NBA Betting Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks

San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks
American Airlines Center – Dallas, Texas

Thursday, April 10, 2014, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: Dallas pick
Current Line: Dallas -1 1/2
Opening Total: 203 1/2
Current Total: 199 1/2
Opening Money Line: Mavericks -110 / Spurs -110
Current Money Line: Mavericks -125 / Spurs +105 

Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks look to snap an 8 game losing streak to the Spurs Thursday in Dallas.

Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks look to snap an 8 game losing streak to the Spurs Thursday in Dallas.

In the Western Conference, five teams have already clinched playoff spots. That leaves four teams battling for only three spots. Only 2.5 games separates the sixth place Golden State Warriors from the ninth place Memphis Grizzlies. The Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns are also in the mix. It is possible a 50 win team will be left out of the playoffs in the West, while team with less than 40 wins will make the playoffs in the East.

The 48-31 Dallas Mavericks look to continue their playoff push as they host the 60-18 San Antonio Spurs Thursday night. Dallas is currently the #7 seed in the West and trails Golden State by a game for the #6 seed. The Mavericks also lead #8 Phoenix by a half game and Memphis by a game and a half.

San Antonio has the best record in the league and leads #2 seed the Oklahoma City Thunder by 3 games for the #1 seed in the West. The Spurs can clinch at least a tie for home court advantage with a win tonight. San Antonio has already wrapped up the Southwest Division.

San Antonio has beaten their in-state rival 8 straight times. The Spurs won in Dallas 116-107 December 26, in San Antonio 112-90 January 8 and 112-106 March 2 also in San Antonio. The Spurs are looking to sweep the Mavericks for the second straight season. It is possible these two teams could meet in the first round of the playoffs if Dallas is caught by Phoenix or Memphis.

San Antonio is coached by Gregg Popovich. The Spurs have lost 2 of their last 3 games after a 19 game winning streak. San Antonio lost Tuesday at the Minnesota Timberwolves 110-91. It was an ugly loss, as the Spurs were down by as many as 28 points in the third quarter. The game was originally supposed to be played in Mexico City in December but smoke in the arena caused the game to be cancelled and rescheduled in Minneapolis. The Spurs showed no energy having to travel to Minnesota during what was supposed to be a four day break. San Antonio is 43-35 ATS and the total is 42-35-1 this season.

San Antonio is outscoring teams 105-97. The Spurs are #7 in scoring and #5 in points allowed. San Antonio is shooting 48.9% from the field and 39.8% from 3 point range. The Spurs are #2 in field goal percentage and #1 in 3 point shooting. San Antonio is #4 in free throw shooting at 78.4% from the line. Opponents are shooting 44.2% from the field and 35.4% from 3 point range. The Spurs are in the top 10 in both categories. San Antonio is averaging 43.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 41.9 per game. The Spurs average 25.2 assists, 14.7 turnovers, 7.4 steals and 5.2 blocks per game. Opponents average 20.4 assists, 14 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 4.7 blocks per game.

Point guard Tony Parker averages 16.8 points, 5.8 assists, and 2.3 rebounds per game. He is doubtful with a back injury after missing the Minnesota game. Forward Tim Duncan averages 15.1 assists, 9.7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game. He only played 20 minutes Tuesday night because it was a blowout. Forward Kawhi Leonard averages 12.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Guard Manu Ginobli averages 12.4 points, 3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1 steal per game. He is doubtful with a calf injury and only played 15 minutes Tuesday. Guard Marco Belinelli averages 11.4 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Guard Patty Mills averages 10 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Boris Diaw, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter, Cory Joseph, Jeff Ayres, and Matt Bonner will also get significant minutes. Forward Aron Baynes is questionable with a rib injury.

Dallas is coached by Rick Carlisle. The Mavericks have won four straight games, all on the road. Dallas won at the Utah Jazz 95-83 Tuesday night. After the Spurs, Dallas hosts Phoenix and travels to Memphis to close out the regular season. The Mavericks are 43-36 ATS and the total is also 43-36 this season.

Dallas is outscoring teams 105-102 this season. The Mavericks are #8 in scoring and #20 in points allowed. Dallas is shooting 47.4% from the field and 38.5% from 3 point range. The Mavericks are #5 in field goal shooting and #2 in 3 point shooting. Dallas is #3 in free throw shooting at 79.5% from the line. Opponents are shooting 46.4% from the field and 35.7% from 3 point range. Dallas averages 40.9 rebounds per game and opponents average 42.7 per game. The Mavericks are #26 in rebounds. Dallas averages 23.7 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 8.6 steals and 4.3 blocks per game. Opponents average 22.1 assists, 16 turnovers, 7.6 steals and 3.6 blocks per game.

Forward Dirk Nowitzki averages 21.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. On Tuesday he passed Oscar Robertson to become the 10th leading scorer in NBA history. Guard Monta Ellis averages 18.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Guard Vince Carter averages 12.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Guard Jose Calderon averages 11.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. Forward Shawn Marion averages 10.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He is probable with a foot injury. Brandan Wright, Devin Harris, Samuel Dalembert, DeJuan Blair and Jae Crowder will also get significant minutes.

San Antonio is 5-0 ATS after failing to cover, 7-2 against teams with winning records, in road games and on 1 day rest, 10-3 against Western Conference teams, 19-7 overall, 23-9-1 after a straight up loss of 10 points or more, 39-18-1 after allowing 100 points or more, and 2-5 after a straight up loss. The road team is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 in this series. The Spurs are 11-3 ATS against the Mavericks recently, including 6-1 in Dallas.

Dallas is 4-1 ATS when the opponent allows more than 100 points in the previous game, 9-4 against Southwest teams, 2-6 after a straight up win, 1-4 at home and after a cover, and 0-6 after a straight up win of 10 points or more. Four of the last five in Dallas in the series have gone over the total.

San Antonio has owned their I-35 rivals recently. However, the Spurs don’t really need this game as they have a bit of a cushion between them and the Thunder. Dallas, however, has a razor thin lead and is trying to hold off the Suns and Grizzlies. The Mavericks also need this game psychologically, as they don’t want to be swept two years in a row. Parker and Ginobli are likely out for the Spurs. I think Dallas takes advantage of that and gets a much needed win.

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