NBA Playoffs Picks: Bet Mavericks +10 In Game 4 Against Thunder

Matthew Jordan

Friday, April 22, 2016 7:19 PM GMT

The Oklahoma City-Dallas first-round Western Conference series has perplexed me on the side. Fared well on the total but have yet to hit on the spread. That changes for Saturday's game in Big D! OKC is -10 on BetDSI's NBA odds with a total of 201.5.

Thunder Stars Back In Form
Oklahoma City was a 9-point favorite for Game 3 in Dallas, and I said the Thunder would win. But I thought giving that many points to a solid Mavericks team at home was too many. Apparently not as the Thunder rolled to a 131-102 victory for a 2-1 series lead. OKC's total was just 38 points fewer than the two teams combined for in the Mavericks' 85-84 upset win in Game 2 of this Western Conference series.

You pretty much knew that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were going to have big nights in Game 3 on Thursday after both really struggled from the field in Game 2. And they did. Durant had a series-high 34 points to go with seven rebounds and three assists. He still wasn't quite dead-on shooting, hitting 11-for-25 overall and 3-for-9 from long range. But he didn't let the Mavericks' physicality bother him like it appeared to in Game 2. Durant scored 20 in the first half on 7-for-9 shooting. That seemed to officially put Game 2 behind him.

Westbrook was 9-for-16 from the field in Game 3 for 26 points with 15 assists and two steals. Somewhat oddly, the NBA's triple-double leader didn't have a rebound. Those 15 assists were four more than Oklahoma City had as a team in Game 2. The Thunder shot 57.7 percent overall and 55.6 percent from 3-point range. The Thunder can beat the Spurs or Warriors hitting at those percentages. Coach Billy Donovan said there was better spacing in Game 3 and more ball movement.

The Thunder also got big contributions from their two top reserves, Enes Kanter (21 points, eight rebounds in 22 minutes) and Dion Waiters (19 points in 28 minutes). OKC outscored Dallas by 27 points when Waiters was on the court. Kanter and Waiters were the first bench duo in Thunder playoff history to each score 19 or more points in the same game.

Oklahoma City is -10000 on NBA odds to win the series.

Mavericks Couldn't Replicate Game 2
Dallas had three injury concerns entering Game 3, with guards Deron Williams and J.J. Barea and forward David Lee all questionable. Williams gutted through 26 minutes despite a sports hernia in Game 2 but couldn't go in Game 3. He's questionable for this one. Barea returned after missing a game and had 15 points and seven assists in 32 minutes as a starter. The Mavericks were only outscored by three points when he was on the court. Lee played for the first time this series and had six points and two rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench.

Wesley Matthews led Dallas with 22 points but he was minus-28. Dirk Nowitzki played through a knee bruise and had 16 points but only got 12 shots -- look for that to change in Game 4. Nowitzki moved past Wilt Chamberlain and into 16th place in NBA career postseason points in the game. At 3,612 points, Nowitzki trails No. 15 Elgin Baylor by 12. Guard Raymond Felton started again off his terrific Game 3 and was pretty good with 18 points, four assists and three rebounds. He also got in a bit of a skirmish with a guy a foot taller in Thunder center Steven Adams. Both got technical fouls.

I liked the Mavs to cover Game 3 because they were back home and it seemed their physical, defensive style -- not to mention interrupting a certain per-game dance routine -- had gotten under the skin of Durant and Westbrook. Plus I believed the extra day rest would help the beaten-up Mavericks. But Dallas never led once and the Mavericks have now lost by a total of 67 points while not leading or tying the score beyond 0-0 in two of the three games thus far. And there's just a 48-hour turnaround for this one.

There is clearly a huge talent and athletic discrepancy between these teams. That said, the Mavericks' Rick Carlisle is one of the best coaches in the NBA so I assume he will add a new wrinkle here. Plus it's clearly a must-win game or this series will end in Game 5 back in OKC.

The Mavericks are +2100 on NBA pick to win this series.

 

Betting Analysis
Take the points and go 'under' in this game. Only way for Dallas to stay close is to keep it in the 80s or 90s. I think the Mavs have one last big effort in them ... but OKC wins again. The Thunder are just 1-5 ATS in their past six games after scoring at least 125 points in their previous games. Dallas has covered six of its past seven after allowing at least 100 points in the previous game. The 'under' is 7-3 in OKC's past 10 after an ATS win. The 'under' is 9-4 in Dallas' past 13 after a loss of at least 10 points.

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Free NBA Pick: Mavericks +10
Best Line Offered: at Intertops