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Mavericks vs Jazz NBA Pick – Jan 7th

It’s been a rough three days for NBA picks, so we’ll look to rebound today in winning fashion and continue what has been overall a very profitable month.  We will start by examining an interesting matchup of teams with playoff pedigree over the past decade who may both find themselves on the wrong side of the cut this Summer.

Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz -5 (Total: 198.5)

Dirk Nowitski made some waves with his recent comments that he isn’t sure that the team and franchise is heading in the right direction and that he might be open to the possibility of waiving his no-trade clause and accepting a premature end to his 14-year career in Big D.  Of course, it could very well be frustration speaking, as the Mavericks currently have the third-worst record in the Western Conference, but it could also very well be the intelligent voice of a pragmatic armchair GM.  Dirk isn’t getting any younger.  The team fanned big time in last year’s free agent market, failing to sign Deron Williams or find success in their overtures to Dwight Howard.

Their consolation prize?  OJ Mayo.  Granted Mayo has put up good offensive numbers, but when OJ Mayo is you team’s leading scorer, third from last in the Western Conference is a fairly predictable result.

Tonight they travel to Utah losers of two in a row, four of their last five games and losers of eight of ten overall to face a Jazz team that is 10-4 at home.  It’s a tough spot for sure, even if Dirk can begin to stretch out his minutes on the court and provide a desperately-needed offensive lift.  The truth is, he HAS to score in big numbers, or the defensive liability of having him and Chris Kaman on the court at the same time is too great to overcome.  By Dirk’s own admission “Me and Chris can’t guard nobody (sic)” in a recent interview on Yahoo Sports.

Dallas is just 5-14 on the road this season straight-up, and laying just five at a place they have historically struggled, even when they were good, seems like a pretty small price to pay.  The Jazz are still looking for a good rhythm to their offense since the devastating injury to point guard Mo Williams (they have even started Jamaal Tinsley several times – so it’s that bad).  Even so, I still like the Jazz to win tonight with relative ease and cover the five point spread at home.

Free Pick:  Utah Jazz -5