San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks
Date and Time: Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: American Airlines Arena, Dallas, TX
Opening NBA Odds: Check Back Later
Spurs at Mavericks TV Coverage: TNT
The Spurs are probably going to make the playoffs, but they don’t look like a team that can give Golden State, Denver or Houston any trouble. San Antonio has two really good players in DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge, but the days of Gregg Popovich doing a good job coaching a team are long since past. The Spurs have been a good home team, but they have struggled on the road.
San Antonio is just 15-18-1 ATS on the road, with 23 games going over the total, 10 going under, with one push. They are averaging about 112 points per game and giving up 111 per contest. San Antonio is stuck in a system under Popovich that simply doesn’t work in today’s NBA. The Spurs play too slow and they don’t take enough 3-point shots. San Antonio can still play .500 basketball, but they are no threat to any of the top teams in the league.
The Mavericks are in a position where they have no incentive to win. The Mavericks traded away their 2019 NBA Draft pick to Atlanta in the Luka Doncic deal, but the pick is top-five protected. That means that if the Mavericks finish with one of the five worst records in the league they get to keep their pick; if not it goes to the Hawks. It would take a lot of tanking for the Mavericks to fall all the way into the bottom five of the league, but they are sure trying. The Mavericks probably won’t lose enough games to fall into the bottom five, but until they have no chance of that happening they are going to continue to tank.
Dallas was 20-11-1 ATS in their first 32 home games, with 13 games going over and 19 going under the total. They are averaging about 108 points per game and giving up about 110 per contest.
The Spurs have won 8 of the last 10 in this series, but they have had all kinds of trouble against the spread, going 2-8. Five of those games went over the total and five went under. The Spurs have also won six of the last ten in Dallas and they are 5-5 ATS. Seven of those ten went under the total.
What do you do in this one? The Spurs are not a good road team and I think they are a mismanaged team, but the Mavericks have no incentive to win. The question is going to be whether Dallas will deliberately try to lose games at home that they could win. This is one of those games. The Spurs are not a power team and Dallas is capable of winning this game. I would lean toward the Mavericks, but I think the better play is the total. The Spurs have not played good defense on the road this season and Dallas has shown no interest at all of late in playing defense. I expect this will be a shootout that goes down to the wire. I would lean toward taking the points with Dallas, but I think the better choice is to play the game over the total.
Spurs at Mavericks NBA Picks: Over the Total
Spurs at Mavericks Score Prediction: Mavericks 128, Spurs 125