Pick Rajon Rondo & Mavericks with Betting Edge over Spurs

David Lawrence

Saturday, December 20, 2014 2:05 PM GMT

The San Antonio Spurs are dealing with two very important injuries right now while the Dallas Mavericks are dealing with the arrival of a superstar. How will these competing stories shape the flow and outcome of this Saturday night game in Dallas? Here’s a closer look at this NBA betting matchup.

The San Antonio Spurs Can Win Because…
They're in a position to benefit from transitions on the Dallas roster. In time, NBA odds should definitely benefit the Mavericks from having Rajon Rondo on their roster after he was traded to Dallas along with Dwight Powell for Jameer Nelson, Jae Crowder, Brandan Wright, and draft picks. Rondo is a spectacularly good fit on a roster that has the other main pieces in place. Dallas should definitely be able to develop to the point where it can contend for the Western Conference championship. However, Rondo will be playing his first game as a Maverick on Saturday night. He’s almost certainly going to need some time to blend in with Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler, Chandler Parsons, and especially two-guard Monta Ellis, who likes to dominate the ball and operate one-on-one. Rondo likes to give up the ball, but in order to give up the ball and average 10.8 assists per game as Rondo has done to this point in the season, you have to handle the ball first. Dallas’ halfcourt offense should soon flourish, but this might be a game in which things are not smooth at all for the Mavericks, and the Spurs – so adept at getting role players to play well when starters are injured – can definitely win an ugly, defensive battle.


The Dallas Mavericks Can Win Because…
They are going to benefit from Rondo’s presence in this game even without Rondo passing the ball. Let’s say Rondo struggles to fit in on offense for the Mavericks. He is still someone who averages 1.7 steals per game and 7.5 rebounds per game. He defends well and is able to do so many good things for his team other than score. Rondo lacks a jump shot, but everything else about his game is real and significant. Rondo will enable Dallas to play well in his debut. Don’t sell Rondo short in what will be his first game with his new team.

The other big reasons to take Dallas are that Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard missed San Antonio’s Friday game against Portland. They could very well be out on Saturday against Dallas, and even if they make comebacks (which are not likely at all), they are probably going to be sluggish. The Spurs have been fighting an uphill battle against accumulated attrition this past month. This is not a team that looks whole enough to defeat Dallas.

 

Outlook
The Spurs could benefit from Rondo’s absence, but they are a limited team in their own right. Dallas should be able to get enough contributions from enough different sources to win. Take them with your NBA picks.

Free NBA Pick: Dallas

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