NBA Odds: Thursday, April 10, 2014 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/9/2014
It's the final Thursday of the regular season with just two games on the schedule, both on national TV (TNT) and thus up for live betting at the sportsbooks. Here's a look at both matchups, and each is vital for the home side.
Spurs at Mavericks ("pick'em," 204)
Dallas enters on a four-game winning streak, all on the road . The previous three were against lottery teams, but last Thursday's 113-107 victory at the Clippers was very impressive. The Mavericks catch a big break here in that Tony Parker will miss a second straight game with back problems. He didn't even travel with the Spurs on their two-game trip. I am guessing Manu Ginobili won't play, either. He suffered a calf injury in San Antonio's blowout loss in Minnesota on Tuesday. It also will be interesting to see if Gregg Popovich rests Tim Duncan here (I say yes) because the Spurs play Friday night back at home against Phoenix. That would be highly unfair potentially. After all, Pop could help decide which team gets in the playoffs and which doesn't between Dallas and Phoenix by playing his stars in one game and not the other.
The Mavericks would obviously just be happy to be a playoff team but would much prefer not being the No. 8 seed because they are 0-3 against San Antonio this year. The Spurs have scored at least 112 points in all three. Parker played in all of them and averaged 23.3 points. San Antonio has won eight straight and 12 of the last 14 regular-season meetings with the Mavericks.
Key trends: San Antonio is 2-5 ATS in its past seven after a loss. The "over" is 4-1 in the past five meetings in Dallas.
Early lean: The Spurs showed Tuesday they are on shutdown mode until the playoffs start. Dallas all the way.
Nuggets at Warriors (-12, 213.5)
Denver is playing out the string, and the Nuggets had to fly to Oakland on Wednesday night after hosting Houston. Starting point guard Ty Lawson missed that game and probably won't be seen the rest of the season. No reason to play him. I could see Lawson and Kenneth Faried dealt this offseason because it's time for a do-over in Denver. They have value.
This is the front end of a back-to-back for Golden State, which visits the Lakers on Friday. The Warriors are 1.5 games behind Portland for the No. 5 seed and 1.5 games ahead of Dallas for the No. 7. If the Warriors stay put at No. 6 they'll get either the Clippers or Thunder in the first round. Golden State could be without power forward David Lee not just the rest of the regular season but into the playoffs, which would be a big loss. He has nerve inflammation in his right hamstring. Draymond Green continues to start in his spot. Golden State and Denver have split two meetings, each winning on the road.
Key trends: The Nuggets are 1-7 ATS in the past eight meetings. The over is 8-2 in Golden State's past 10 against teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Golden State still has something to play for and the Nuggets squat while on the second of a back-to-back. Easy call.
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