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March 7th 2014 - Posted 05:00 PM Eastern Time

Sports Profit System is riding an extended 17-7 winning streak! We've also swept the NCAA card in 4 of the last 5 Saturdays and aim to do so again tomorrow. 

There are two bets risking a total of 5% from our previous profit tonight. The bet on Mavericks is an above average 3% bet. Most can find this line at -2 currently while it is at -2.5 in a couple of other places. Those who find it at -2.5 are encouraged to buy half a point for extra insurance.

#1: Take Dallas Mavericks at -2 spread against Portland Trailblazers risking 3%

The Dallas Mavericks come into this contest with the Portland Trail Blazers as a team that is in desperate need of a win. The Mavericks have lost 3 in a row for the first time this season and it couldn't have come at a worst time! Losing streaks are never good for a team but clearly hurt most near the end of the season when each and every win is critical as teams make a last ditch effort to get into the playoffs. This is as close to a "must win" game as Dallas has had for some time so we expect them to come out focused and motivated to turn their recent slump around. Prior to this 3-game skid, the Mavericks had won 10 of the previous 12 and this is a veteran team that is more than capable of regrouping and bouncing back.

What could give the Mavericks an added advantage tonight, besides their home court, is the fact that the Trail Blazers have been inconsistent on the road, which is a place they haven't frequented in a long time. Tonight's game against the Mavericks will be Portland's only second road game since February 2nd! They have been fortunate to play 7 of their last 8 at home so traveling to hostile territory may take some getting used to. The reason Portland has been hot is partly due to those home games and the fairly low level of competition they've faced since the All-Star break.

These two teams have met twice this season with each team winning a game a piece. This is actually a revenge game of sorts for the Mavericks however as it was the Trailblazer who put the worst beating of the season on them on their home court when they came to the America Airlines Center and won 127-111. Defense has not been a strong suit of the Mavericks but it's hard to imagine that they will allow this same Blazers team to come back and put up those kind of points again. 

Portland All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge recently came back from an injury and joined his fellow teammates but it's clear that he is still suffering from missed time on the court. Aldridge himself stated that his timing has been off and when he is shooting things just haven't been feeling right. Aldridge went a miserable 1 for 13 from the field in the last game. We believe Portland will need him to bring his A game if they are to stop a hungry Mavericks team tonight.

This line that Vegas opened for this game isn't something that we have typically seen too often this season either. Out of 29 home games, the Mavericks have been listed as a home favorite of 3 or less points just twice. Due to their potent offense, this is not something that line-makers usually do and for good reasons as Dallas has covered the spread in both instances. The Blazers are quite often double-digit favorites and very rarely listed as underdogs! And yet they are tonight.
That is another telling sign. The intangibles point to one team having an edge. The public perception of the Mavericks are low given their recent skid and when perception is low, teams typically bounce back. Lay the two points as they get a much needed win and cover.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Dallas is a dominant 20-4 in its last 24 games when playing at home against Portland!
  • Portland is 9-19 ATS against Southwest division opponents over the last 2 seasons.
  • The Mavericks are 9-2 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 or less points!
  • Dallas is 36-21 ATS after allowing 105 points or more over the last 2 seasons.
  • Portland is only 8-19 ATS in road games following a win by 10 or more points over the last 3 seasons.

#2: Take Boston Celtics at +4.5 spread against Brooklyn Nets risking 2%

This is an interesting matchup on a number of levels. We backed Brooklyn earlier this week and accurately predicted that they would end the impressive winning streak of the Chicago Bulls when the public was clearly riding the red hot Bulls. Now the Nets have covered 4 straight games and the betting public is as usual late to take notice and suddenly has an extremely high opinion of this team. 

Meanwhile, the Celtics are simply waiting for the season to end after having the type of year that many experts had predicted. There is no doubt that the Celtics are in a time of transition and expectations of this team aren't much. Boston have lost 7 of their last 8 games and in reality are probably a team that most others overlook because they are no longer viewed as a "good team". This is a game however, that we expect the Celtics to get up for. 

Even though this Boston team is nearly brand new from top to bottom, the Nets are still the team that picked up the biggest weapons that the Celtics had in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The focal point of the Celtics and the only remaining playmaker is PG Rajon Rondo although Jeff Green will have a point to prove as well. Rondo who had spent much of the season out with injury, has had plenty of on-court minutes to get back in "game mode". It takes awhile for a player to recover old form after such a lengthy layoff but now that he's been back for awhile, we do expect to see him and Green step up big and make a statement in this matchup. The Celtics are also a good rebounding team, something that the Nets aren't especially without Brook Lopez and Garnett! Jared Sullinger has proven to be a force down low and has recorded multiple double-doubles this season. He is a bright spot in this Celtics line-up and not a player that the Nets should overlook. The Nets will also have to deal with former player Chris Humphries. Brooklyn is making a run for the playoffs while Humphries is "stuck" in a rebuilding organization. That surely can't sit well with him and the rest of the Celtics who've already lost to the Nets twice this season and are in danger of being swept.

The Nets may also come into this game a little overconfident because of their recent winning streak. This is a quick 1 game road trip for them before they head back to Brooklyn for a couple of more games. They have already beaten the Celtics twice this season so it would be easy to overlook an unassuming opponent. Meanwhile, after this game there will be only one other meeting between the two teams and that game will be played in Brooklyn. The Celtics realize that if they lose this game tonight, then they will most likely be facing an embarrassing 4-game season sweep against the team that took their best players! Whether a team is rebuilding or dealing with injuries or whatever the excuse, deep down no professional athlete wants to be completely dominated, whether it be on the scoreboard or when it comes to series meetings. The Celtics' best shot to beat the Nets is tonight on their home floor. Even if they don't succeed we expect a hard fought effort from start to finish to at least keep this game close. 

Again, a lot about this game comes down to public perception and that in turn creating value as we've shown again and again. The Nets are a team that people are starting to take notice of, they have some quality wins recently and and have beaten this Boston team twice already. The Celtics have seemingly packed it in for the season, they've lost 2 straight home games and were recently blown out by the Golden State Warriors. Given the disparity between these two it looks like it would be an easy call...and 90% of the betting public agrees. Fading the public can be profitable at times and we feel that this is one of them. There are no such things as gifts in the world of sports betting and this short line has the appearance of being too much of a "gift". We believe that Jeff Green and the Celtics will put up a solid effort and keep this game closer than the public expects. Take the points.

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