NBA Predictions: Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets

Dallas Mavericks at Houston Rockets
Saturday, 3/24/12, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  NBATV
Opening Point Spread:  Houston -1.5
Current Betting Line:  Houston -3
Opening Total:  195
Current Total:  195
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Houston Rockets will still be without the services of point guard Kyle Lowery when taking on the Dallas Mavericks Saturday night

Dallas has suffered two straight losses since winning four in a row, including a 104-87 defeat to the San Antonio Spurs as four-point road underdogs on Friday night.  The Mavericks have actually covered just three of their last 10 games, but will be looking for their fifth consecutive win in this Western Conference series.  All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki will look to put last night’s effort behind him, scoring just 16 points on 5-of-21 shooting, while tying a season low in grabbing just two rebounds.  Dallas is 9-5 ATS as an underdog and the “under” is 8-6 in that situation.

The Mavericks are 9-14 overall on the road, which includes a lackluster 6-12 record versus opponents out West.  Dallas registered a 4-0 sweep over Houston in the 2010-11 regular-season series, but the last three meetings were decided by seven points or less.  Nowitzki averaged a team-high 20.8 points in the series a year ago, while small forward Shawn Marion pitched in by scoring 14.8 points and grabbing 7.3 rebounds per game.

Houston will look to move its current win streak to three games and has gone “over” the total in seven of 10 games overall.  The Rockets tallied an impressive 109-83 win over the Golden State Warriors as 7.5-point home favorites on Thursday, as the defense held an opponent under 100 points for the fourth time in five games.  Rookie forward Chandler Parsons has really been coming on of late, scoring 20 points and grabbing 11 rebounds versus the Warriors.  He is averaging 8.8 points and 4.4 rebounds on the season.  Houston is 16-8 ATS at home and the “under” is 14-10 in those games.

The Rockets will be playing without their starting backcourt once again, as Kyle Lowery (illness) and Kevin Martin (shoulder) are both listed as out for this contest.  Houston has won the battle on the boards in three straight games, which could continue versus a Dallas Mavericks squad that has been hammered on the glass the last two games.  The Mavericks have lost the battle on the glass by 37 rebounds in that span.  It’s important to note that the franchise is 127-28 all-time in games when hitting the century mark on the scoreboard inside the Toyota Center.

Bettors will likely back the Mavericks due to their 17-6-1 ATS mark as an underdog, while the Rockets are 2-5 ATS as a favorite.

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