A clash between the last two NBA champions headlines Thursday’s slate but it’s a measure of how far Dallas has fallen that few will give them a prayer against Miami.
Since lifting the title in 2011, it’s been downhill all the way for the Mavericks and even when Dirk Nowitzki eventually returns after Christmas, it’s hard to see them bouncing back to pick up a play-off spot in the ultra-deep Western Conference.
They’re shipping 101.5 points per game and are 5-11 when their opponents rack up over 100, a tally which the Heat have hit in eight of their last ten games.
LeBron James is 1.85 to score 26 points or over and with the Mavs defence containing more holes than a sieve, back the MVP for a spree which would extend his streak of 20+ games to 22 this season. And take the Heat to win by much more than 5.5 points at 1.91.
After breaking their franchise winning streak record of 12, Oklahoma City will hope it’s not unlucky 13 when they visit Minnesota. And on past evidence, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will relish a chance to feed their hosts to the wolves.
When these teams met earlier in 2012, both hit the 40-point mark in an overtime victory for the Thunder and they’ve remained in impressive form this term.
The Timberwolves come in off losses to Miami and Orlando but with Ricky Rubio likely to play, Kevin Love is a tempting 1.85 to score more than 21 points. But it seems a smart move to back OKC to keep up their streak at 1.56.
Bet of the Day: Take LeBron James to score 26 points or more against Dallas at 1.85.