NBA Picks: Warriors for the Win But Bet Mavericks to Cover the Spread

Jason Lake

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 12:24 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015 12:24 PM UTC

How good are the Golden State Warriors? They opened as 8.5-point favorites on the NBA odds board for Wednesday’s matchup against the Dallas Mavericks, although Dallas will be without Rajon Rondo.

Jason’s record as of Feb. 3: 30-27-3 ATS, 2-4 Totals

Being the Best in the World at what you do gets pretty boring sometimes. The Golden State Warriors were electric Tuesday night against the Sacramento Kings – for about a nine-minute burst during the first half, when they outscored Sacramento 28-3. For the most part, the rest of the game was, like the arena itself, just a giant advertisement for Sleep Train mattresses. Final score: Warriors 121, Kings 96 (GSW –10).

How about some real competition? Well, the Dallas Mavericks will be in Oakland Wednesday night (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), but the Mavs might not be all that competitive without starting point guard Rajon Rondo. He’s out indefinitely with a broken face. The NBA odds for this matchup reflect Rondo’s absence; Dallas opened as an 8.5-point dog before moving as high at +9 in early betting.

Face Dances
As we go to press, we’re still waiting word on the full extent of Rondo’s injuries. He was accidentally kicked/kneed in the face by teammate Richard Jefferson during Saturday’s 108-93 win over the Orlando Magic (+7 at home). Early evaluations have Rondo suffering an orbital fracture as well as a broken nose. Further medical results are forthcoming, but if the original diagnosis holds up, Rondo (12.4 PER in Dallas) should be out for quite a while.

Could this be addition by subtraction? The Mavericks were 14-9 SU and just 9-13-1 ATS since acquiring Rondo. After he left Saturday’s game less than two minutes into the first quarter, the Mavericks turned to Devin Harris (14.4 PER) and J.J. Barea (16.0 PER), who combined for 22 points and five assists while shooting 4-of-8 from downtown. Obviously the Mavericks could still use Rondo’s leadership and defense (plus-1.2 DBPM), but purely as an NBA pick, maybe Dallas is better off without him.

Touched by the Hand of Zod
Yeah, about that: Harris is questionable to face the Warriors after getting steamrolled by Nikola Pekovic in Monday’s 100-94 victory over the Timberwolves (+10 away). Harris got his left leg squished by the 300-pound behemoth late in the fourth quarter and didn’t return. Fortunately for Dallas, the X-rays came up negative, but Harris twisted his ankle and maybe his knee up real good.

No problem. Did you know the Mavericks have a fourth point guard? I know, it’s crazy. Ray Felton (17.5 PER) has been mostly invisible since coming over from the New York Knicks along with Tyson Chandler (21.1 PER). But the few minutes Felton has played (69 thus far) have been pretty decent. When healthy and focussed, Felton has proved he can be at least an average NBA point guard, which is not a bad thing to be. He posted a 15.1 PER starting for the Knicks just two years ago.

Hausa Party
If Barea and Felton can keep a steady hand on the tiller, the Mavericks (33-17 SU, 24-25-1 ATS) have everything else they need to put up the good fight. Chandler has been fantastic since his return to Dallas. Dirk Nowitzki (20.9 PER) and Monta Ellis (18.9 PER) are doing their collective thing. Chandler Parsons (16.4 PER) has the highest Offensive Box Plus/Minus on the team at plus-2.7.

At least, he does now. That honor used to go to Brandan Wright (plus-3.6 OBPM), but he was shipped off to the Boston Celtics in the Rondo trade. So was Jae Crowder (12.8 PER). However, initial concerns about the Mavericks bench have dissolved now that Dwight Powell (15.8 PER), who also came over from the Celtics, and Al-Farouq Aminu (15.2 PER) are stepping it up. When you take all this depth into account, and you factor in that Golden State is playing the second of back-to-back games while Dallas hasn’t played since Monday, you get what looks like a solid NBA pick in the Mavs.

Free NBA Pick: Take the Mavericks at 5Dimes

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