Denver +5 at Dallas O/U 209
Very quietly, waaaay underneath the national radar, the Dallas Mavericks have been falling apart for the better part of the last two months. To call the Mavs poor home favorites is something of an understatement. The results don’t lie. Dallas has played 13 home games since the calendar turned to 2016. They have led at the end of regulation in a grand total of three of those games.
The teams Dallas has been able to beat comfortably at home are not exactly elite. They’ve beaten the 76ers, Nets and Suns – three of the four worst teams in the NBA (along with the Lakers, of course). Twice Dallas has escaped with OT wins over non-playoff teams (Sacramento and Minnesota); more ‘lucky’ than ‘good’ even when stepping down in class.
In fact, the Mavs haven’t really been beating any competitive teams on any floor of late. They are 4-10 SU in their last 14 games, with the wins coming against Philly, Brooklyn, the LA Lakers and Memphis without Marc Gasol in the lineup – not exactly an elite quartet.
Wes Matthews, following their latest loss, at home against Oklahoma City on Wednesday, gave this quote, not exactly dripping with confidence. "We've got to finish games… We had a little slippage, and that seems to be the trend for us this season.”
It’s surely worth noting that the Thunder got a win and cover in that game, despite the fact that OKC is the single worst pointspread team in the NBA on the highway this year. That pointspread cover was only their eighth ATS win in 26 tries.
While Dallas is slumping, Denver is playing in their best role – road underdogs. They’re 7-1 ATS in their last eight tries in this role, including outright underdog wins against the Clippers, Pistons, Wizards and Knicks.
Mike Malone’s squad is coming off a confidence inspiring win at the Staples Center against the Clippers; by far their best defensive showing since the All Star Break. Malone, following that victory: “We have beaten some of the best teams in the NBA when we defend, and this is the first game, post All-Star break, where we defended for four quarters. Hopefully we can get back to defending at a high level like we were before the break."