Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks
NBA Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder -4.5 (March 17th 2013)
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Dallas is playing its best basketball of the season. The Mavericks have won five of their last six with their lone defeat during this span coming by one point on the road to San Antonio this past Thursday.
That’s all well and good, but the Mavericks still remain a long shot to make the playoffs. They are a below .500 team with a mediocre 18-12 home record. Only Minnesota, Sacramento, Phoenix and New Orleans have worst home marks in the Western Conference.
Oklahoma City has covered seven of the last eight times when facing a below .500 foe. The Thunder’s only non-cover during this span was in their last game this past Friday when they rolled past Orlando, 117-104, as a 17-point favorite. The Thunder led by 27, but let up.
Dallas is playing for the third time in four days. The Mavericks are one of the oldest teams in the NBA. Nearly all of their veterans are well past their prime. Shawn Marion is expected to miss the game, too, due to a calf injury that has sidelined him for the past five games. Marion is Dallas’ top rebounder and best defender. Without Marion, Kevin Durant is in line for another monster game.
Oklahoma City won’t be taking this game lightly as the Thunder are in a dogfight with San Antonio for the top seed in the West. The Thunder trail the Tony Parker-less Spurs by 1 1/2 games. The Thunder own the fifth-best road record in the NBA. They have covered 69 percent of their last 55 overall Western Conference matchups.
The Mavericks have not matched up well to the Thunder. Oklahoma City has won nine in a row against the Mavericks, including the past four in Dallas. The Thunder is 11-3-1 ATS in their last 15 visits to Dallas.
(Editor’s note: Stephen Nover is one of the top NBA ‘cappers in the country. Stephen is 77-58-4 on his past 139 NBA plays and has his long-awaited NBA Parlay of the Year going today. Don’t miss out on a huge Sunday payday.)