Denver Nuggets vs. Dallas Mavericks Preview and Pick

Denver Nuggets +2 (16-7) at Dallas Mavericks -2 (13-9) O/U 209 8:30 PM Monday December 15, 2008
by Jason Green of

Tonight the Denver Nuggets head down south to the Lone State to play the Dallas Mavericks. Both teams are hot, as each team is 8-2 in their last 10 games. The Nuggets are in 1st place in the Northwest Division 2 game ahead of the Utah Jazz and Portland Trailblazers and even though the Mavericks are in 4th place in the Southwest Division they are only 1.5 games back o the 1st place Spurs. The Nuggets were thought the be the team that got the short end of the stick when they traded away Allen Iverson for Chauncey Billups, but Billups has been the main star of the trade and he has played great since coming to Denver. The Mavs are starting to play well after a horrid start it seems they are finally learning how to play with Jason Kidd.


This season the Mavericks are 7-5 at home and the Nuggets are 7-4 away from Mile High City.

5Dimes has opened with the Mavericks as 2 point favorites with a total around 209. The Mavericks are posted at -140 as home favorites and the Nuggets are posted at +120 as away dogs.

The Mavericks come into this game after beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-99 on Saturday night. The high scorer for the Mavericks in that game was Dirk Nowitzki going for 46 points on 17/30 shooting. For the game the Mavs shot the rock well going 41/81 from the floor for a FG% of 50.6%. On defense the Mavs allowed the Thunder to shoot 40/87 from the floor for a FG% of 46%.

The Nuggets come into this game after an impressive win over Golden State on Saturday night beating the Warriors 123-105. The high scorer for the Nuggets in that game was Carmelo Anthony going for 27 points on 10/17 shooting. Billups continued his strong play going for 16 points and dishing out 11 assists. For the game the Nuggets shot lights out going 50/94 from the floor for a FG% of 53.2%. On defense the Nuggets held the Warriors to 40/97 from the floor for a FG% of 41.2%.

Both of these teams can light up the scoreboard, as the Nuggets rank 4th in the league in scoring (103.4 ppg) and the Mavs rank 7th (101.2 ppg). Both teams are in the middle, well exact middle, of the pack on D, as the Nuggets rank 15 in points allowed (98.2 ppg) and the Mavs rank 16th (98.5 ppg). The Mavs have a better rebounding team, as they have a rebound differential of +1.9 rpg, while the Nuggets are at -0.4 rpg.

This season the Nuggets are 14-8-1 ATS and people betting on the Mavs are not happy campers, as Dallas is only 9-13 ATS. In terms of Over/Under games the Nuggets are 18-13- this season the Mavs are 10-13-1.

On the injury front PF Kenyon Martin and SF and Carmelo Anthony are day-to-day for the Nuggets, while the Mavs are reporting no significant injuries.

The Nuggets will be going for their 4th straight win tonight and Melo is on fire in that streak, as he is averaging just under 30 ppg.

The key for the Mavs success is the shooting of Dirk Nowitzki, as if he is draining the outside J it forces the opposing PF to come out of the paint to defend him, which opens up the lane for Jason Kidd and Josh Howard (20.3 ppg).

A big match up in this game is between the small forwards of Melo and Howard, who can both light up the scoreboard.

Mavs C Erick Dampier (5.4 ppg 7.5 rpg) will have to play good defense against Nuggets C Nene (14.4 ppg 7.1 rpg), who has been awesome this season and leads the league in FG%.

Both teams can shoot the rock and the team that can play some good perimeter D has a good chance to win the game. The Nuggets have to stop the penetration of Kidd and backup PG Jason Terry, who is on fire averaging 23.2 ppg in his last 14 games.

The Nuggets have better inside offense and if they can score inside it will open things up for Melo and Billups.

There are a lot of factors in this game between 2 teams that are playing well and may meet later on in a Western Conference playoff series.

Jason’s Pick: I like Denver to go into Dallas and steal a win tonight.