The Mavericks opened as 7.5-point favorites on NBA odds with a total of 199.5. The Hawks are -6.5 for sports bettors with a total of 210.5.
Mavericks vs. Jazz
Dallas enters Tuesday at 47-31, a half-game of No. 8 Phoenix in the Western Conference playoff race and 1.5 games ahead of No. 9 Memphis -- the Grizz host the Mavericks to close the regular season. Dallas still could get as high as No. 6 as it trails Golden State by 1.5 games. However, the Warriors won the season series 3-1 and thus would win a head-to-head tiebreaker.
This game ends a four-game road trip for Dallas (42-36 ATS, 43-35 O/U at sportsbooks) and the team might not be all that thrilled to return to Big D as the Mavericks have won five straight road games. That includes against Western Conference favorites Oklahoma City and the L.A. Clippers. Either one of those teams could be the Mavs' first-round playoff opponent.
Mavericks future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki was named Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday as he averaged 25.3 points (shooting 56.5 percent from long range) and 8.0 rebounds last week. He is 18 points from moving into the NBA's Top 10 on the all-time scoring list. He'll pass Oscar Robertson (26,710) with Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) up next.
Utah (31-40-6 ATS, 36-40-1 O/U) planned on being bad this season -- that's why it took on some bloated contracts from Golden State for draft picks this offseason -- and it has been. The Jazz and Lakers are fighting it out for last place in the Western Conference. Utah has two victories in its past 14 games but has some solid building blocks. One of them, rookie point guard Trey Burke, had 24 points and a career-high 15 helpers in Sunday's 28-point loss at Golden State.
The Mavericks are 3-0 against the Jazz this year. Nowitzki is averaging 23.0 points in those. Dallas had lost three straight in Utah before a 108-101 win there March 12 in the most recent meeting. The was the closest of the three games this season.
Pistons vs. Hawks
Atlanta posted one of the more improbable NBA wins in 2014 on Sunday when the Hawks (33-42-1 ATS, 43-32-1 O/U at sportsbooks) didn't just win in Indianapolis, they routed the Pacers, they of the NBA's best home record, 107-88. It was a shocking 55-23 at halftime, the fewest first-half points ever for the Pacers franchise and tied for their biggest halftime deficit. Jeff Teague had 25 points for the Hawks and Paul Millsap 17 points and 11 rebounds. Millsap had to leave the game for a bit due to a thumb injury but he should be fine. Perhaps the team will rest him and others when it clinches the eighth spot in the East. Sixth man Lou Williams is questionable for Tuesday with a hamstring injury.
Sunday was a great day for the Hawks because the Knicks were beaten earlier in the day in Miami. Now Atlanta leads New York by three games in the loss column for the final playoff berth.
The Pistons (32-44-1 ATS, 52-25 O/U) will finish with a losing record for the sixth straight season and it's presumed that GM Joe Dumars will be fired. He has made some terrible personnel decisions, including signing Josh Smith and trading for Brandon Jennings this past offseason. Look for ownership to target Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and give him all the power he wants. Izzo has been offered better NBA jobs in the past so it's rather unlikely he leaves East Lansing.
Detroit does have one player any team would love to have: 20-year-old center Andre Drummond. He had 19 points and 20 rebounds in Saturday's 115-111 home win over Boston. Drummond has 402 offensive rebounders, the most in the NBA since 2000. The Charlotte Bobcats have to be kicking themselves every day for taking Michael Kidd-Gilchrist No. 2 overall in 2012 and not Drummond (No. 9).
Atlanta leads the season series 2-1, but Detroit won the most recent game on Feb. 21 in Motown. The Hawks have won 10 straight at home in this series. The Pistons have a single road win since Feb. 1.
NBA parlay picks: Over 199.5 points in Mavericks-Jazz, and Atlanta -6.5 against the Pistons. That two-way parlay would pay out at 13/5. Dallas has scored at least 103 points in each game against Utah this season. The over has hit in seven of the Mavs' past 10 games overall. Atlanta has covered seven straight games following a win of at least 10 points. Detroit has covered once in its past seven overall.