Dallas Mavericks at Denver Nuggets
Wednesday, 11/3/10, 9:000 PM EST
Opening Point Spread: Denver -3.5
Current Betting Line: Denver -3
Opening Total: 206
Current Total: 206
Dallas is coming off a dominating 99-83 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in its first road game of the 2010-11 season. The Mavericks’ size is causing major problems for their opponents, limiting opponents to an NBA-worst 37.4 percent shooting and 86.7 points per game. “When we’re able to get stops, it makes the game so much easier,” said Shawn Marion. “When everybody is helping each other, you see an entirely different team out there.” Forward Caron Butler scored a game-high 17 points versus the Clippers, marking the first time he’s led Dallas in scoring thus far in 2010-11. He did so just four times last season, but he’s been trying to score aggressively all season, actually leading the team with 33 field goal attempts during its two game homestand. Dallas is 17-5 ATS in its last 22 games playing on two days rest and the NBA lines page has them listed as an underdog.
The Mavericks will fly back to Dallas after tonight’s game for a meeting with the Nuggets on Saturday to finish off this home-and-home stretch. All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzi posted double-doubles in Dallas’ two wins over Denver last season, while the team held Nuggets start Carmelo Anthony to 15.0 points per game on 31.4 percent shooting in 2009-10. Nowitzki has begun the 2010-11 season shooting 69 percent from the field through three games. As a team, Dallas has shot 56.4 percent from the floor in the opening quarter so far in 2010-11. Head coach Rick Carlisle has used the same starting lineup in all three regular season games thus far after using 18 different lineups last year.
Denver has just two players taller than 6-foot-9 on its active roster and that could play a big role in the result of this contest. The Nuggets have outrebounded all three opponents this season and are coming off a 107-94 win at Houston on Saturday. “Dallas is going to play some zone against us, so we’re probably going to have to tune up our zone offense a little bit,” said head coach George Karl. Forward Al Harrington scored a team-high 28 points versus the Rockets after averaging just 10.5 in the first two games of the season. Many believe his slow start was attributed to missing the final seven preseason games with a foot injury. The squad is 4-1 ATS in its last five games as a favorite.
The Nuggets are still led by the offensive talents of Carmelo Anthony, who tallied 24 points at Houston, scoring 20-plus points in each of the first three games this season. Karl still believes his team can be a “premier team” in the Western Conference with Anthony around all season. “Everybody wants to talk about the negativity,” he commented. “There is a strengthening that comes from tough times.” Denver has won seven of the last 10 meetings with the Mavericks since the 2007-08 season.
Bettors will certainly note that the Mavericks are 0-3-1 ATS in their last four games as a road underdog of 0.5-to-4.5 points, while the Nuggets are 4-18-4 in their last 26 games following an ATS win.
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