NBA Picks: Mavericks at Warriors Odds and Betting Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 4/11/2012
Clearly the top game in this Thursday’s NBA on TNT doubleheader features Dallas at Golden State. It’s chock full of story lines: the reigning champion Mavs fighting for their playoff lives. And the Warriors …. Well, I got nothing there.
Obviously, Thursday’s top game is the third meeting of the season between the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls, with the top overall seed in the Eastern Conference very much on the line. But I can’t truly give accurate betting advice on that game without knowing if Derrick Rose will play, and he’s likely to be a game-time call after sitting out Tuesday with an ankle injury. So instead you get Mavs-Warriors. Hey, it’s on national TV and there’s live play-by-play betting, so it’s still relevant!
And it actually is vitally important for Dallas as the Mavs enter play Wednesday at No. 7 in the West but just 1.5 games ahead of No. 9 Phoenix. No reigning NBA Champion has missed the playoffs the next season since the Chicago Bulls blew up their roster after Michael Jordan’s sixth title.
Mavericks at Warriors: How the Teams Enter
Dallas ended a two-game losing streak with a 110-100 win over the visiting Sacramento Kings on Tuesday. Dirk Nowitzki had only 15 points to lead the Mavs, but Dallas had six players score in double figures in one of its most balanced offensive games of the year. Of course, Mavericks fans shouldn’t get too excited considering Sacramento is last in the NBA in points allowed. Plus, Dallas owns the Kings in Big D as it was the Mavs’ 16th straight win there over Sacramento. That game took added importance for Dallas because this trip to Oakland begins a four-game road trip (in five days) that likely will determine the Mavs’ postseason fate.
Golden State played on Wednesday night in Portland. But the Warriors did Dallas no favors on Monday in losing 123-84 in Denver; the Nuggets are eighth in the West, a half-game behind Dallas. The 39-point margin exceeded Denver's previous high of 29 points this season. The Nuggets matched their season high in points and beat the Warriors for the first time in three tries this year. Denver had an absurd 60-27 rebounding edge over Golden State.
Mavericks at Warriors Betting Story Lines
Tuesday’s game was the first since the Mavericks cut loose unhappy and unproductive Lamar Odom on Monday. Apparently the final straw was when Odom and Dallas Owner Mark Cuban had a verbal confrontation in the locker room at halftime of Saturday’s game with Memphis. The Mavs had actually been 0-7 this year without Odom before Tuesday. Yi Jianlian picked up some of the minutes that would have gone to Odom and responded with eight points in eight minutes. And point guard Jason Kidd returned after missing four games with a strained right groin and contributed seven points, six rebounds and seven assists in 22 minutes.
To better adjust to the two-hour time change on the West Coast, the Mavs broke with tradition and left for the Bay area after Tuesday's game so they could practice Wednesday in San Francisco. That should tell you all you need to know about how important this game is for Dallas.
Meanwhile, there are some accusations that Golden State is tanking because it wants to keep its lottery pick. If it’s in the Top 7, the Warriors keep it. If not, it goes to Utah. And the Warriors have gone in the tank since trading Monta Ellis to Milwaukee around the mid-March deadline. Ellis played his last game March 11 and Golden State impressively won 97-93 at the Clippers to improve to 17-21. The Warriors won two nights later at the Kings without Ellis but haven’t won back-to-back games since. Overall, Golden State is 5-13 since that trade.
It hasn’t helped the Warriors that the key piece coming back in that trade with the Bucks, center Andrew Bogut, hasn’t played for Golden State due to injury and won’t this season. And a big reason the Warriors traded Ellis was because he didn’t really fit in a small backcourt with Stephen Curry -- plus the Warriors like 2011 first-round pick and shooting guard Klay Thompson. But Curry has barely played this season and hasn’t seen the court since March 11 – oddly, Ellis’ last game with the team. Don’t expect to see Curry again this year. Thompson has been solid this month, averaging 15.3 points and shooting 45 percent from the field.
This is the second of three meetings between the Mavs and Warriors. Golden State thumped Dallas in Oakland on March 10, 111-87, the Warriors’ largest margin of victory this season. David Lee had 25 points and nine boards in that one to lead Golden State. Curry actually re-injured his ankle that game, played only nine minutes the next night and hasn’t seen the court since. Dallas was pretty worn down back then as it was the Mavs’ ninth game in 12 days. Golden State has now won two straight at home in this series, while Dallas had won the previous six overall and is 11-5 vs. Golden State since being stunned in the first round of the 2007 playoffs.
Mavericks at Warriors Betting Odds and Key Trends
Dallas opened as a 3.5-point favorite with the total at 197.5 on NBA odds. The Mavs are 29-29 ATS overall this season and 13-14 on road. Warriors (all trends entering Wednesday) are 31-25 ATS overall and 13-15 at home. ‘Over/under’ records: DAL 28-30, GS 26-30.
Dallas is 1-10 ATS in its past 11 games against teams with a losing record. Golden State is 10-2 ATS in its past 12 games in the second of a back-to-back. The over is 6-2 in Dallas’ past eight road games. The over is 8-3 in the Warriors’ past eight home games. The Mavericks have covered just five times in their past 20 visits to Golden State.
NBA Picks: Mavericks at Warriors Betting Predictions
All those trends up above scream Golden State, and when healthy the Warriors are pretty good at home. But I am hugely behind Dallas here. Golden State is on the second of a back-to-back and must fly home, while the Mavs are already in the Bay area. Plus, Dallas has everything to play for and the Warriors nothing, while also missing their two best players in Curry and Bogut. Frankly, I see no way that the Mavs don’t cover. Also take the over.
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