NBA Betting: Dallas Mavericks host Hornets

By: David Schwab | Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The New Orleans Hornets close out their regular season against the Dallas Mavericks in a possible preview of a first-round matchup between the two in the upcoming NBA playoffs.

Tip-off from American Airlines Arena in Dallas is set for 5 p.m. (PT) and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.

New Orleans is currently eighth in the Western Conference, a half-game behind seventh-place Memphis. The Hornets are coming off a 90-78 loss to Utah on Monday night as a seven-point home favorite that dropped their record to 46-35 straight up and 39-40-2 against the spread. Right now it appears that the Hornets will face No.1 seed San Antonio in the first round, but there is still an outside chance they could face Dallas with a win in this game combined with a pair of Grizzlies’ losses.

This team has pressed on since losing leading scorer David West for the season with a torn ACL. Chris Paul, who is averaging 16 points, 4.1 rebounds and 9.8 assists a game, and Carl Landry (11.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG) have done a pretty good job so far at filling the void.

Trevor Ariza continues to elevate his game and has become a solid scoring threat in West’s absence with 75 points in his last five games.

New Orleans is ranked 27th in the league in scoring with 95 points a game, but is fourth in fewest points allowed, giving up an average of 93.7. Its points allowed has risen to 97 a game with West out of the lineup, while its points scored has remained at 95. The Hornets are shooting 45.9 percent from the field and 36 percent from three-point range.

Dallas’s 98-91 overtime victory at Houston on Monday as a 3 ½-point favorite gives it a half-game lead over the Los Angeles Lakers for the second seed in the West. The Lakers host the Spurs on Tuesday night before closing at Sacramento on Wednesday.

The Mavericks have now won three straight to run their record to 56-25 SU and 43-36-2 ATS. This follows a recent four-game losing streak that preceded a five-game winning streak.

The one constant for Dallas over this roller-coaster ride down the stretch has been the play of Dirk Nowitzki. He is scoring 22.9 points a game and pulling down an average of seven rebounds.

Shawn Marion is averaging 12.5 points and 6.9 rebounds and Jason Terry is adding 15.8 points a game off the bench. Jason Kidd still leads the team in assists with 8.2 a game and Tyson Chandler is the leading rebounder with 9.4.

The Mavericks are averaging 100 points and 41.4 rebounds a game while shooting 47.4 percent from the field. They are 12th in the league from three-point range; converting on 36.3 percent of their attempts and are 77.6 percent foul shooting team.

New Orleans is 1-3 ATS in its last four games on the road but 3-2 ATS in its last five games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in three of its last five games.

Dallas is 3-2 ATS in its last five home games and 3-0 ATS in its last three games overall. The total is 2-2-1 in its last five games overall.

Head-to-head, the Hornets have won two of three games SU this season, but lost to the Mavericks 98-95 in Dallas as a three-point underdog on Nov.15. The total has gone ‘over’ in two of these games.

This time around the Mavs should open as a four- or five-point favorite and remain a solid pick to win and cover as they will most likely need one more victory to ensure second place in the conference.

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