Dallas Mavericks (38-19) +5, 182 at San Antonio Spurs (38-17), 8 pm Eastern Thursday, TNT
by Zman of Predictem.com
One of the hottest rivalries in professional basketball resumes when the Dallas Mavericks visit Alamo City to take on the San Antonio Spurs in the opener of an NBA/TNT double-header Thursday night.
NBA betting boards list San Antonio as a five-point home favorite for Thursday’s game. And the total on this game, which opened at 180, has been bet up in early action to 182. Also, the Spurs are listed at right around -230 on various moneylines, with Dallas getting +190 as road underdogs.
The Mavericks beat Chicago Monday 102-94, their third straight victory after a 1-4 stretch. It was also Big D’s third win in three games with newly acquired point guard Jason Kidd in the lineup.
San Antonio has won six straight games and 10 of its last 11 after beating Atlanta Monday 89-74 in a game in which the Spurs scored five points in the first quarter.
So heading into Thursday’s action, San Antonio leads the Southwest Division by a half-game over the second-place New Orleans Hornets and a full game over the third-place Mavericks. The Spurs also own the two spot in the Western Conference standings, just one game back of the conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers, while Dallas sits in 6th place in the West, just two games out of first place.
These two teams have split two games so far this season, with the Mavs winning in Dallas 105-92 and the Spurs winning in San Antonio 97-95. But the Mavericks took three of four games from the Spurs last season. So over the course of the last six games in the series between these two teams, Dallas is 4-2 both straight up and against the spread. Also, the o/u is 2-4 in those six games, which have averaged 186 total points.
This season, the Mavs are 23-30 against the spread, and just 14-16 straight up and 12-18 vs. the numbers on the road.
On the other side of this match-up, San Antonio is 28-27 ATS this season, 23-5 SU and 16-11 vs. the numbers at home.
Statistically speaking, the Spurs rank 5th in the league in point differential at +5.4 per game, while Dallas ranks 10th at +4.1.
The Mavericks are shooting 46% from the field as a team this season, 34% from 3-point range and a league-leading 82% from the free-throw line.
At the other end of the court, San Antonio is shooting 46% from the floor, 38% from long range and 76% from the line.
Also, Dallas ranks 4th in the league in rebounding at +2.9 boards per game, while the Spurs rank 8th at +1.7. And these two teams rank 7th and 8th in FG defense at just under 45%.
The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com ranks San Antonio 5th at 95.3, the Mavericks 8th at 94.5. Sagarin’s current NBA home-court advantage figure is 3.3.
The o/u is 26-30 in Dallas games this season, which are averaging 194 total points, while the totals are 22-31 in Spurs games, which are averaging 187 points.