS areas, they have been slightly undervalued at home recently. Even though they haven’t been great at covering at home, they have been winners SU. The Mavs are 14-6 SU at home this season, and they play very well on the offensive end of the floor in Dallas. I think that could be the tipping point tonight, and why the Mavs’ moneyline may be the play.
The Sharp Pick
The only injury concern for this game is Mavs’ point guard, Jose Calderon. He only logged 19 minutes last night and was apparently hampered by a nagging knee injury. He is at best a game time decision tonight, and as long as he starts, I see the Mavs pulling this one out.
The Mavs are 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS in their last five overall meetings with the Blazers, including one game already this season in Portland. The Mavs squeezed out a one-point victory over the Blazers as +5 ½ underdogs in the NBA odds.
The Blazers have been falling off ever so slightly on the road, and if we see a major dip in their ATS record, it will be their play on the road that does it. The Blazers are only 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games.
Even though at this stage of his career, Samuel Dalembert is not a lock down defender, he is still an average defender, and his presence should affect some of LaMarcus Aldridge’s production. This means they would be cross-matched in the post to start, putting Dirk Nowitzki on Robin Lopez.
Even though the Blazers will win the point guard and small forward battles, I don’t think it will be enough to get the win. Nowitzki is a tough cover for Aldridge. In their game in December, Dirk had 30 points on the Blazers in Portland. Look for that to continue, and the Mavs to win outright for your NBA pick.
My Pick: Mavs +110