The NBA Playoffs continue on Tuesday and I will have a free pick in the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Rockets, which will take place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The game has a start time of 9:30 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on TNT. Current Vegas betting odds have Houston listed as 5 point favorites, while the total is set at 215.5.
Analysis: The Dallas Mavericks have not really played well in the 2nd half of the season and that has continued as they took a 118-108 loss to Houston in game 1 of their series. For the year Dallas is now 50-33 overall, which includes a record of 23-19 on the road. Dallas has gone 18-7-2 ATS in their last 27 Conference Quarterfinals games, but just 13-30-2 ATS in their last 45 vs. the Western Conference. The Mavericks have been a very good offensive team this year, ranking 3rd in scoring (105.2 ppg), 5th in shooting, 13th in 3 point shooting and 16th in FT shooting. Defensively the Mavericks have not been so good this year, ranking 25th in points allowed (102.3 ppg), 16th in defensive FG% and 27th in 3 point defense.
The Houston Rockets had a very solid year and ended up winning the Southwest Division on the last day of the season. The Rockets really came into the playoffs as a dangerous team and start out well with their 10 point home win over Dallas in game 1. The Rockets are now 31-11 at home this year. Houston has gone 8-1 ATS in their last 9 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game and 20-8 ATS in their last 28 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. The Rockets have be a solid offensive team this year, ranking 6th in scoring (103.9 ppg), 20th in shooting, 14th in 3 point shooting and 27th in FT shooting. Defensively the Rockets have been average this year, ranking 17th in points allowed (100.5 ppg), 12th in defensive FG% and 1st in 3 point defense.
Pick: I will go with the Under in this game after I won with the over in game 1. That first game was not on pace for much of it to go over by 15 points and we note that the previous 4 meetings between these teams this year saw just 209, 211, 193 and 187 points. The last 2 of those 4 games were played in Houston. I see this one being a bit more defensive than game 1 as it is a very important game for both team and that should really lead to a much slower paced 4th quarter, especially if the game is tight like it should be. Rocket home games have averaged just 203.1 ppg and I see this one played between 205 and 210 points at most.
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