#518 Dallas Mavericks -2.5 over Denver Nuggets 7:35 PM CT
Denver is looking like a Western Conference playoff threat, actually leading the Northwest Division at 13-9 to sit just ahead of Minnesota and Portland for the moment. The Nuggets are just 5-4 in the last nine games however and the last four wins have come against some of the league’s worst teams in the Lakers, Bulls, Grizzlies, and Kings and only Saturday’s win over the Lakers came by more than eight points.
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At 6-17 Dallas might appear to be one of the worst teams in the NBA but the Mavericks have four wins in the past seven games including beating the Milwaukee and Oklahoma City. Despite being 13-9 Denver’s average scoring differential is just +0.6 while Dallas has an average scoring differential of just -3.9 per game despite being 11 games below .500. Denver is just 3-7 S/U and 2-8 ATS on the road this season for a huge disparity for a team that benefits from a natural home court edge playing at altitude. Dallas is actually a stronger defensive efficiency team in this matchup and the home team has won six of the last eight meetings between these teams.
Coming off a prominent home win over the Lakers and now heading out on a road trip makes this a less than ideal spot for the Nuggets while Dallas has been formidable in recent home games with wins and narrow losses against quality teams. Over the last five games Dallas has allowed just 96.2 points per game while Denver has allowed 106.6 points per game with Dallas +6.2 in scoring while going 3-2 and Denver -6.2 in net points per game despite going 3-2 in that span.
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