Mavs Battle Pistons

The Dallas Mavericks and the Detroit Pistons have learned a lot about playing second fiddle this season. Thanks to its recent surge, however, Dallas might not be toiling in the shadows much longer.

Looking to claim a share of the Southwest Division lead for the first time in two months, the Mavericks go for their season high-tying fifth straight win on Wednesday when they host the Pistons - the second-best team in the Eastern Conference.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Dallas –2.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 189 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 57% of bets for this game have been placed on Detroit +2.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Dallas had the league's best record last season at 67-15, while Detroit led the East with 53 wins.

This season, however, the Mavericks (23-11) have yielded Southwest supremacy to the reigning NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, while the Pistons (26-8) have taken a back seat to the new-look Boston Celtics in the East.

The Mavericks, though, can erase their half-game deficit and reclaim a share of the division lead for the first time since they were 4-1 on Nov. 8 with a win against Detroit. New Orleans, tied with Dallas for second place, can also take advantage of the idle Spurs on Wednesday as it hosts the Los Angeles Lakers.

Dallas has made its run by winning nine of its last 11 games, including its last four. The Mavericks outscored Minnesota 58-35 in the first half of their 101-78 win on Sunday - their second consecutive victory over a team in last place in its conference.

"We didn't want to play to the level of our competition," Dallas forward Josh Howard told the team's official Web site.

While Dallas has taken advantage of lesser opponents - it beat lowly Miami on Friday - the schedule wasn't as kind to Detroit in its last outing.

The Pistons had their 11-game win streak snapped with a 92-85 home loss to Boston on Saturday. They're downplaying the significance of the defeat, which dropped them four games behind the Celtics.

"They're a little more happy than we were when we won our game at their place," Detroit point guard Chauncey Billups said, referring to the Pistons' 87-85 victory in Boston on Dec. 19. "It was just a regular game for us with two good teams playing. They were kind of playing like it was the Super Bowl.

"There was probably a little more at stake for them and their psyche than it was for us."

The Pistons will have to deal with another good team in the Mavericks, who are playing better lately thanks in part to the resurgence of Dirk Nowitzki. The sharpshooting forward got off to a slow start, scoring less than 20 points in 11 of his first 24 games, but lately has played more like he did during his MVP season in 2006-07.

"I felt like early on, I was looking around too much for what was going to happen," said Nowitzki, averaging 25.6 points and 9.2 rebounds in his last 10 games. "I was waiting on the double team too much and I wasn't really being aggressive. Over the last couple of weeks, I've found a good mix of when my shot is there. And when it's not there, move (the ball)."

Nowitzki averaged 28.5 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting 57.1 percent from the field against Detroit as the teams split last season's series.

The Pistons won in Dallas last season, and have gone 9-1 in their last 10 road games.

The Mavericks, meanwhile, are 16-3 at American Airlines Center.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Fultz to go to the 76ers? The Boston Celticshave traded out of the No. 1 pick. The Philadelphia 76ersnow hold the top pick once again. Is it a slam dunk who they will take in the NBA...
Thumbnail 2018 NBA Finals Odds After dominating the 2017 NBA Playoffs, will anyone keep the Golden State Warriors from winning the NBA Finals again...
Thumbnail Stephen Curry Game 5 Props Will Stephen Curry bounce back from a poor showing in Game 4 when the Golden State Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals tonight at 9PM...
Thumbnail Will James get another triple-double? Will LeBron James add to his NBA Finals record of nine triple-doubles when the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals...
Thumbnail NBA Finals Game 5 Pick Can the Golden State Warriors finish off the Cleveland Cavaliers when the NBA Finals moves back to California for Game 5 tonight at 9PM...

NBA Headlines

  • NEW YORK (AP) Markelle Fultz is still expected to be the No. 1 pick, though the destination has changed.
    Lonzo Ball wants to stay home with the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 2, and it seems surer...
  • WASHINGTON (AP) The Washington Wizards have acquired point guard Tim Frazier from the New Orleans Pelicans for a second-round pick in the NBA draft.
    Wednesday's deal gives the Pelicans the No...
  • LOS ANGELES (AP) Nick Young will be an unrestricted free agent this summer after declining his $5.66 million contract option for next season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
    The Lakers announced ...
  • MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Timberwolves enter the NBA draft with the No. 7 overall pick in the first round, and not sure if the player they want will be available. And that player might not ne...
  • MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Timberwolves enter the NBA draft on Thursday night with the No. 7 overall pick and a whole lot of options.
    The Wolves can stay there and take a player they like...

NBA Team Pages