NBA Odds & Picks — Can Mavs Stop Losing to Spurs? That’s the Critical Question in Thursday Clash

The San Antonio Spurs have had a lot of success against just about every other NBA team this season; well, except for the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have swept them in the season series. On Thursday night they will be going against one of those teams they “own” when they tackle the Dallas Mavericks, who have had some difficulty beating the NBA odds at home this season.

The Mavericks are the team that has the most to gain from a victory in this game. They are in a situation where they have to win or they are going to blow their chance at a playoff spot in the West. At 48-31, they are a half-game ahead of the Phoenix Suns and a game and a half in front of the Memphis Grizzlies in the overall standings, which puts them in seventh place. If they were in the East, they would be the third-place team.

San Antonio is most likely going to have home court advantage throughout the entire playoff process, as far as they can go. They are 60-18 straight-up, which is the best overall record in the league. They were the authors of a 19-game winning streak just recently that was ended by Oklahoma City. And coach Gregg Popovich was hoping that this streak didn’t extend itself into the post-season, since it would have added a lot of pressure to the situation.

The Spurs, as usual, will be juggling their lineup around as they line up for this Western Conference game that is scheduled to begin at 8 PM ET at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

In the NBA odds at WagerWeb on this game, the Mavericks are favored, considering some of the personnel adjustments that are being made by the Spurs on this one:

Dallas Mavericks -1.5
San Antonio Spurs +1.5

Over 201 points -110
Under 201 points -110

Popovich is not above laying down for a game, preferring to look at things from a “big picture” standpoint. That many have been the spirit of things the last time out for this team, as the Spurs lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves 110-91, with Tony Parker sitting things out and Tim Duncan playing only 20 minutes. That wasn’t exactly the kind of effort Popovich had been looking for, but that is what happens sometimes.

The last thing NBA bettors should expect is that the Spurs would roll over against this Dallas team, which they have beaten seven straight times, including a 112-106 victory on March 2. But it looks as if Popovich is giving some rest to some people, including Parker, who is experiencing some back issues at the moment, and Manu Ginobili, who hurt his calf against Minnesota and has been listed as doubtful for this one. And of course, the situation with Duncan is always in question, insofar as the number of minutes he’ll play. Duncan, as most WagerWeb customers know, would be one of those guys looking to shut down Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki.

The Mavs have not done anything to fumble away their playoff spot lately. They have, in fact, won their last four games, and they took care of business on the road against a couple of very “beatable” opponents in their last two, scoring a 93-91 win at Sacramento (which did not cover against the NBA odds) and a 95-83 triumph at Utah (which did). As far as beating the basketball pointspread is concerned, Dallas seems to be more at home on the road. While they are 26-14 ATS as a visitor, they are just 17-22 against the number as a home team.
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