NBA Betting Preview: Tonight's playoff match-ups

It’s not a question of if. Just when. The Dallas Mavericks, bar the most incredulous fightback in NBA history, will not be defending their title. On Saturday, they will attempt to salvage some pride by avoiding a 4-0 sweep in their first round series with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

No team has ever retrieved a three-game deficit and not even Dallas have been making optimistic noises. Losing Game 3 95-79 underlined how far they have fallen from last June’s Championship run. OKC have hit their stride again after a late season slump which spells doom for the Mavs. They’re at 1.80 to advance into the Western Conference semi-finals at the earliest possibility. Expect them to hold the total points under 193.0.

San Antonio can take a huge step into the next round if they can claim Game 3 of their series with Utah in Salt Lake City. Winning the first two games by an average of 26 points, the Spurs have that menacing look in their eyes. And with the mantra of saving their ageing legs as much as possible this season, nothing would please coach Greg Popovich more than taking the next two games and then watching Memphis and the Clippers exhaust each other.

However, the Jazz are 5.5-point underdogs and a healthy 3.10 to win in regulation. Expect a high-scoring battle, going over the line of 202.5 total points (available at 1.91).

The Clippers and Grizzlies are locked at 1-1 as their series moves back to LA on Saturday. In what will be a pivotal game, Memphis will turn to defence to try and steal back homecourt advantage on their rivals floor. They’re 2.25 underdogs to win which is a tempting bet, as is going under the total of 186 points.

The day’s other tie sees Indiana try to grab a 3-1 cushion in Orlando. In the last two games, the Pacers have held the Magic’s offense in a vice and that’s why they’re favoured at 1.48.

Bet of the Day: Go under 193 total points in Mavericks-Thunder at 1.91.