Dallas Mavericks (11-6) at Chicago Bulls (4-10), 8:35 pm Eastern Monday, NBA Network
by Zman of Predictem.com
One team that started out hot this season but has cooled as of late meets another team that stumbled out of the gate but hopes to have found its stride in recent days when the Dallas Mavericks visit the Chicago Bulls Monday night in Second City.
Dallas is listed as a three-point road favorite on NBA betting boards, with a total of 190. The Mavs are also posted at anywhere from -150 to -165 on the moneylines, with the Bulls getting from +130 to +145 as home underdogs.
Dallas started out 9-2 this season, but has lost four of its last six after falling at New Orleans in overtime Saturday 112-108. So the Mavericks sit in third place in the Southwest Division, 3 games back of the first-place San Antonio Spurs.
Chicago, meanwhile, is off to another of its typically slow starts. The Bulls lost 10 of their first 12 games this season, but have won two in a row after beating Charlotte Saturday 111-95. Chicago shot 54% from the field vs. the Bobcats, the first time this season the Bulls had even shot better than 46%.
But Chicago is still mired in last place in the Central Division, six games back of the first-place Detroit Pistons.
Dallas is just 6-11 against the spread so far this season, and 3-5 straight up and 2-6 ATS on the road.
The Bulls are only 4-10 vs. the numbers this season, and 3-3 both SU and against the spread at home.
These two teams split their two meetings last season, with both teams winning at home. But the Mavs have won 16 of the last 18 meetings in the series with Chicago.
Dallas is shooting 46% from the floor this season, 33% from 3-point range and 84% from the free-throw line. The Mavericks also own a +4.4 points-per-game margin, a +1.2 rebounds-per-game margin, and are holding opponents to 45% FG shooting.
The Bulls rank dead last in the league in FG shooting at 40%, and are hitting just 30% from long range and 72% from the line. They are also getting outscored by 6.6 ppg, but are limiting foes to 44% FG shooting and own a +1.1 boards-per-game margin.
The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com rank Dallas 7th at 94.1, Chicago 30th at 81.9.
The o/u is 12-5 in Mavs games this season, which are averaging 201 ppg, while the totals are 5-9 in Bulls games, which are averaging 184 points.