We cashed a ticket on the Oklahoma City Thunder as they bounced back from the worst loss in NBA history to win outright as 3.5-point underdogs. We’ll try to make it two straight wins as I’m targeting a team that’s done remarkably well coming off a loss this season.
Let’s head to Big D, where the Mavericks get set to host the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.
We successfully backed a team off a loss on Monday, and I think it’s worth revisiting that strategy on Tuesday night. The Nets opened as a 2.5-point road favorite, but that number’s now dropped a point with sharp bettors lining up to bet the Mavericks. When a line moves against you, it’s essential to understand the reason behind the move. I suspect that part of the reason is that Dallas is 7-3 straight up against Brooklyn in its past ten games and 5-1 straight up as the home team. Lastly, Dallas won and covered the spread in the previous three meetings.
However, things might be slightly different this season as the Mavericks rank 19th in offensive efficiency with 104.8 points per 100 possessions. In contrast, Brooklyn’s 12th with 107 points per 100 possessions. This is a different Nets team from the one the Mavericks have faced in the past, as Brooklyn is placing a much greater emphasis on its defense this season. Part of that seems very much by design as the team is still without some offense while Kyrie Irving remains on sabbatical.
Brooklyn ranks seventh in defensive efficiency, allowing 103.3 points per 100 possessions, while Dallas is 22nd in allowing 106.5 points per possession.
The Mavericks haven’t been in the best form of late, with just one win in their past five games. As for the Nets, they’re coming off a Saturday loss at home to the Bulls. With a few days of rest in between, I like the Nets’ chances of being able to regroup off a defeat. Neither team’s done exceptionally well against the spread as Brooklyn is 9-14 ATS while Dallas is 9-13. However, Brooklyn has the better record in the standings as it’s 16-7 while Dallas is 11-11.
But here’s what bettors should keep in mind for the trial season, all seven of the Nets’ losses resulted in a win the next time they took the court. That says a lot about how prideful this team is in that they’re not going to tolerate a drop in standards for an extended period.
Even though I’m against the market in this spot, I’m willing to stick to my guns here. I will, however, reduce my risk to a half-unit because I must admit that there is some worry that I’ve missed something in my handicap. And with the point spread now falling, I’ll look to just back the Nets on the money line at -126 odds.
Pick: Nets ML -126 (risking a 1/2 unit)