The Western Conference showdown from Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, will see the Dallas Mavericks going against the Portland Trail Blazers for the fourth and ultimate time this season. Dallas leads the series 2-1 with a couple of home wins, but the Mavericks will miss the playoffs for the third year in a row, while the Trail Blazers are the No. 4 seed in the West at the moment and will enter the postseason for the sixth consecutive year. NBA: Wednesday, March 20, 2019, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon, 10:00 PM ET
The Mavs’ poor form continues
The Dallas Mavericks (28-42; 38-31-1 ATS) are coming off a 129-125 overtime loss to the New Orleans Pelicans this past Monday, recording their eighth defeat over the last nine outings and covering the spread just three times in that span. Dirk Nowitzki passed Wilt Chamberlain for the 6th spot on the all-time scoring least, while Luka Doncic posted a triple-double with 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Pelicans. The Mavs will hit the road for their next three games, and they are on a seven-game losing streak away from home.
Luka Doncic is leading the Mavericks this season, and the rookie is tallying 21.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per contest. Another rookie Jalen Brunson has been playing well lately, averaging 16.7 points and 4.8 assists per game over his last ten outings, while the PF Dwight Powell is posting 16.1 points and 7.1 rebounds over his previous ten appearances. The Mavericks are scoring 108.9 points per 100 possessions (20th in the league) on 44.6% shooting from the field (27th) and 34.1% from downtown (also 27th), allowing 110.6 points in a return (18th) on 46.1% shooting from the field (17th).
The Blazers continue to chase the Rockets
The Portland Trail Blazers (43-27; 40-30 ATS) are coming off a 106-98 home victory over the Indiana Pacers Monday night, recording their fourth win in the last five games overall. Damian Lillard had a big night, posting a double-double with 30 points and 15 assists while shooting 9-of-16 from the field. Portland made 46.8% of its field goals and 40.6% of its 3-pointers along with 24 assists. The Trail Blazers missed their starting SG C.J. McCollum due to a knee injury, and the sharpshooter could be sidelined for the rest of the regular season. The Blazers have won four of their last five outings on the home court, covering the spread three times in that stretch.
Damian Lillard is leading the way for the Trail Blazers, averaging 26.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game while making 45.1% of his field goals. C.J. McCollum is tallying 21.3 points per contest on 46.3% shooting from the field, while the big man Jusuf Nurkic is posting 15.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. The Blazers are scoring 113.8 points per 100 possessions (5th in the league) on 46.4% shooting from the field (13th) and 35.8% from beyond the arc (9th), conceding 110.1 points in a return (16th) on 45.6% shooting from the field (13th).
- 2-13 SU and 4-11 ATS in the last 15 games overall
- 0-7 SU and 2-5 ATS in the last seven games on the road
- Over is 5-2 in the last seven contests on the road
Portland Trail Blazers:
- 10-2 SU and 9-3 ATS in the last 12 games at home
- 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings with the Southwest Division
- Over is 9-1 in the last ten games at home
The Winner Prediction
While the Mavericks are eliminated from the playoff race, the Blazers are just one game behind the No. 3 seed Houston Rockets and 1.5 games ahead of the Spurs and the Thunder. Hereof, the Blazers are highly motivated to keep up with a strong performance and should have no problems to beat the Mavs on the home court, so I’m backing them to cover the spread. Also, the Mavs have been awful against the spread lately.
The Pick: Portland Trail Blazers -10.0 (-110)