Houston Rockets (51-14) at Dallas Mavericks (21-45)
The hot streak continues! We have now won eight out of our last nine NBA bets! Last night we picked up another win by backing the Oklahoma City Thunder against the struggling San Antonio Spurs. I didn’t love backing a very inconsistent Thunder team, but I did love getting to bet against a Spurs team that is a shell of its former self at the moment.
The Spurs have been decimated by injury this season and are at risk of missing the playoffs for the first time in twenty years. As of this morning, San Antonio is only one game ahead of Denver and Utah to miss out on the playoffs in the Western Conference.
The game itself yesterday was fairly anticlimactic as the Thunder jumped out to a first-quarter lead and slowly pulled away the rest of the game, eventually taking the game 104-94 and easily covering the -3.5-points.
The Western Conference is very crowded at the bottom this year and that one win saw the Thunder go from tied for the seventh seed to holding onto the fifth seed all by themselves. They are just a half of a game back of New Orleans for the four slot. It is going to be a crazy finish in the West this season! Today I will look at the matchup between the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks.
The Houston Rockets will look to get back on track tonight after seeing their seventeen-game winning streak snapped in their last game against the Toronto Raptors, as they travel to Dallas to play a last place Mavericks team.
For Dallas, the race to the bottom continues as they look to move up the NBA draft lottery order, and not the standings this season. The Rockets are -10-point road favorites. The game total over-under is set at 211.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:00 PM PST from the American Airlines Arena.
The Houston Rockets long winning streak finally came to an end this week as they lost in Toronto. There is absolutely no shame in that loss as the Raptors are the NBA’s best team at home.
You always have to wonder how a team will react directly after seeing such a long winning streak end. Some teams pick up right where they left off while other teams exhale a big breath after pushing so hard not to lose a single game for so long.
I see Houston as the type of team that just keeps on chugging along. This wasn’t a plucky underdog team that caught fire and won a bunch of games that they shouldn’t have. This was the NBA’s best team that finally got healthy and showed everyone exactly what they are capable of when they have all their best players on the floor. This team is scary good, and I honestly feel bad for what they are going to do to Dallas tonight.
Look, we all know that the Dallas Mavericks are intentionally losing at this point. It is pretty obvious when head coach Rick Carlisle pulls all his best players off the court with four minutes to go in crunch time every night. But since Mark Cuban got fined six hundred grand for actually coming out and saying it, this team has at least been trying to be competitive.
In the end, this feels a lot more like Mark Cuban not wanting to get fined again than it does than Mavericks actually wanting to win games. The Mavs managed to somehow blowout a better at tanking than they are Memphis team, last night by 34 points. This is a perfect set up for a letdown game tonight in Dallas.
I have said it a million times, and I will say it again tonight. When you give bad teams a valid reason to take the night off and give a half effort, they are going to take it every time. This Dallas team has won two straight games and crushed last night. That two-game winning streak was the longest winning streak for the Mavericks since early January.
I can see Mark Cuban calling down to Rick Carlisle before this game and letting him know that this would be a great time to give the young guys some minutes. Hint, hint, lets tank this one. They are playing the back end of a back to back against a team that is likely to be pissed off because their long winning streak ended, and it feels like a blowout to me.
I really hate picking a home team to lose by double-digits. But the fact of the matter is both teams have legit reasons to see the outcome end that way. For Houston, they are going to take out their aggression on a bad team and show the Golden State Warriors they are still the best team in the Western Conference.
For Dallas, they did what they needed to do this week by winning a couple games at home to keep the home fans happy and can happily take tonight off against a team that nobody will blame them for losing to. A bad Dallas team playing on back to back nights against a pissed off Houston team hell-bent on greatness this year? Feels like this one will get ugly.
Give me the Houston Rockets laying all kinds of wood at -10-points tonight on the road.