NBA Monday Night Betting: Boston Celtics at Dallas Mavericks

Avery Bradley-celtics-2013Boston at Dallas
Time: 8:30 PM ET, Mar 17, 2014
Spread: DAL -12
Total: 203

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

The Boston Celtics are in the first-year of a rebuild following the trading of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce over the offseason. The C’s have a first year coach in Brad Stevens and the team has struggled, rather predictably, over the course of the 2013-14 NBA season.

Boston is 22-45, but still has fared better than Orlando, Philadelphia and Milwaukee in the East. Rajon Rondo and the Celtics have lost four straight contests and will be double-digit underdogs according to NBA oddsmakers at Bovada. The NBA odds favor Dallas by 12 points.

The Celtics were almost able to come away with a victory Sunday night (Mar 16) in New Orleans, falling 121-120 to the Pelicans. Jeff Green had 39 points and Rajon Rondo dropped 14 assists, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a monster game by Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis, who finished with 40 points and 21 rebounds.

The Celtics are still trying to determine which players will comprise the team’s future, and at this point Rajon Rondo is the only vestige of the 2008 championship team. Rookie Kelly Olynyk, second-year forward Jared Sullinger, Green and Bradley help give the C’s a core that can contend eventually, as talented youngsters are added via the team’s slew of draft picks acquired in the trade with Brooklyn.

Dallas is 40-27 and will remain competitive until Dirk Nowitzki retires. The team isn’t considered a true contender, but it has a good collection of veteran talent capable of surprising one of the West’s elite. As to whether the Mavs could upset in a seven-game series is another matter altogether.

Dallas’ defense is not that effective, surrendering 102 points per game. Nowitzki has tasted championship success already, and his talent is irrefutable, but it’s just as obvious that he is on the decline. Dirk has seen his minutes decrease to 32 per game, which should help keep him fresh for the postseason. He’s averaging 21.4 points and six rebounds per game this season.

BOS Trends: UNDER 4-0 in last 4 after allowing 100 points or more in previous game; 5-1 ATS in last 6 road games vs teams with a home winning percentage greater than .600; 5-1 ATS in last 6 vs teams with winning home records.

DAL Trends: 5-1 ATS in last 6 Monday games; OVER 4-1 in last 5 on 0 days rest; UNDER 4-1 in last 5 home games vs teams with road winning percentage less than .400.

Head-to-head: Celtics 0-6 ATS in last 6 meetings; UNDER 5-1 in last 6 meetings in Dallas; Celtics 6-2 ATS in last 8 meetings in Dallas.

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