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Odds and Ends

Fade the Lakers and Rockets? Points in Dallas

by Vaughn Dalzell
Updated On: February 22, 2021, 5:39 pm ET

Top Game to Bet: Grizzlies at Mavericks (-5)

NBC Edge's model loves this Over as the strongest play of the day, and I agree. The Over is 8-1 in Grizzlies' last nine overall and 7-0 in Mavericks' previous seven overall. This trend is hot, hot and hot. 

Over the last five games, Dallas allows 124.4 points per game (27th) and Memphis 118.0 (23rd). In that span, the Mavs allow opponents to hit 50.2% from the field (25th) and the Grizzlies 50.6% (26th). From three, it is more of the same, with Memphis ranked 26th (41.4%) and Dallas 27th (42.9%). 

For freebies, Dallas is tied-21st with 24.2 free-throws to opponents and Memphis comes in at eighth (19.4). Both teams have been aggressive offensively, which is a positive for this matchup. From free-throw shooting alone, Dallas has attempted 25.2 freebies per game (7th) in the last five and Memphis is ranked 13th at 23.2. Both squads rank top eight with 83.6% (Memphis) and 85.7% (Dallas) in that stretch. 

The Mavericks average the most points per game in the league over the last five games. Dallas averages 128.0 points per game in that span and Memphis is at 113.0 despite their embarrassing 97 points against Phoenix. Excluding that matchup, Memphis averages 117.0 in the last four games.

Dallas is shooting the three at 40.4 attempts per game (6th) in this stretch and 4-1 SU (80%) overall. Dallas is 8-2 (80%) to the Over in the last 10 games and Memphis is 7-3 (70%). During the Mavericks seven-game Over streak, the total game average has been 251.8 with a low of 235. During Memphis' 7-1 Over (87.5%) streak, the total game average has been 232.5 with a low of 204, being the lone Under. In the Overs, the average score is 236.5 and the low is 225 in the last game.

Luka Doncic is averaging 33.2 points per game over his last eight contests and coming off back-to-back performances of 44 and 46 points. Doncic has three 40-point performances this month and no 30-point games. Kristaps Porzingis has scored 18 or more points in seven of the last eight outings with four 20-point plus performances. 

Ja Morant and Jonas Valanciunas are carrying the Grizzlies and over the last eight games. Morant is averaging 19.3 points on the month with three games of 22 or more over the previous six. Valanciunas is averaging 18.1 points in the same span but posted five 20-plus point games in his last 11. The Grizzlies get Brandon Clarke back to the lineup but still list Dillon Brooks as day-to-day (thigh). Dallas enters this matchup completely healthy. 

Both squads have a few rotational players that can assist in hitting the Over. The top trend for this matchup is the Over for Dallas. The Mavs are 44-25 (63.8%) in Dallas' last 69 games as a favorite. The previous five scores between Dallas and Memphis have combined for 217, 228, 260, 256 (OT), and 234 points. Take the Over as four of the last five meetings have hit 228 or more and defense is an afterthought for both squads right now.

Bet Locked In: Over 232.0 (1.5u)


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Top Team to Fade: Los Angeles Lakers

Yes, you read that right. I am fading the Lakers at home versus the Washington Wizards. If this was not 2021, you could ask me to take any intelligence test you would like, and I would understand, but times have changed.

So much that the Wizards have won four straight games and enter this game 4-1 ATS and SU (80%) over the previous five games. The Lakers are on the struggle bus, sitting at 2-3 SU and ATS (40%) in the same span while enduring yet another issue. LA is already without Anthony Davis and now down Dennis Schroder due to COVID tracing. He will not be available for this matchup, so the Lakers now have LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell to lead the pack.

The Lakers are holding opponents to 103.0 points per game (2nd) in the last five contests, 44.3% from the field (6th) but 41.6% from three (23rd). LA is also middle of the pack when it comes to opponents' free throw attempts (10th) with 20.0 per game and assists (T-16th) at 24.3. Regarding rebounding, LA allows opponents 42.0 boards per game (13th), while only grabbing 40.0 per game themselves (25th) since Davis' departure.

Washington is rebounding at the best rate of the season. Over the last four games, Washington is tied-second in the league with 50.0 rebounds per game and averaging the fifth-most points per game at 120.8. The Lakers are last over the last four games with 102.3 points per game. Schroder accounted for 19 and 24 points in two of the previous four games, with 10 combined in the other two. Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal are going to be relentless versus this Lakers backcourt. 

Los Angeles beat Minnesota by eight and Memphis by 10 in their last two wins. Before that, LA needed three straight OTs to escape Detroit once and Oklahoma City twice. This team stays competitive but certainly not looking good as everything is falling on LeBron James' shoulders.

These two teams have been trending in entirely opposite directions the past five games, and for the third straight game, I am fading the Lakers. The Wizards have covered in three of their last four games as a road underdog and I like them here.

Bet Locked In: Wizards +7.5 (1u)


Monday Betting Notes:

Bulls at Rockets: Bulls +1

DeMarcus Cousins could be playing his final game with the Rockets and how that goes is a huge question mark. I feel implied to take the Bulls based on this Rockets team knows they are just trying to get to the All-Star break. Houston has been on the sharp decline losing seven straight and eight of the previous nine games.

Houston had two games postponed, so they have had off since Feb. 17. The Bulls are 3-1 SU (75%) over the previous four games and beat Houston 125-120 in the first meeting. Houston had Christian Wood (Out) and Victor Oladipo (doubtful) in that game, who combined for 62 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists. 

Without them, the Rockets' arsenal revolves around Cousins (questionable), John Wall and Eric Gordon. The Bulls are without Otto Porter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen for this meeting. Markkanen was the only player unavialbe for this meeting that played the last time for Chicago. Wall was sidelined for that matchup, so this will be his first game versus Chicago with Houston.

The Rockets won seven straight over the Bulls before that five-point victory in Chicago this season. I believe the Bulls are going to start their own streak as the tables have turned in this series. In Chicago's last six games, the only two losses have come against the 76ers and Clippers, both on the road. The other four games have featured Bulls victories at Indiana and in Chicago versus Detroit, New Orleans and Sacramento. 

This matchup's key stat will be the Bulls' three-point defense versus the Rockets' three-point offense. Chicago ranks seventh over the last five games with an opponent three-point percentage of 31.9% and the second-fewest attempts allowed (28.2). The Rockets shot 26.8% from three in that span, the worst in the league, while attempting the most triples (44.0). If the Bulls continue locking down opponents from three while the Rockets continue their poor shooting, Chicago should win. If not, you can always bank on Zach LaVine to shoot every shot late and more than likely, things will work out.

Bet Locked In: Bulls ML (1.5u)


Hornets at Jazz: Jazz -12

One player that is worth noting in this matchup is Terry Rozier. Rozier has been on fire lately and stole the previous game from Golden State, finishing with 36 points and multiple clutch buckets, including the game-winner. 

Rozier averages 21.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game on the season. In the last four games, Rozier has scored 34, 41, 33 and 36 points and 26 and 15, dating back to his previous six. Rozier is averaging 36.0 points per game in the last four and 30.8 over the last six. In his only meeting versus Utah this season, Rozier scored 15 points 6-of-16 (37.5%) from the field and 2-of-8 (25%) from deep. NBC Edge's model projects Rozier to score 23.3 points versus Utah tonight.

The Jazz are 19-2-1 (90.5%) ATS in its last 22 games and 20-2 SU (91%). They get a large spread of -12 today as Vegas is tempting Utah backers to continue riding the Jazz after their recent derailment. This spread is too large for me, but Charlotte is 2-10-1 ATS (15.3%) in the last 13 meetings in Utah. Over the previous six meetings, the Hornets have only covered once.


Blazers at Suns: Over/Under 227

Portland has been winning, going 6-1 SU (85.7%) in their previous seven games overall. Phoenix is 7-1 SU (87.5%) over the last eight games and this should be the most competitive game in the previous three contests after two blowout victories. 

Chris Paul scored 16 points in 22 minutes last game as the Suns dismantled the Grizzlies. In February (10 games), Paul has averaged 19.7 points and posted five games of 18 or more. In the last three games, CP3 has recorded 16, 15 and 29 points, with his minutes decreasing lately due to the Suns winning ways.

In fantasy statistics, Portland has allowed 27.99 points per game to point guards, the second-worst of any team. The Blazers allow 114.8 points per game in the last five, ranking 22nd in the league. Portland also allows the most free throw attempts over the last five games (29.4), so both Paul and Devin Booker are good point prop bets. 


Heat at Thunder: Heat -6

The Miami Heat have now won two straight games and end this seven-game road trip in Oklahoma City versus the Thunder. Miami started the trip 0-4 SU (0%) but is now 2-4 (33.3%) with one game remaining. The Thunder ended a three-game winning streak by beating the Cavaliers 117-101 in their last outing yesterday. 

The two met earlier this season and Miami trounced the Thunder 118-90. Miami has won three of the last four meetings against the Thunder, three games in Oklahoma City. The Thunder are 1-6-1 ATS (12.5%) in their last eight games playing on no days of rest and will have to play extended minutes versus the Heat. 

OKC is 2-6 SU (25%) over the last eight games and the Heat are 6-3 SU (66.6%) in the previous nine. I expect the Heat to win in this game and the spread to be a little too close to call. 

Vaughn Dalzell

Vaughn Dalzell is a former Division I SID, two-time IUP Alumnus and also a contributor on numberFire, FantasyPros and Bet The Prop. You can follow him on Twitter for more insight @VmoneySports.