(33-15, 25-21-2 ATS)
(37-11, 23-23-2 ATS)
The Dallas Mavericks started off this stretch of very tough games with a hard fought 113-97 victory at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks. Now, they’re back in NBA betting action once again on Friday night when they take on the Boston Celtics at TD Banknorth Garden.
If that dominating victory over the Knicks wasn’t enough to convince you that the Mavericks are back at full force, we don’t know what will get the job done for you. This team has captured six games in a row and is 4-2 ATS in this stretch, and the argument could be made that that win against New York was one of the most impressive of the entire season, especially on the road. Any time you can get five players in double digits in scoring and none of them are named Jason Kidd or Shawn Marion, you’re in good shape. Dirk Nowitzki had another great game with 29 points and 11 boards, while Tyson Chandler had a double-double as well with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Off the bench, where the Mavs really shine on a regular basis, Jose Juan Barea had 22 points, while Jason Terry had a dozen. These men that aren’t in the starting five really do make the difference for Dallas, and this is where it is going to have to be the superior team in order to win this game, because it is very clear that these two starting lineups are like night and day with one another.
Kendrick Perkins is probably going to be forced into the starting lineup tonight, as Shaquille O’Neal is likely getting a night off to rest. That really only leaves Glen Davis and Nate Robinson on the bench for Head Coach Doc Rivers to choose from. However, he knows that his starting five is fantastic, as this is the unit that has really lifted this team to the premier stage in NBA betting action over these past several years. Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett are all good for at least 15 points on a nightly basis, and there isn’t a point guard that does it better than Rajon Rondo in terms of assists, as he is averaging 12.5 helpers per game. This is the first game back at home since January 25th for the men from Beantown, as they had to go out on a four game West Coast swing that included three wins against just one loss against the Phoenix Suns. Boston needs to be very, very careful about not looking ahead to Sunday’s clash with the Orlando Magic in this one, or it will get snuck up on and upset on its home court.
Though we don’t really feel like an upset is in the cards on Friday night, pulling sticking in front of the six is entirely a possibility for the Mavs. They’re just playing too well to really get chopped down to size by anyone in the league, though we know this is a tough challenge. Take the points to beat the NBA odds on Friday.
NBA Free Pick: Dallas Mavericks