Mavericks And Rockets In Texas Showdown

By: Adam Markowitz | Friday, March 23, 2012

NBA betting action is generally going to take a backseat to the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, but there are still nine pro games for us to analyze.

The showcase game of the evening will pit the Houston Rockets up against the defending NBA champs, the Dallas Mavericks. This showdown in Houston is pivotal in the Southwest Division standings. The Rockets, Mavericks, and Memphis Grizzlies are separated by a total of just one game.

Dallas has absolutely owned this series of late, going 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in the last four clashes. It is also 7-2 ATS in its last nine visits to the Toyota Center. The Rockets have already won and covered both of their first two games on this four-game home stand, averaging 108.0 PPG in the process. The Mavericks had their four-game winning streak halted on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

This 8:00 p.m. (ET) tip can be seen on local FOX Sports networks and on NBA TV.

This is only the first of two games on tap for those who have NBA TV. The Golden State Warriors will also host the Sacramento Kings at Oracle Arena in a 10:30 p.m. (ET) tip.

These two teams are going nowhere fast in the Western Conference, and they are both frequently overmatched. Injuries are plaguing both teams as well. Jason Thompson is battling an ankle injury that he suffered against the Utah Jazz on Thursday night and he is listed as questionable for this one. Golden State is still without Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut with ankle injuries while Andris Biedrins has missed two straight games with a groin injury.

Sacramento had covered four in a row in this series before it was destroyed by the Warriors at home 115-89 on March 13.

There is one afternoon tip on Saturday, and it comes at Staples Center, where the Los Angeles Clippers will host the Memphis Grizzlies. The coach on the hottest seat in the game right now is Vinny Del Negro, who has reportedly lost control of his locker room.

That being said, the best remedy for a bad locker room is winning, and this is going to be a great opportunity against a Memphis team that is just 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS in its last five games. However, the Clippers have dropped three in a row SU and six in a row from an ATS standpoint.

Tip time in Tinseltown is set for 3:00 p.m. (ET).

In the lone 7:00 p.m. (ET) tip, the Washington Wizards will take on the Atlanta Hawks. The 7:30 p.m. (ET) start times feature a lot of teams in the Eastern Conference that are trying to get back in the playoff race. The New York Knicks, who are still undefeated under the direction of interim coach Mike Woodson, will battle the Detroit Pistons while the New Jersey Nets host the Charlotte Bobcats.

There are three 8:00 p.m. (ET) duels on Saturday night. Aside from the Dallas/Houston clash, the Toronto Raptors will look for the upset of the Chicago Bulls in the Windy City while the San Antonio Spurs try to improve their 12-10 SU road record against the New Orleans Hornets.

At 8:30 p.m. (ET), two Central Division rivals will square off at the Bradley Center, where the Milwaukee Bucks will host the Indiana Pacers.

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