The NBA betting action continues following the All-Star break, and the San Antonio Spurs head to American Airlines Center in Dallas to take on the Dallas Mavericks for the second time this season, so here’s my best betting pick for this Southwest Division showdown.
The Mavs opened as 5.5-point favorites on BetMGM Sportsbook. They beat the Spurs 122-117 as 2-point road underdogs on January 22, improving to 4-1 straight up and 3-2 ATS in the last five encounters with San Antonio.
Dallas has a clean bill of health ahead of the second half of the 2020-21 NBA season. On the other side, San Antonio might miss LaMarcus Aldridge due to an illness.
The Spurs look to get back on the winning path
The San Antonio Spurs (18-14; 18-14 ATS) have dropped three of their last five games overall, covering the spread twice in that span. They are coming off a 107-102 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder as 7-point home favorites, as the Spurs blew an 11-point lead from halftime.
The Spurs sit at the seventh spot of the Western Conference standings, just 1.5 games ahead of the ninth-seeded Golden State Warriors and one game behind sixth-placed Denver Nuggets. San Antonio ranks 20th in the NBA in offensive efficiency (110.3 points per 100 possessions) and 10th in defensive efficiency (also 110.3).
DeMar DeRozan leads the way for the Spurs, accounting for 20.0 points and 7.2 assists per contest. Dejounte Murray is having a solid season, averaging 15.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game, while Keldon Johnson adds 14.1 points and 6.7 rebounds a night.
The Mavericks search for their fourth straight victory
The Dallas Mavericks (18-16; 15-19 ATS) entered the All-Star Weekend on a three-game winning streak, and their last win came against Oklahoma City at home, 87-78. The Mavs won nine of their last 11 games overall and are 7-1 straight up over their previous eight outings on the home court.
Dallas sits right behind the Spurs in the West, only half a game ahead of the Warriors and one game ahead of the 10th-seeded Memphis Grizzlies. The Mavs are posting 112.9 points per 100 possessions (13th in the NBA) while surrendering 113.4 in a return (23rd).
There’s a lot of room for improvement on both sides of the ball. The Mavs make just 35.0% of their 3-pointers (25th) while handing out only 22.8 assists per 100 possessions (also 25th). They allow the ninth-most attempts from the charity stripe (23.5) and the seventh-most offensive rebounds (10.0).
- 5-12 ATS in the last 17 games against Dallas
- 2-9 ATS in the last 11 games played in March
- 4-1 ATS in the last five games at home
- 4-1 ATS in the last five tilts against the Southwest Division
In their first meeting of the season, the Mavs narrowly outlasted Spurs and nearly blew a 13-point lead in the final period. Luka Doncic tortured San Antonio for 36 points and 11 assists, while the teams combined for only 13 turnovers.
Both San Antonio and Dallas have some serious defensive issues, and I think the Mavs will have more offensive firepower. Doncic has been spectacular over his last nine outings, racking up 30.6 points and 7.7 assists per game while shooting 51.9% from the field and 44.6% from beyond the arc.
Pick: Take Dallas Mavericks -4.5 at -115
Although the under is 6-2 in the last eight encounters between the Spurs and Mavs, I’m going with the over here. If they continue to play in the same manner, and that means a solid offense and a rather mediocre defense, these two foes will produce more than 219 points in total.
The Spurs average exactly 100 possessions per 48 minutes (14th in the NBA), while the Mavs play at a slightly slower pace of 98.8 possessions per 48 minutes (17th).
Pick: Go over 219.5 points at -110