NBA Betting Preview: Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks

Houston Rockets at Dallas Mavericks
Tuesday, 3/27/12, 8:30 PM EST, TV:  FSSW
Opening Point Spread:  Dallas -6.5
Current Betting Line:  Dallas -7.5
Opening Total:  193
Current Total:  193.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Dallas Mavericks are 17-13 ATS when playing with two days rest the last two-plus seasons

Houston just finished a successful 3-1 homestand that includes a 113-106 overtime win over the Sacramento Kings as six-point favorites last night.  The Rockets should be prepared for a close battle in this affair, as the last four meetings in the series have been decided by seven points or less.  The starting backcourt will still be out for this contest, as Kyle Lowry (illness) and Kevin Martin (shoulder) have missed considerable time on the floor.  It has led the franchise to issue a 10-day contract to Earl Boykins, who had 10 points and five assists on Monday.  Houston is 4-4 ATS as a road underdog of 6.5 to 9 points this season.

The Rockets are 8-16 overall on the road this season, including a 5-12 mark versus Western Conference opponents.  Houston has dropped its last five games against Dallas, as it was swept in the series (4-0) for the first time since 2005-06 last year.  Forward Patrick Patterson is definitely a player to watch offensively, as he comes in averaging 7.4 points per game, but finished with a career-high 24 versus the Kings.  He may have been inspired by his alma mater reaching the Final Four, as the Kentucky Wildcats will play the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday in the 2012 NCAA tournament.

Dallas snapped a two-game losing streak in capturing a 101-99 overtime victory over Houston on Saturday, as it looks to improve upon its 2-1 record when given two days of rest during the 2011-12 campaign.  The Rockets were led by All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 31 points and passed Charles Barkley for 19th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.  He received four stitches above his right eye in the contest after getting elbowed in a physical affair.  Dallas is 4-1 ATS as a home favorite of 6.5 to 9 points this season and the “under” is 4-1 in those contests.

The Mavericks will be finishing off their lone home-and-home series of this year, as they’ve managed to win 19 of the last 25 overall meetings with the Rockets.  Dallas has tallied an impressive 15-1 record when scoring 100-plus points in a game, which could come into play tonight against an opponent that allows 101.3 points per game on the road.

Bettors will likely back the Mavericks due to their 14-6 ATS mark as a home favorite of 5.0 to 10.5 points, while the Rockets are 2-6 ATS as a road underdog.

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