New Orleans Pelicans (35-26) at Dallas Mavericks (19-44)
We picked up our second straight NBA winner last night when we backed the Los Angeles Lakers on the road against the San Antonio Spurs. I took the +4.5-points on the road, and the Lakers were actually able to take the game outright 116-112.
This Lakers team really looks good with the addition of Isaiah Thomas and the return of Lonzo Ball. I am going to even go as far as to say I think this team is going to find a way to sneak into the playoffs this year!
The cut line for the playoffs this year is as soft as dough in the Western Conference, and the Spurs and Timberwolves are both struggling badly down the stretch with some of their best players sidelined with injury.
The Lakers are playing well, and I expect that only to continue as this newly built team gets more minutes together. I might have to eat a lot of crow for this prediction in a couple of weeks, but if Kawhi Leonard doesn’t come back soon, I see the Spurs missing the playoffs and the Lakers taking their place.
Today I will look at another team that is red-hot at the moment, when the New Orleans Pelicans play the Dallas Mavericks.
The New Orleans Pelicans take their show on the road tonight, looking to win their eighth straight game. Anthony Davis has been transcendent over the last month, and the Pelicans have put themselves in a position to possibly grab a top three seed in the Western Conference.
For Dallas, the tank show continues. The Mavs have lost sixteen out of their last twenty games and are eyeing that number one pick in the lottery next year. The Pelicans are -3.5-point road favorites. The game total over-under is set at 223 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:00 PM PST from the American Airlines Arena.
Anthony Davis for MVP? We all know that James Harden has the MVP award all but wrapped up at this point. The Beard has been unbelievable this year, and the Rockets are the best team in the NBA. But what Anthony Davis has done since Boogie Cousins got hurt has been close to historic. Davis has averaged almost 40 points and 15 rebounds a game during this recent seven-game winning streak. He is single handily leading his team to the playoffs.
This team was sitting right at the cut line for the playoffs just a couple of weeks ago, and now they have a very real shot of getting to as high as the three seed out west. They will almost certainly jump the Minnesota Timberwolves who are struggling to win without Jimmy Butler, and I can also see them passing the Portland Trailblazers.
Who would have thought that losing Demarcus Cousins was the key to winning in New Orleans? More Anthony Davis, less everyone else seems to be the formula for success in the Big Easy right now.
If you read my daily picks a lot, you will notice that I am constantly picking against the Dallas Mavericks. And I am making a lot of money doing so. They are clearly tanking at this point, and owner Mark Cuban even came out and admitted it last week. That remark cost the Mav’s owner a 600K fine from NBA commissioner Adam Silver. But it really reinforced what guys like me have noticed all season long, this team doesn’t want to win.
The Mavericks are especially bad in the fourth quarter. And it is clearly intentional. Mav’s head coach Rick Carlisle has come under fire for benching all of his best players down the stretch in close games. He claims he is doing it so he can see how his young guys react in crunch time. But we all know better. He is trying to lose, and he is doing a really good job at it.
I have put together a very profitable stretch of bets just by betting against all the tanking teams in the NBA. I know it doesn’t seem like the most advanced strategy, and it isn’t. But when one side is actively trying to lose, and the other desperately wants to win, it makes for some great value spots. I will continue that trend tonight.
I expect Anthony Davis to go insane once again. It wouldn’t shock me to see the big man go for a 50-point 20-rebound type of game. I just don’t know who they are going to have guard the “Brow” that he isn’t going to torch.
Home teams rarely get blown out in the NBA, but if there ever were a game I would expect a home team to get smashed it would be this one tonight. I expect a double-digit victory for New Orleans. And if for some reason this game is tight down the stretch you can expect that Dallas will bench all its best players to ensure they lose and we cover. Nice little insurance plan, just in case.
Give me the New Orleans Pelicans -3.5-points on the road tonight in Dallas.