Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets Pick
Dallas Mavericks (26-29 SU, 34-20-1 ATS) vs. Houston Rockets (32 – 23 SU, 25-29-1 ATS)
When: Monday, February 11th, 2019 – 8:00 PM ET
Where: Toyota Arena– Houston, TX
By: Keith Franks, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: DAL +9.5 / HOU -9.5 (MyBookie)
Power Rankings: Houston +8
Takeaways from Dallas and Houston’s Most Recent Games
The Mavericks come into this contest off a thrilling 102-101 win last night at home against the seemingly playoff-bound Portland Trailblazers. The Mavs closed as a three-point underdog and once again fostered a cover as a result of the victory. Overall, Dallas is 5-1 ATS in their previous six outings.
The Rockets enter in on the heels of 117-112 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday which ended a three-game winning streak. At the opening tip-off, the Rockets were favored to defeat the Thunder by 2.5 points.
How the Public is Betting the Dallas and Houston Game
At the time this article was written (Monday morning) there have been no line movements in the Over/Under or Point Spread markets.
The Mavericks have turned the tide in this rivalry series as they have won the last two meetings between both franchises. Most recently, Dallas hosted Houston in December and defeated them by a score of 107-104 in what was a thriller. Dallas orchestrated the upset outright as a 3.5-point underdog.
Dallas’ newly acquired Forward Kristaps “The Unicorn” Porzingis will be sitting this one out with a knee injury. For the Rockets, Center Clint Capela is riding the sideline with a thumb injury until he returns in late February.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
The Mavericks were on the court last night when they hosted Portland and will be playing just this game on the road before returning to Dallas on Wednesday to play the Heat before the All-Star break. The Rockets will be wrapping up a two-game home-stand here against the Mavericks but have not been on the court for two days which gives them an advantage in the rest department.
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Can Luka Keep The Mojo Working?
The Mavericks have a rising star in the making in one Luka Doncic. The Mavericks Guard leads Dallas in virtually all major statistical categories, including points (20.8 ppg), assists (5.5 ppg), rebounding (7.0 rpg), field goal percentage (43.2%), and steals (1.1 spg). Undoubtedly, he is the heartbeat of this squad and provides all the pyrotechnics to empower this Dallas team. Last night against Portland he put together an impressive 26 points / 8 assists / 9 rebounds line and assuredly they will be putting the ball in his hand tonight if they hope to pull their third consecutive upset this season against their cross-state foes. However, Doncic has his work cut out for him against one of the best point-men to ever play the game: Chris Paul. The Rockets Point Guard is also known for his defensive acumen and CP3 could easily shut Doncic down. If Dallas is looking to stage the upset and keep this close they will have to turn to their bench that generates 10.4 more points per game compared to Houston. Dallas’ bench averages 36.9 points per outing to Houston’s menial 26.5 points per match.
Can Houston’s Dynamic Duo Flush Out The Upset Bug?
We have already highlighted Point Guard Chris Paul’s presence in this game as being a potential instrumental factor in the outcome from a defensive perspective. However, CP3 brings the edge of facilitation to the table as he nearly pulled off a triple-double against OKC in the Rockets last game with an 18 points / 9 assists / 10 rebounds line of his own. CP3 is coupled with one of the game’s most dynamic playmakers: one James Harden. Harden has been nothing short of a MVP-caliber contributor yet again in 2018 as he has averaged an insane 36.6 points per game. “The Beard” has been unstoppable as he has eclipsed the 30-point threshold in 29 consecutive contests. The question is whether Dallas will have an answer for Harden as no one else has.
The most noteworthy trend in this series is the fact that the Under is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings between these two foes.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Houston -9.5
The rivalry element of this game makes the points seem enticing but the fact remains that the Mavericks stand at 6-21 SU on the road this season. Ultimately this has been the cause of the Mavs’ plight overall as they have played exceptional on their own floor (20-8 SU in Dallas) and could be in the playoff mix at the moment if they had even played .500 basketball outside of Dallas. However, the Mavericks have pulled two outright upsets as mid-range underdogs which means that they have been supremely undervalued in their last two contests. This means that the market is due to correct and situationally this seems like a spot that is favorable for the Rockets to generate a cover. Houston is the more motivated team as they will be looking to avenge the upset in December with their home crowd behind them. They are also the more rested team. When you factor these two ingredients into the mix with the talent and quality that comprises the Rockets’ back court, we have to like their chances of winning big and covering.
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