Free Picks: Brooklyn Nets vs. Dallas Mavericks

Nets vs Mavericks NBA
Brooklyn Nets vs. Dallas Mavericks, NBA, Barclays Center

The Brooklyn Nets are on a roll, there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. They’ve won eight straight, which has bumped their record up to 22-12, just a half-game back of the top spot in the East. Next up for the hottest team in basketball are the 15-16 Dallas Mavericks, who are winners in seven of their past 10. As the Mavs try to maintain relevance in the Western Conference playoff picture, a matchup with the scorching Nets is far from ideal.

Nets Keep On Movin’ Up Against Mavericks (Season Betting Record: 48-42)

Mavericks fans may point to Kristaps Porzingis’ likely return to the lineup after a three-game absence due to lower back tightness as a reason to back Dallas on Saturday night, but the Mavs have actually gone 7-7 with Porzingis and 8-9 without him this season. Obviously, Porzingis helps Dallas win in the big picture, but there really hasn’t been much of a difference this season in terms of results whether or not the talented Latvian plays.

Brooklyn head coach Steve Nash also announced recently that Kevin Durant will not take the floor again until after the All-Star break, an update that would have many teams smashing the panic button. Instead, the Nets have been calm and cool in coalescing during the Durantula’s absence, winning the last seven straight without the former MVP. They didn’t miss Durant against the likes of elite teams such as the Lakers, Clippers, Suns, and Pacers, so why would it be an issue against the Mavs?

Jumping all over Brooklyn’s tiny -4.5 point spread at -111 NBA odds is one of our best bets for today, and we suggest grabbing it as fast as possible, because it will likely go up. The Nets have covered the spread in each of their eight wins during their current streak and are 9-3 ATS in the month of February. Brooklyn has also been feeling that West Coast love this season, as evidenced by their 11-3 record against the spread when dealing with Western Conference foes.

The Nets have been relying on a vastly improved defense to get the job done during this stretch, but even though it’s a lot better than it was a few weeks ago, it’s still one of the worst units in the league. In the month of February, Brooklyn’s defensive rating (114.7) is tied for ninth-worst in the NBA, up from fourth-worst in January. The Mavericks, however, have been even lazier in February, posting the fifth-worst defensive rating (118.3).

Not only are these two of the worst teams on defense, they’ve been two of the most potent squads on the other end of the floor in February, with Brooklyn holding the third-highest offensive rating (120.8) and Dallas boasting the fifth-best (118.2).

These teams have gone over the total in five of the last six meetings, and we expect that trend to continue, so we’re taking the over on this game’s 237.5 points total at solid -112 odds as another of our top NBA picks for Saturday night. That may seem like a lot of points, but considering the fact that Brooklyn games with totals of 235+ have hit the over in 10 of 13 tries, we think we should be okay.

Last but not least, we look to the Beard for the third of our top picks for this Saturday night showdown. James Harden has been a revelation since joining the Nets, playing some of the best ball of his career (which is saying something) and, from the looks of it, having the most fun on the court he’s ever had in the process.

Over the past six games, the Beard is averaging 29.3 points and 10.7 assists, so the over on his 38.5 points + assists prop at -125 odds looks like a lovely wager. With a poor defensive unit like the Mavericks coming to town, we’d expect there to be a lot of points in this clash, and when Brooklyn scores a lot of points, you can usually find Harden right in the middle of it.

Stats

  • Brooklyn games have hit the over in 10 of 13 tries when the total is above 235.0
  • The total has gone over in 5 of the past 6 meetings
  • Brooklyn has covered the spread in every win during their 8-game streak
  • James Harden is averaging 29.3 points and 10.7 assists in his last 6 games

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Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve. Follow Alex on Twitter

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