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Game 1 NBA Gambling: Thunder vs. Mavs Free Pick | Preview

NBA Odds: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks Preview & Game 1 Free Pick

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Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks
Date: Tuesday, May 17, 9:00 p.m. ET
Venue: American Airlines Center
Broadcast: ESPN
Thunder vs. Mavericks betting lines from BetOnline.com.com
Money Line: Thunder +220, Mavericks -260
Spread: Dallas -6
Over/Under: 193
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The NBA Western Conference Finals feature two teams gunning for their first championships—but from two very different perspectives. Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks have been oh-so-close for years, while Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder are a bunch of explosive newcomers. They meet for Game 1 on Tuesday.

Dallas has sailed to six consecutive wins, including an impressive four-game sweep over the Lakers in the last round. More importantly, the Mavericks are completely dominating on NBA odds, going 9-0-1 against the spread, including seven consecutive covers.

As usual, Dirk Nowitzki is at the center of attention. He’s averaging 26.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game during the playoffs, but that doesn’t do his level of play against the Lakers justice. Nowitzki shot the lights out, going 39-for-68 (57 percent) from the field.

But Nowitzki was freed up largely because his teammates are starting to come on. Jason Terry struggled through his first four playoff games, scoring 13 or less points three times. He’s bounced back tremendously since then, averaging 20.1 points over his past six games. Terry killed the Lakers in Games 3 and 4, hitting 75 percent of his shots and averaging 27.5 points per outing. Lifetime Bonus at BetOnline

Oklahoma City is coming off a seven-game war with Memphis. The Thunder have been pretty solid against the spread lately, though, going 3-1 in their past four games on NBA odds (Oklahoma City is 6-5-1 against the spread during the 2011 playoffs).

After stinking up the joint in Game 6 against Memphis, Kevin Durant came back to have a career-defining game in Game 7. Durant finished with 39 points and nine rebounds, remind the league that he’s maybe the best young talent in the game. Durant is averging 28.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.

The X-factor for Oklahoma City, however, will be Russell Westbrook. Westbrook racked up a triple-double in Game 7 against Memphis, finishing with 14 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds, but he struggled with his shot once again. Westbrook finished 4-for-12, the eighth time in 12 playoff games the young guard has shot 40 percent or less from the field.

The Mavericks are a good defensive team, and they’ll be able to harass Westbrook into poor shots and turnovers. Durant will get his points, but Dallas will pull away in the end thanks to a better overall team effort. Take the Mavs.

Oklahoma City at Dallas pick: Mavericks

Ian Van Den Hurk has covered amateur and pro sports for years, including a successful run handicapping anything from football to mixed martial arts.

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About Ian Van Den Hurk

Ian Van Den Hurk has covered amateur and pro sports for years, including a successful run handicapping anything from football to mixed martial arts. Looking for more sports betting tips and expert sports handicapping articles from Ian V? We've got your back...


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