I am backing the Mavericks with my NBA picks to upset the Rockets in Houston in Tuesday’s Western Conference Playoff show down. I think Dallas are in a good spot to pull off the win.
Keep in mind when preparing your NBA picks that although the foul disparity was not too huge, 28 for Dallas and 22 for Houston, the Rockets got to the line 45 times. The Mavericks got to the charity stripe only 17 times which equaled James Harden’s attempts alone. I imagine Rick Calisle has addressed this issue with his team, and perhaps with league officials, after all, in the NBA this season the Mavericks only averaged about 20 fouls per game. Harden is a master at drawing fouls but 17 free throws is a bit too many for one player in a game. On the season against the Mavs he went to the line 13, 3, 13, and 12 times. I am anticipating a game that is much more even in regards to this issue and a better game plan by the Mavericks to play defense more with their feet and watch the hand checks.
Defense, Offense, Statistics, Line
NBA odds makers have come out with Houston as a -5.5 favorite against the Dallas Mavericks. Makes sense, but that just gives us more value to take the Mavericks at around 2-1 odds on the money line. Defensively Houston has been a bit more efficient than Dallas this season in most categories. The big difference is in defending beyond the arc where the Rockets rank #1 in the league at 32.2% compared to the Mavericks ranked in the bottom part of the league at 36.5%. That definitely came in to play the first game as Houston went on to shoot over 40% from distance. Offensively from the field Dallas has been the better team percentage wise ranked 5th in the league at 46.2% with Houston in the bottom half at 44.4%. There is a lot of give and take between these two teams, Houston rebounds the ball much better, Dallas has a much better turnover ratio, and they are very even in assists and three point shooting percent.
I like the NBA odds value here with the Mavericks on the plus money line. With Carlisle you have a very good coach, and a team that knows the Rockets really well right now. Despite the 1-4 record vs. Houston all the games have been decently close and look for Dallas to avoid a bad first quarter like the first game and find a way to come out of Houston with the win.
NBA Picks: Mavericks +220 at 5Dimes