Both teams play the Kings before the Texas game, but there were times when a meeting between the hosting Houston Rockets and the visiting Dallas Mavericks meant much more. Today, it’s that scheduling quirk that is more interesting.
Mavericks at Rockets
Spread: Houston -10.5 (-110) at BetDSI Sportsbook
Total: o/u 214.5 (-110)
Nowitzki slowing down Mavericks progress
The Mavericks opened their new NBA season with a game against one of the weaker teams in the league, at home, with the full roster, and couldn’t come up with a win. Atlanta Hawks guards used their speed and the lack of any interior resistance from the Mavs defense to take a late-game win of 117-111. The game was tied with a minute to go, yet the more experienced Dallas team couldn’t close it down, as they couldn’t come up with rebounds after a defensive stop – twice. Lack of rebounding and Dirk Nowitzki’s -18 point differential during his 24 minutes in the game quickly answered any questions about him playing the center position. Dallas fared much better with Noel at the position, as the backup option had 16 points with perfect shooting from the field and the line, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Another Dallas player who has to score about 25,000 more points to be put into the same tier as Nowitzki played well. Dennis Smith Jr., point guard the Mavs are so excited about, had a nice double-double in the debut, with efficient 16 points and 10 assists. Both of these youngsters had a positive +/- ratio. Veterans Matthews and Barnes found a way to contribute, despite a so-so shooting night. But the Mavs need big bodies, and Nowitzki can’t be a solution to that question.
The Mavericks fly to Houston after another home game against a poor team, as they play the Kings tonight. This is a chance to improve their spirits with a win, as they can’t count on getting a win in South Texas. They return home to play the Warriors next, so they could be starring at a 0-4 start if they let the Kings game slip away. That gives me a reason to think that they’ll focus on Friday’s game, even if it means that they have to battle fatigue on top of the Rockets.
Place: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Date/Time: Saturday, October 21st, 2017. 8:00 PM ET
TV Coverage: ATTSN-SW, FSSW
The Rockets start the season with two close wins
As much as we hoped to finally see how well will the Paul-Harden pairing work in the real game environment, two games weren’t enough. After playing tentatively in the first game and sitting out the clutch time, during which the Rockets turned the score around, Paul did not dress in Sacramento to heal ailing knee (and perhaps shoulder).
It didn’t matter to the Rockets, who were energized by a mid-season version of James Harden to steal the game in Oakland and hold off the Kings for two close wins. An impressive offensive showing from the Warriors game was missing the next evening, as the Rockets were probably physically and emotionally drained. They shot only 39.8 percent and a terrible 12-of-45 from the deep, but enjoyed a large disparity at the charity stripe, scoring 27 points there, compared to Kings’ eight. Clint Capela played one of his best games as a pro, with 22 points on 12 attempts, 17 rebounds and 3 steals.
It’s unclear whether the Rockets will resist the temptation of playing a home opener and introducing Chris Paul to their fans, so keep an eye on the team news on the game day if you’d like to know his game status prior to making any wagers.
Dallas Mavericks at Houston Rockets Game Trends & Prediction
Dallas has a chance to improve on the 0-1 ATS start, but I wouldn’t be so sure about changing the over streak so soon.
Despite the two wins, the Rockets actually split games against the spread, failing to cover in Sacto. Poor shooting doomed any quest for over, so the total points record is also split at one a piece. That under shouldn’t deter you from going after value overs when the opportunity arises, as the Rockets will shoot better than that on almost any other night, with or without Paul playing.
A unique ranking system – AdmiRank helps you understand how good NBA teams are on a scale to 100. I’ll be first to admit that the rankings of Dallas seem high, but if they do lose to the Kings on Friday, I’ll make sure to go with a different number for this game. Either way, the Houston Rockets are a good league in front.
Seeing how Dennis Schroder exploited tractor-sized gaps in Dallas defense gives me complete understanding that Harden is going to have a career night against these slow-footed, tired Mavericks.
Of course, the books are well average who the better team is, but I’m still going with the home team despite a large handicap. Take the Rockets to win by at least 11 points until it’s too late. As far as the total points are concerned, there’s small value on the under side, as Dallas is dragging down the numbers. However, I won’t be touching it unless the market exaggerates wagering on the other side.
My Pick: Houston -10.5 (-110)
Total: no wager here, unless you can get under 217.5 (-110) at minimum
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