Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks - 4/16/16 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Dallas Mavericks (42-40) at Oklahoma City Thunder (55-27)
NBA Basketball: Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 9:30 pm (Chesapeake Energy Arena)
The Line: Oklahoma City Thunder -11.5 -- Over/Under: 206.5 See the Latest Odds
The Dallas Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder do battle in Game 1 tonight at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Mavericks were anything but a consistent team for most of the regular season, but they seemed to get it all together just in time to finish with a 42-40 season record which is good for the sixth seed in the Western Conference. Dirk Nowitzki led from the front with averages of 18.3 points per game, Deron Williams missed 17 games but still averaged 14.1 points and 5.8 assists while Wesley Matthews averaged 12.5 points and 2.4 threes per game. In injury news, JJ Barea is dealing with a groin injury so while he expects to play tonight, his status is still unclear which will be a blow to the Mavs if he doesn't play.
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Meanwhile, the Thunder earned the third seed in the Western Conference with a record of 55-27 which is pretty impressive considering their slow start to the season. Russell Westbrook was a nightly triple-double threat with averages of 23.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game while Kevin Durant led the scoring on most nights to finish with averages of 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game but we all know the Thunder don't get very far unless other role players step up and I'm looking at Serge Ibaka who will look make an impact in the playoffs after averaging just 12.6 points and 6.8 rebounds during the regular season.
In ATS trends, the Mavs are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 against the Western Conference, while the Thunder are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games against teams with a winning record and 4-1 ATS in their last five against the Western Conference.
Head to head, the Mavs are 19-7-1 ATS in the last 27 meetings in Oklahoma City and the road team is 35-16-2 ATS in the last 53 meetings overall.
The Mavs did well to scramble late in the season and earn that sixth seed, but I don't think it'll mean much as I have the Thunder winning this series 4-1 starting with a big win tonight. The Thunder are simply the more talented team and will be playing with a chip on their shoulder following last season's disappointment of missing out on the playoffs.