Pro Basketball Picks: Denver Nuggets vs. Dallas Mavericks

Denver Nuggets at Dallas Mavericks
Friday, 12/28/12, 8:30 PM EST, TV:  NBATV
Opening Point Spread:  Denver -1.5
Current Betting Line:  Denver -2.5
Opening Total:  211
Current Total:  210.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Dallas Mavericks have lost four games in a row entering Friday night’s contest against the Denver Nuggets

Denver has alternated wins and losses over its last five games, as it comes off a 126-114 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers s 3.5-point home favorites, while going OVER the total in consecutive contests.  “It was just good to see us shoot the ball and beat a good team with some confidence,” stated Nuggets coach George Karl.  The Nuggets are 7-13 overall on the road this season, including a 5-8 mark versus Western Conference foes.  Denver is 5-1 ATS versus Southwest division opponents this year, which can’t be ignored when making your NBA picks against the spread Friday night.

The Nuggets are 11-7 against the Mavericks since the 2007-08 season, but they did lose three of four meetings in last year’s series, including a 112-95 loss as 4.5-point home favorites on March 19.  Denver has out-rebounded opponents by a plus-121 margin for the entire season, which ranks third in the NBA in that particular category.  The franchise will need point guard Ty Lawson to dominate the game, averaging 14.1 points and 7.1 assists per game, but he’s scored just 30 combined points on 28.6 percent shooting in his last three games in this series.

Dallas has lost four games in a row, including a heartbreaking 111-105 overtime setback to the Oklahoma City Thunder last night, while going OVER the total for the fifth time in six contests.  The Mavericks received just nine points from star forward Dirk Nowitzki, who was playing just his second game of the 2012-13 campaign since undergoing knee surgery in the offseason.  “I think that I’m a week or two away of really dominating the ball down the stretch,” commented Nowitzki last night.  Dallas is 2-5 ATS as a home underdog of three or fewer points the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 4-3 in that situation.

The Mavericks are 8-4 at the American Airlines Center this year, but has gone 2-3 versus conference opponents.  Dallas has won 23 of its last 31 regular-season matchups with Denver on its home floor, which must be considered when looking over the pro basketball odds page.  Leading scorer O.J. Mayo is in a serious slump, as he’s managed to score just 29 combined points over his last four games.

Sports bettors will likely play the total, with the UNDER going 3-1-1 in the last five meetings in Dallas.

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