NBA Betting: Portland to cut Mavericks down to size

There may not be a more surprising side to date than the Portland Trailblazers, who have delivered a 2-1 start, with wins over the Lakers and Rockets. All Star LaMarcus Aldridge has stepped but it has been a stellar debut from guard Damian Lillard that has lifted the team out of the doldrums once again. He has become only the third rookie to average 20 points and nine assists in the first three games of his NBA career. Little wonder he's now priced at 3.00 for Rookie of the Year.

He gets another test on Monday evening against another shock team, the Dallas Mavericks, who are also 2-1, even in the absence of Dirk Nowitzki. Somehow, they've delivered offensively, pouring 126 points in Saturday's drubbing of Charlotte with OJ Mayo and Darren Collison flourishing in new surroundings.

Portland are 2.65 to maintain their roll with Dallas favoured by -4.5 at 1.91. And with the points line at 198.5, it's worth taking the overs at 1.91.

The Sixers and Knicks get an instant re-match in Philadelphia, barely 24 hours after Carmelo Anthony hit 27 points to spur the New Yorkers to a 100-84 win at Madison Square Garden. The Olympic gold medallist has been a totem in the Knicks' perfect start to the season. The hosts are favoured by 4 points at 1.91 but with Jason Richardson set to miss out with an ankle sprain, a punt on the visitors at 2.45 seems a safe bet.

The greatest mis-match of the night in theory is in Miami, where the Phoenix Suns are 13.00 to torch the Heat. Phoenix are struggling to score, while Miami are still adjusting to their new offensive scheme. So there's some value in going under the total points line of  199.5 at 1.80.

Best bet
Take Portland over Dallas in regulation at 2.65.