March 13th 2015 (Posted at 5:00 PM ET)
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Take Dallas Mavericks at -2.5 spread against LA Clippers risking 3% of bankroll.
Tonight's matchup between the Clippers and Mavericks is an important one for Dallas. There is not much separation between the 3rd and 7th seed in the Western Conference at this stage of the season, which makes every game crucial. Currently, the Clippers sit in the fifth spot but the Mavs would not only take overtake the Spurs in the standings with a victory tonight but would also pull within just half a game back of LA!
The Clippers enter this contest pretty banged up with Blake Griffin still sidelined and Jamal Crawford out as well. Chris Paul took a big knock in the game against Minnesota and played through pain in the matchup against Oklahoma City. He will most likely start tonight but is not 100% and needs to rest his ankle to be at his best. With this game being played in Dallas and LA hampared by injuries, this is the Mavericks' best chance to get a win over a team that they have struggled against recently. The Clippers have already won the first 2 meetings this season and would complete their first sweep of Dallas in 21 years if they win tonight! Sweeping a direct rival is an extremely difficult task and we don't believe the Mavs will just lay down and allow that to happen! They've already dropped one home game to Doc Rivers and his club and will be keen to get revenge in what is the 3rd and final meeting between the two sides in the regular season!
We also feel that the Clippers head into this contest in an unfavorable situation. They recorded a double-digit road victory over a red hot Russell Westbrook and Thunder team in Oklahoma City! They may find themselves in somewhat of a let-down spot tonight after such an impressive performance. They also have a home date with the Houston Rockets on deck, the team they are currently chasing for that coveted #4 spot. Not only could LA come out a bit flat but they may even be looking ahead to that matchup having already beaten the Mavs easily twice!
It is interesting that Vegas not only installed Dallas as favorites but made them 2.5 point chalk. Given that CP3 and his side are not only coming off a road upset of OKC but have dominated Mark Cuban's team even out in Dallas and that the Mavs are coming off a 33-point humiliation at the hands of Cleveland, it begs the question why? We believe there are several solid reasons behind that. The most important one being that Dallas will provide a huge effort to bounce back from that ugly defeat in front of its home crowd while the Clippers may already be pleased with their recent performances. Rick Carlisle's squad is 13-4 ATS after a blowout (20+ points) loss over the last 3 seasons! Secondly, the Mavs will have the added motivation of keeping their pride intact by avoiding the series sweep. The third reason would be that they can overtake Texas rivals, San Antonio, and move within striking distance of tonight's opponents, Clippers with a win tonight!
We also find the total in this matchup interesting. The oddsmakers opened the number at 202.5 total points. They typically align the total around the the side that they feel is likely to dictate the tempo of the game. Over their last 5 games, the average total in Clipper games has been around the 207 mark, whereas the average total has been 201.5 in Dallas games. While the Clippers like to play a run and gun style based on setting up 3 pointers with pick and rolls, this number doesn't reflect that they will have a ton of success with that gameplan tonight. It's also worth noting that Dallas has been excellent at home (21-11) but 'Lob City' has been only above average (18-14) on the road.
The Mavericks have had a couple of days to rest and regroup after getting crushed by the Cavaliers in their last contest. In the ultra-competitive Western Conference, they realize that each and every game is extremely important from here on out and they can see their playoff hopes slipping by the wayside if they don't quickly get their act together. This is a veteran squad that hates losing and was assembled to win championships! They have all the motivation in the world to come out fired up and make a statement! It doesn't surprise us that they are favorites tonight.
Other notable facts to consider:
- Dallas is 9-4 after a double-digit loss this season!
- Clippers are 0-3 SU & ATS as a road underdog of 3 points or less this season!
- Dallas is 3-1 both SU & ATS as a home favorite of 3 points or less this season.
- Clippers are just 2-6 ATS on Friday nights while the Mavs have won 8 out of 11 such games!
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