NBA Handicapping Selections: Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies

Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies
FedEx Forum – Memphis, Tennessee

Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Memphis -3 1/2
Current Line: Memphis -3 1/2
Opening Total: 190
Current Total: 191
Opening Money Line: Grizzlies -165 / Mavericks +140
Current Money Line: Grizzlies -165 / Mavericks +140

Memphis is a 3.5 point favorite at home against the Dallas Mavericks in the regular season finale for both teams. The winner will clinch the #7 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

Memphis is a 3.5 point favorite at home against the Dallas Mavericks in the regular season finale for both teams. The winner will clinch the #7 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

The #1, 4, 5, and 6 seeds are locked in for the Western Conference playoffs. On the last day of the regular season, the #2, 3, 7, and 8 seeds will be determined. The 49-32 Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies have both clinched playoff spots and meet Wednesday night in Memphis. The winner will be the #7 seed in the playoffs and the loser will be the #8 seed. The Oklahoma City Thunder will clinch the #2 seed with a win against the Detroit Pistons. However, the Los Angeles Clippers could move up to to the #2 seed with a win against the Portland Trail Blazers and a Thunder loss. The #8 seed will play the #1 seed San Antonio Spurs in the first round which begins Saturday.

Dallas took all three meetings against Memphis this season, all by at least 12 points. The Mavericks haven’t swept the season series against Grizzlies since the 2007-08 season.  The Mavericks won in Dallas 111-99 November 2 and 105-91 December 18. Dallas also won in Memphis 110-96 February 5 in the last meeting. Memphis guard Mike Conley missed 2 of those games, and Center Marc Gasol also missed one of the Dallas games. Something has to give here as Dallas has won 6 straight road games, while Memphis has won 13 straight home games.

Dallas is coached by Rick Carlisle. The Mavericks have won 5 of their last 6 games. Dallas hasn’t played since Saturday night when they beat the Phoenix Suns 101-98 at home to clinch a playoff berth. The Mavericks are 43-38 ATS and the total is  44-37 this season.

Dallas is outscoring teams 105-102 this season. The Mavericks are #8 in scoring and #19 in points allowed. Dallas is shooting 47.4% from the field and 38.6% from 3 point range. The Mavericks are #4 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 36% from 3 point range. Dallas averages 40.9 rebounds per game and opponents average 42.8 per game. The Mavericks are #25 in rebounds. Dallas averages 23.6 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 8.6 steals and 4.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 22 assists, 16 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.

Forward Dirk Nowitzki averages 21.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Last week, he passed Oscar Robertson to become the 10th leading scorer in NBA history. Guard Monta Ellis averages 19 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Guard Vince Carter averages 12 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Guard Jose Calderon averages 11.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. Forward Shawn Marion averages 10.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Brandan Wright, Devin Harris, Samuel Dalembert, DeJuan Blair and Jae Crowder will also get significant minutes.

Memphis is coached by David Joerger. The Grizzlies have won 5 of their last 6 games, including 4 straight. The Grizzlies won at Phoenix Monday night 97-91 to clinch the final playoff spot in the West. Memphis advanced all the way to the Western Conference Finals last season, and will be a very dangerous first round foe for either San Antonio or Oklahoma City. The Grizzlies are 36-42-3 ATS and the total is 38-43 this season.

Memphis is outscoring teams 96-94 this season. The Grizzlies are #3 in points allowed but #27 out of 30 teams in scoring. Memphis is shooting 46.4% from the field and 35.5% from 3 point range. The Grizzlies are #7 in field goal percentage. Memphis makes 74.3% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 44.9% from the field and 35.7% from 3 point range. The Grizzlies are 12th or better in both categories. Memphis averages 42.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 39.2 per game. The Grizzlies are #19 in rebounding but lead the league in rebounds allowed. Memphis averages 21.8 assists, 13.7 turnovers, 7.7 steals and 4.6 blocks per game. Opponents average 19.9 assists, 14.2 turnovers, 7.2 steals, and 5 blocks per game.

Point guard Mike Conley averages 17.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Forward Zach Randolph averages 17.1 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. Center Marc Gasol averages 14.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.3 blocks per game. Guard Courtney Lee averages 11 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1 steal per game. Guard Tony Allen averages 8.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. James Johnson, Mike Miller, Kosta Koufos, Tayshaun Prince, Ed Davis, and Nick Calathes will also get significant minutes. Guard Quincy Pondexter is out for the season with a broken foot.

Dallas is 4-1 ATS after 3 or more days rest, 38-14 against teams with winning road records, 47-19 after failing to cover, 46-19 in road games, 21-9 in Wednesday games, 2-5 after scoring 100 points or more, 2-7 after a straight up win, and 1-4 against teams with winning records. The last 4 games in this series have gone over the total. The Mavericks have covered 6 of the last 7 against the Grizzlies.

Memphis is 3-0-1 ATS overall, 4-1 at home, 38-15 against teams with winning road records, 2-5 when the opponent scores over a 100 points in the previous game, 3-8-1 after a straight up win, 9-24 against Southwest Division teams, 1-6 in Wednesday games, 1-6-1 on one day rest, and 1-7-1 against Western Conference teams. Five of the last six games in Memphis in this series have gone under the total.

The general consensus is each of these teams would like to avoid the Spurs in the first round since San Antonio swept both teams in the regular season. That may be true but a match-up against The Thunder or Clippers in the first round is no picnic. I think both teams will play hard. The Mavericks are well rested with 3 days rest. Memphis is playing their third game in four nights, including a road trip to the Lakers and Suns. I think the Mavericks use the extra rest and pull out a tough road win.

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