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Kings vs. Mavericks Pick NBA – March 3rd

So I definitely went to bed planning on opening today’s column with the “wow, I stink” mea culpa on the lousy effort from the Los Angeles Clippers… And then, the Thunder reminded everyone of their fatal flaws and opened up the door for a ton of conversation about chemistry, toughness, Billy Donovan, Durant’s killer instinct, Westbrook’s distribution, and a whole host of things teams with championship aspirations generally don’t have to deal with.

That 35-13 fourth quarter was insane. And I’m not sure which team is tells us more about; the Clippers resilience or the Thunder’s ineptitude.

Either way, it notched us a winner, so I’ll take it.

As far as tonight goes, there are only four games on the board. Three of them are slow to post lines as there are some real personnel issues impacting the lines, most notably, will Steph play tonight??? If he DOES, I don’t see any way they lose at home to the Thunder after last night’s gut punch and natural fatigue. Without him, I am not sure they don’t win anyway… either way, I’m staying off the game as a bettor but tuning in as a fan.

Here’s my favorite play on tonight’s very limited board.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Sacramento Kings at Dallas Mavericks -7

We had nice success backing the Mavs at home hosting an inferior opponent on the backend of a back-t-back last week, and I am going back to the same well tonight. Dallas is 19-12 at home this season against Sacramento’s 10-19 road mark and, of course, there is the obvious rest advantage factor as well. But is it that simple?

Well, yes and no. There are a lot of other things that have me jumping to Dallas’s side tonight. The Kings are 2-9 ATS in their last eleven games overall and 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine away from home. They are just 1-4 SU in their last five games and have the look and feel of a team that is finally (if not surprisingly) imploding upon itself. This chemistry experiment was doomed to fail from the outset, but at times it looked like they might just hold it together and make a run at the final playoff spot out west. That goal has all but faded as the Kings have sunk to tenth place and five games behind the Rockets for 8th (3.5 behind the Jazz for 9th). It’s pretty unlikely with just a month a week to play in the regular season.

Dallas has won four of five and is 14-6-1 ATS in their last 21 home games. They have the advantage, both in terms of team makeup, but also in home court and rest. It is hard to see them not winning tonight, and I like them to cover the seven point margin as well.

Free Pick: Dallas Mavericks -7