Mavs On A Roll


Sharps may have been skeptical about the Lakers recent form. But, I couldn't tell you about a single guy who thought Dallas would win this series so convincingly. Even the best bettors in the market thought the Lakers were going to win this series before it started. If they 'liked' Dallas, that meant Lakers in seven instead of five or six.

The Mavericks established a tone early in the Portland series, and have only had a couple of hiccups. And, for them, a hiccup means they pushed, or they 'barely' covered instead of covering by a lot.

Let's review:

*Dallas (-5) beat Portland 89-81
Portland was a popular play amongst sharps and syndicates. The belief coming in from the Wise Guys was that Portland was the better team, and would offer value in the series. Wrong!

*Dallas (-4) beat Portland 101-89
The line went down because everyone was betting Portland in the traditional bounce back spot. Portland didn't improve at all. In fact, Dallas played better, and won by 12 points instead of eight points. This was supposed to be a competitive series, but the Mavericks were clearly playing better ball.

*Dallas (+5) lost to Portland 97-92
This was the push. With the home team, playing in front of their crowd fir the first time, in a must-win situation...Portland could only win by five. This is the spot where Boston obliterated Miami the other night even with some injuries. This is the spot where home teams have been posting big margins the past few seasons. Portland could only match the line. It was the worst Dallas pointspread result of the playoffs!

*Dallas (+4) lost to Portland 84-82
Dallas blew a 23-point lead, but still covered the spread. In terms of straight up results, this was the darkest moment for Dallas. They were suddenly tied in a series they had been controlling (they should have been a lock for a 3-1 series lead with that 23-point second half advantage). Yet, it was still a pointspread cover because expectations were so far off.

*Dallas (-5) beat Portland 93-82
Back to the Metroplex, and another comfortable win for Dallas. They win their home games by 8, 12, and 11 against spreads of 5, 4, and 5. And, yes, Dallas really was that much better than Portland in terms of playoff basketball at the time. The market should have been clued in by now.

*Dallas (+4) beat Portland 103-96
That's taking care of business. Dallas didn't wait until a seventh game at home. They went out and took this game by the throat on the road and wrapped up the series. Through the six games, Dallas covered by 3, 8, 0, 2, 6, and 11 points. That's an average of five points per game with an even home/road split. That pretty much tells you how far off the market ratings were. Dallas was five points better than everyone realized. Or, they were three points better and Portland was two points worse. Something that added up to five.

*Dallas (+6) beat the LA Lakers 96-94
The good times continue, as the Mavericks stun the Lakers in their home opener. This was an 8-point cover, even further away from expectations than we had been seeing in the Portland series.

*Dallas (+7) beat the LA Lakers 93-81
Wow...19-point cover! The line moved up with the Lakers in the home bounce back spot. But, the flow of the series went the other way. Maybe Dallas was more than 5 points better than everyone realized! The Lakers had covered four of six spreads vs. New Orleans. But, they were now exposed as overrated by the Mavs.

*Dallas (-1.5) beat the LA Lakers 98-92
This looked like it was going to be the first Dallas loss of the second round. They trailed most of the game. But, the lack of strong bench play for the Lakers led to a fourth quarter Showtime collapse. Even on a night where the shots weren't falling, Dallas would win the game and cover by 4.5 points.

*Dallas (-2) beat the Lakers 122-86
Well, this was a debacle. The Lakers fell behind early than packed it in. And, Dallas was setting a record with three-point production that may never be matched. It's not often you get a team that's this good from long range facing a team that's so old, injured, and slow that they can't cover the arc. A monster 36 point win and 34-point cover.

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