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January 25, 2015 (Updated at 11:35 AM ET)

Sports Profit System is 17-7-1 in the month of January and is up 29 units minus a little bit of juice/vig! Dating back even further than that however, we've now enjoyed 6 consecutive winning weeks regardless of what happens today as we once again head into Sunday with a healthy weekly profit!

Take New Orleans Pelicans at +3 spread against Dallas Mavericks risking 3%

The Dallas Mavericks will travel to the Big Easy to take on the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center for a 6:05 PM EST tipoff. This is an interesting matchup as it pits two different styles together. Contrasting styles are what makes matchups and this particular one entertaining for the fans. From a handicapping perspective, the home side has numerous advantages tonight.

The Mavs come into this contest as the second best offense in the league, averaging nearly 108 points per game. They have 4 players who are averaging double figures on a nightly basis and shoot an incredibly impressive 47% from the field. They are an offensively explosive team; there is no question about that, however tonight they may be somewhat of a disadvantage. The New Orleans Pelicans are one of the better defensive teams in the league this season. They have been holding opponents to just an average of 99 points per game. Dallas on the other hand doesn't spend a lot of their focus on the defensive end. They currently rank 23rd in the league in scoring defense as they give up an average of 101.7 points a night. They are also allowing opponents to shoot 45% from the field on average. They are not a team that is built to stop perimeter shooting either. They allow teams to shoot over 36% from deep, draining nearly 9 three pointers on a nightly basis.

New Orleans comes into this contest with a bit of momentum on their side as they have won two straight and climbed back above a .500 record. In their win over the Wolves, Anthony Davis led the effort with 21 points and 12 rebounds; Eric Gordon chipped in 20 points, Tyreke Evans added 17 and Dante Cunningham had 14. The Pelicans managed to shoot 50 percent from the floor, 3 of 4 from three point range and nine of 14 from the line while limiting Minnesota to just 41.7 percent shooting. It was one of their most complete efforts on both sides of the court and should provide them with confidence heading into this contest. They have played much better defense recently and that will come in handy tonight.

The Pelicans have been consistent on the offensive end averaging a respectable 100 points per game. That number gets a whole lot better at home where they have scored 106 points on average! What has been their staple and where they have dominated other teams has been off the glass as they rank 10th in the league in rebounding, pulling down nearly 44 boards per game. They are not a team that attempts too many 3-pointers, they prefer to get in the paint and bang down low. That is the style of play that gave the Mavs a lot of trouble against the Bulls. This strategy has made New Orleans extremely efficient with the basketball, connecting on 48% of their shots at home! The added bonus to their play down low is that it does leave great perimeter shooters like Ryan Anderson open beyond the arc and when teams start to overcomitt to protecting the rim, they have deadly 3-ball shooters that can punish them. The Pelicans can be a bruising team that likes to bully their opponents; the Mavericks are more an outside shooting, finesse type team. Getting physical with them has been their Achilles Heel and could be what New Orleans does to limit their offensive flair. 

Monty Williams' side has at times displayed inconsistent efforts this season having lost to both the lowly New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers, but they have also stepped up and beat some quality teams in more meaningful games. They get up to play Western conference opponents and in particular within their own division (Southwest) and have revenge in mind having already dropped two games to the Mavs this season! Dallas comes into this contest after falling to the Chicago Bulls on Friday and has Memphis and Houston on deck. They were hammered down low and on the glass, which Chicago used greatly to their advantage. They provided the blueprint for New Orleans to get one over Dallas who was out-rebounded by 20 in that contest! We believe they will fare better tonight but they are still likely to lose the rebounding battle against the likes of Omer Asik and Anthony Davis and that will be problematic for them.

Something else that not many are talking about is the disparity between these two teams in the conference. The Pelicans have been a money making machine when matched up against opponents from the West as they are 12-2 ATS in their last 14 games vs the West! Meanwhile the Mavericks have often been overvalued and money burning machines against Western foes going just 3-11-1 in their last 15 matchups! Sitting at the bottom of the toughest division in the league, the Pelicans play with a chip on their shoulders and will do so again tonight.

Lastly, we feel that we should address the telling opening line of this contest. The Vegas oddmakers are generally great at what they do when it comes to setting an accurate line. The vast majority of spreads that they release is deliberate and done on purpose. It often tells a story on a matchup and how they believe it is likely to play out. Dallas is one of the top teams in the West, with an explosive offense. They have the better overall record and are perceived by many as the much better overall team. They have also won 9 straight games over the Pelicans! And yet even with all those factors well known, the oddmakers found it fitting to list the Mavericks as just a single point better than the Pelicans in this contest and opened them as -1 favorites! Just a single free throw. To us, that speaks volumes! Since the line was first released, the betting public has naturally jumped on the Mavericks' band wagon and has hammered this line all the way up to Dallas -3! That has opened up tremendous value for us sharps who actually believe the Pelicans are more likely to win this game than the Mavs. And yet given that, we are now receiving 3 extra insurance points, we will gladly take them as this could be a close game that goes down the wire. New Orleans wants to end their ugly 9-game skid to the visiting club and will give it all they have. Meanwhile, the Mavs face their two main Southwest rivals in Memphis and Houston up next and could be looking past the Pelicans tonight. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Pelicans are 5-1 ATS in their last six on one day of rest. 

  • Pelicans are 7-0 ATS in their last seven against the Southwest Division! 

  • Mavericks are just 3-9 ATS in their last 12 against teams with winning records.

  • Pelicans are 7-1 ATS in their last eight against teams with winning records! 

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