It's a case of how many the Dallas Mavericks can put past the New Orleans Pelicans tonight, writes Unibet basketball expert Mark Woods...
Dallas Mavericks 1.28, New Orleans Pelicans 3.65 – BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 01.05 GMT
From dropping out of the play-offs last season to surging back in this term, the renaissance of the Dallas Mavericks has flown under the radar but remains one of the more impressive tales of this NBA season.
Winners of eight of their last ten, the Mavs have averaged 106.2 points in that stretch – behind only Houston and the LA Clippers – with their bench contributing hugely to their surge to seventh in the Western Conference.
Dallas, who host the struggling New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday, could be a dangerous floater in the first round for the likes of San Antonio or Houston with the tactical acumen of Rick Carlisle coming to the fore and the longevity of Dirk Nowitzki matching his potency.
The former MVP is notching 21.7 points per game this season, just 0.9 off his career mark, and in three victories over the Pelicans so far, he’s averaged 28.3.
New Orleans, losers of four straight, are struggling offensively although last time out, they went toe to toe with the Clippers in a 123-110 loss. That points to some value in going over the total points line of 209.5 at 2.50 but look at Dallas to win on the handicap at -8.5 at 2.18.
Portland Trail Blazers 1.70, Brooklyn Nets 2.16 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 03.05 GMT
The Portland Trail Blazers have rebounded from a skid with three consecutive victories, despite the absence of LaMarcus Aldridge and even though they’re now out of 10.00 to win the West, their long-term prospects look healthy.
To see off the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, they’ll need large production from Damian Lillard, who has averaged 30.5 points since his fellow All Star went down.
The Nets have hit the wall scoring-wise lately, notching just 96.0 over their last five. That could keep the total points under the line of 201.5 but have a punt on Portland on the match handicap of -5.5 at 2.45.
Best bet: Back Dallas over New Orleans on the handicap at -8.5 at 2.18.