Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets Preview and Pick – 29018

Dallas Mavericks (8-2) at Houston Rockets (6-5), 7:30 pm Eastern Wednesday, ESPN
by Zman of Predictem.com

Two teams that recently have been headed in different directions hook up when the Dallas Mavericks visit the Houston Rockets Wednesday night on ESPN.

Dallas has won four games in a row after rallying from 24 points down to beat the Toronto Raptors Tuesday night 105-99. Meanwhile, Houston has lost four straight after bowing to the Phoenix Suns 115-105 last Saturday.

So heading into Wednesday’s action, the Mavericks sit in second place in the Southwest Division, a half-game back of the first-place San Antonio Spurs, while the Rockets are in fourth place, three games out.

Most NBA betting outlets list Houston as a two-point home favorite for Wednesday night’s game, with a total of 190.

The Mavs have won eight of the last meeting in the series with Houston, including three of four games last season and a 107-98 decision in Dallas two weeks ago. And the Mavericks have out-rebounded the Rockets over the last four games by almost 10 per. Also, while the last five meetings have averaged 184 points per, the individual games totals have been a bit erratic 183, 205, 169, 157 and 205 as the o/u has gone 2-3 in that span.

This season, Dallas is 5-5 against the spread, and 2-2 straight up but just 1-3 ATS on the road.

Houston is 4-7 vs. the numbers this year, 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS at home.

Statistically speaking, the Mavericks rank 6th in the league in average point differential at +7.4, 4th in FG shooting at 48%, 13th in 3-point marksmanship at 37% and 2nd in FT shooting at 82%. Dallas also ranks 11th in FG defense at 44%, 4th in A/TO ratio at 1.68 and 12th in rebounding at +.9 per game.

The Rockets rank 12th in point differential at +1.4, 24th in FG shooting at 43%, 26th in 3-point shooting at 31% and 21st in free-throw shooting at 73%. Houston also ranks 20th in FG defense at 46%, 9th in A/TO ratio at 1.55 and 11th in rebounding at +2.3 per game.

On the injury front, Houston F Tracy McGrady, who has missed the Rockets last two games (both losses) with a bad shooting elbow, is listed as questionable for Wednesday night’s game, but some reports say he may play.

This season, the o/u is 7-3 in Mavericks games, which are averaging 200 points per, while the totals are 5-6 in Houston games, which are averaging 188 points.

Zman’s Pick: Houston Rockets -2.