NBA Basketball Betting: Boston Celtics at Dallas Mavericks

NBA Basketball Betting:  Boston Celtics at Dallas Mavericks

East against West on Monday night as the rebuilding Boston Celtics head to Texas to take on the Dallas Mavericks. Boston is 1-1 in the young NBA season while the Mavs are 2-1. The Mavericks have covered all three of their games–the loss came on opening night in a 1 point loss as a +3′ point underdog at San Antonio.

Dallas looks like a very good team once again this year. They’ve done a good job rebuilding with young talent around Dirk Nowitzki all while remaining competitive. The biggest concern so far in Dallas is the team’s bizarre first and second half dichotomy. The starting lineup has played great in the first quarter and lousy in the third quarter. The starting lineup has outscored opponents by 20 points in the first quarter and has been outscored by 17 in the third quarter. It hasn’t been lost on head coach Rick Carlisle: “We’ve talked about it, and we’re going to have to do better. We’ve been really poor in all three games. That’s another thing that’s at the top of our list. … Obviously, you’ve got to play the first two quarters first and get to that point, but we know it’s a weakness of ours right now and we’ve got to turn it into a strength.”

Boston still has a lot of rebuilding work to do under second year coach Brad Stevens but the Celtics are becoming a very competitive road team. They covered 9 of their last 10 spots as a road dog of 9 or more to close out the 2013-2014 season. Since 2012 they’re 10-5 ATS as a road dog of between 9′ and 12 points. Dallas, meanwhile, hasn’t been a great home team in recent years–they’re just 42-44 ATS since 2012.

Tough scheduling spot for the Mavs–they’re off a win at New Orleans on Saturday, play this game at home against Boston, and then have three days off before they play at Portland on Thursday. The Celtics are not only a ‘non conference’ opponent but also a team that won’t provide any intrinsic motivation–they’re still seen as a ‘doormat’. They’re far from being a contender but they have shown that they can be competitive on the road and we’ll take them plus the points.