TUESDAY APRIL 27, 2010 – San Antonio Spurs vs Dallas Mavericks
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San Antonio: 50-32 SU, 44-37-1 ATS
Dallas: 55-27 SU, 36-44-2 ATS
How bad is it for the Dallas Mavericks? ***Erik Dampier was fined $35,000 for merely mentioning that the refs might not be giving the Mavs a fair shake.
Matchup: SPURS vs. MAVERICKS
Time: Tuesday 9:30 ET
Venue: American Airlines Center, Dallas
Spread: Mavericks -4.5
***A member of the Mavs radio broadcast team was suspended for using a racial remark about Mexicans on his Twitter account.
Sure, Dallas didn’t catch a break when it had to take on the rested-and-ready Spurs in the first round, but there are no easy outs in the West, and it’s really no one’s fault but the Mavs’ own that they barfed up home-court advantage in Game 2.
What to do about it is another issue. The Mavs think they can still win this series, figuring that they won’t lose twice at home in a 7-game stretch, and if they take care of business in North Texas, then they can steal the series with one win in San Antonio. Wishful thinking, maybe.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle draws a pretty good paycheck to make adjustments, and he hasn’t got much time left to figure out a way to beat Spurs double-teams on Dirk Nowitzki. The big German was held to 17 points on only 10 shots in the Game 4 loss, which would have been OK were it not for the fact that the rest of the team is hardly shooting lights out.
San Antonio, meanwhile, has been hitting on 16s and drawing 4s and 5s. George Hill’s 29 points in Game 4 came out of the blue and just adds one more brick on the Mavs’ backpacks as they start to head up a steep incline. Dealing with Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan is tough enough, but Hill’s energy throws Dallas’s defensive game plan into the trash bin.
Spurs vs. Mavs Free NBA Prediction
Three unders and a push have dropped the O/U number to 192.5 after four straight games in the 194-194.5 range, which provides a slight opening for players of the over.
Dallas is 13th out of 16 playoff teams in points per game, with only 91.8, and the Mavericks have to be concerned that they are scoring 10 fewer a game than during the regular season.
San Antonio’s solid play has a lot to do with it, but you have to wonder why the Mavs are just not the same team they were over 5½ months during the regular season.
Dallas figures to circle the wagons at home for one last time; San Antonio, playing with house money and with a huge margin for error, probably won’t go all out in this one. Take Dallas and lay the 4.5.
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Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling and travel expert from Massachusetts.