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Date: Tuesday, April 21st 2015 at 9:30pm ET
The Houston Rockets opened up their first round series with a win 118-108 win over the Dallas Mavericks at the Toyota Center. These two meet again in Houston for game 2 on Tuesday night.
Houston jumped out to a big lead in the 1st quarter (32-19), but the Mavericks were able to close the gap by halftime. However, the Rockets won both quarters in the 2nd half to win comfortably.
The Rockets have opened up as a –5.5 point home favorite on the point spread. Houston opened up as a –200 money line favorite, while the Mavericks are priced at +200 on the money line to win SU.
The over/under is 215 points, which seems high, but these two teams can clearly put up points.
Sharp money is betting the Mavs early, so I expect this point spread to drop. I’ll be betting on the Mavs at +5.5 points to cover ATS. I’ll explain why I’m betting Dallas below in my game preview.
James Harden led the way for the Rockets in game 1 with 24 points and 11 assists. Dirk Nowitzki had a great game, as he finished with 24 points and 8 rebounds, but he also led all players with 6 turnovers.
Dallas lost the turnover battle 17-13 and this team can’t afford turning the basketball over that much if they expect to win. The biggest reason the Mavs lost was because of foul trouble.
Houston went 32 of 45 from the charity stripe, while the Mavericks only got to the line 17 times (14 of 17). All of the starters on both teams ended up scoring in double digits in game 1 as well.
The Mavs have to ensure they cover the 3-ball better as well. Houston shot 40% from deep (10 of 25). Jason Terry and Corey Brewer – two sharpshooters — scored seven of those 3-pointers.
Terry and Brewer are unlikely to attack the rim, so the Mavs have to ensure they cover these two guys on the perimeter. I thought Dallas did a great job at limiting Dwight Howard in game 1.
He was held to 5 rebounds, but Trevor Ariza and Terrance Jones combined for 20 rebounds. Dallas did win the rebounding battle (49-44) and they’ll need to do the same on Tuesday night.
The game plan is simple for the Mavericks. Stay out of foul trouble to keep the Rockets off the FT line and defend the perimeter better. If Dallas can do that they’ll cover and likely win the game.
BetOnline offers the best parlay payout odds, so make sure you’re betting your NBA playoff parlays at BOL. I’ve explained why I like the Mavericks. I’m also adding the over in the Wizards vs. Raptors.
The first game was very low scoring, as the Wizards won 93-86 in OT. The game got off to a very slow start and never recovered. These two teams can score and push the pace, so look for points in G2.
The third quarter was also very poor from an offensive standpoint. The Raptors only shot 38% from the field (35 of 92) and 20.7% from beyond the arc (6 of 29) – both well below their season averages.
Washington struggled too, as they shot 39.4% from the field (39 of 99) and 28.6% from 3-point distance (6 of 21). With the shooters these teams have, I’d be shocked if this game doesn’t go over.