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Mavericks at Rockets - 4/21/15 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Dallas Mavericks (50-33) at Houston Rockets (57-26)

NBA Basketball: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 9:30 pm (Toyota Center)

The Line: Houston Rockets -5.5 -- Over/Under: 215 See the Latest Odds

TV: TNT

The Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets meet Tuesday night in game two of their playoff series.

The Dallas Mavericks lost game one of the series on Saturday after turning the ball over 17 times and shooting 44.4 percent from the field. In the loss, Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 24 points and eight rebounds while Monta Ellis produced 16 points and four assists. Tyson Chandler grabbed 18 rebounds and J.J. Barea chipped in 12 points off the bench. The Dallas Mavericks must improve on the defensive end if they’re going to have any chance in this series. The Mavs are slow to react to the ball and sometimes look like they’ve never seen a pick and roll in their life. Another beatdown in this series could quickly end things for the Mavs, as their confidence would be shot. The Mavericks have lost five of their last eight road games.

Mavericks at Rockets - 4/21/15 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets flexed their muscle in the game one victory by shooting 44.7 percent from the field and blocking nine shots. In the win, James Harden led the charge with 24 points and 11 assists while Terrence Jones had 19 points and nine rebounds. Trevor Ariza grabbed 11 rebounds and Corey Brewer scored 15 points off the bench. The Houston Rockets are extremely tough to beat when everybody gets involved, and what’s scary is that Dwight Howards played only 17 minutes due to foul trouble. The Rockets offense gets a lot of the credit, but they grabbed 44 rebounds in the win and produced 11 steals. Houston made the biggest statement of any team in game one. The Rockets have won eight of their last 10 home games.

The Mavericks are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 road games and 18-7-2 ATS in their last 27 Conference Quarterfinals games. The Rockets are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Conference Quarterfinals games and 19-7 ATS in their last 26 home games. The Mavericks are 1-5 ATS in the last 6 meetings in Houston and 1-5 ATS in the last 6 meetings overall. 

I had the Rockets winning the championship before the playoffs began, and boy did they show up in game one. While I expect the Mavs to play a cleaner game, they'e just not good enough defensively to win this game. Look for the Rockets to once again impose their will and cover the reasonable spread. 

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Houston Rockets -5.5

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