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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Dallas Mavericks Gambling & NBA Handicapping Prediction

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Dallas Mavericks NBA Betting Odds

The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off of a bounce-back win over the Atlanta Hawks—a much-needed blowout victory after losing to the last-place Los Angeles Lakers at home—but life doesn’t get any easier as a brutal road trip begins with the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, March 7. [ad-4468020]

Portland (42-19) @ Dallas (36-26)
Friday, March 7 8:30 p.m. ET @ American Airlines Center
Spread: Dallas -2 / OU: 214.5

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Although the Mavs may not be considered a contender in most people’s eyes, they’ve been a pleasant surprise, as a new-look roster has exceeded league-wide expectations. Portland and Dallas have faced off twice this season, and they’ve each grabbed one win in the series.

Portland

As previously noted, Portland desperately needed a big win, and it got one on ESPN against the Atlanta Hawks. Not only was the team coming off of one of the most inexplicable losses of the season, but it needed momentum entering its current road trip.

With Dallas up first, the Trail Blazers will be kicking off the five-game stretch against a rival. This battle may not get much recognition leaguewide, but there’s a reason the two have had so many classic finishes throughout the years.

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Unfortunately for the Mavs, Portland walked away victorious the last time they faced off, and like the recent outing against Atlanta, it was in blowout fashion.

For Portland, this game comes down to high energy for 48 minutes. In the blowout win in January, Portland gained a 38-point lead at one point in the fourth quarter, only to allow the Mavericks to outscore them 41-23 in the final period.
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This road trip has serious playoff implications for the Blazers, and a strong showing will give them both confidence and momentum down the stretch.

Dallas

Dirk Nowitzki may be in the twilight of his career, but the Dallas Mavericks are still his team, and he’s still the reason they’re in the hunt for the playoffs with just 20 games remaining.

The key matchup in this one is Nowitzki vs. LaMarcus Aldridge. The two big men both know how to dominate the mid-range, and while Nowitzki is clearly more efficient on the perimeter, Aldridge has the edge in the post.

From an historical perspective, Nowitzki has won the battle with Aldridge throughout the years. He’s 13-10 all-time against the Portland big man, and his 22.3 points-per-game average bests Aldridge’s 21.7 in head-to-head competition.

From an efficiency standpoint, Aldridge earns the nod, having shot 52.1 percent to Nowitzki’s 48.4 percent.

Basketball is a team game, but the NBA is as star-driven as it comes. Whichever team sees its star perform will likely earn the edge, and in this case, expect home-court advantage to do more for Dallas than it did back in January.

Prediction: Dallas 108 – Portland 101

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