Clippers in look-ahead spot on Monday?

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks 3/7/16 NBA Picks & Predictions

The Mavericks have lost two in a row and will be playing on back-to-back nights when they host the Clippers at 8:30PM ET tonight. Is Dallas set for a rebound?

According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Clippers are 5-point road favorites at the Mavericks while the over/under is sitting at 209.5 points, down from the opening number of 210. (Compare lines from multiple sports books at our NBA Betting Odds page.)

Dallas has burned us twice in its last two games. We predicted they would cover as a 6.5-point home favorite versus the Kings last Thursday and they lost outright, 104-101. Then we predicted they would cover against the Nuggets at Denver as a 4-point favorite and again, they lost outright 116-114 in overtime.

Fool me twice…

But despite the Mavs' penchant for ruining our nights, plus the fact that they'll be playing on rest, we like them to cover tonight for several reasons. For starters, playing on back-to-back nights hasn't been a problem this year for Dallas. The team is 8-6 against the spread playing on no rest, losing by an average margin of just -2.2 points in those 14 situations.

The Clippers, who are hot on the Thunder's tail in the Western Conference, also have a date in OKC on Wednesday night. It would be easy to overlook a Mavericks squad coming off back-to-back losses against bad teams. Technically L.A. is in a revenge spot after losing 118-108 at Dallas the last time these two teams played, but that game occurred all the way back on November 11.

The Mavericks are an average team and average teams win games against quality opponents when losing back-to-back contests against substandard foes, especially when the majority of the public doesn't expect them to. Or, in the case of tonight, stay within 5 points of said quality opponent.

MONDAY NBA FREE PICK: DALLAS MAVERICKS +5

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