NBA Picks: Indiana Pacers at Dallas Mavericks

Roy Hibbert-pacers-2013Indiana at Dallas
Time: 7:30 PM ET, Mar 9, 2014
Spread: IND -1.5
Total: 198

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

The Dallas Mavericks are 37-26 and clinging to the 8th spot in the Western Conference, just a half game ahead of the surging Memphis Grizzlies. Dallas has been steady and good all season, and the Mavs are 20-10 at home this season where it will host the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers. The Pacers are 17-12 on the road this season but will still be 1.5 point favorites in this affair according to NBA odds listed at Bovada.

Dallas picked up a big win when it hosted the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, winning 103-98 behind 22 points from forward Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki struggled to contain Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge, but he did make the All-Star work for his 31 points, as he took 28 shots form the floor to amass the total.

Dallas’ backcourt of Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis shot the ball well, combining to go 14-of-29 from the floor for 36 points. Calderon has thrived in a role as a spot up shooter in Dallas’ offense, giving Ellis the ball dominance that he has typically required to thrive offensively. The former Golden State Warrior is averaging 18.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game, and was a brilliant signing by Dallas.

The game should be a good study in style contrast as the Pacers will seek to slow this down and use its tough defense to force the Mavs into tough shots. Frank Vogel’s Pacers hold opponents to 92 points per game this season, best in the NBA, while the Pacers itself score 98.7 points per game.

The Pacers parted ways with forward Danny Granger, who had become a hobbled and ineffective redundancy with a young version of his self on the roster in Paul George. George won the Most Improved Player award last year and has continued to develop into a superstar. George is averaging 22.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game this season in 36 minutes a night. The Pacers have a strong individually defending starting-five too, with plus-defenders at all five positions. Shooting guard Lance Stephenson, though, is a restricted free agent this summer and may end up being too expensive to keep.

IND Trends: 0-4 ATS in last 4 when opponent scores 100 or more in previous game; 0-6 ATS in last 6 vs teams with winning SU Records; 0-5 ATS in last 5 following ATS loss.

DAL Trends: 0-5 ATS in last 5 following ATS win; OVER 8-1 in last 9 when opponent allows 100 points or more in previous game; 5-1 ATS in last 6 Sunday games.

Head-to-head: UNDER 4-0 in last 4 meetings; Pacers 5-0 ATS in last 5 meetings in Dallas; Pacers 6-1 ATS in last 7 meetings.

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