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Feb 5 NBA Action: Material Mispricing on Dallas Mavericks @ Sacramento Kings

Dallas Mavericks -2 at Sacramento Kings

The Mavericks head to Sleep Train Arena tonight to meet the Sacramento Kings for the back-half of a two-game-in-two-nights road stand. Dallas lost a tough out last night at Golden State, in which they were up by 22 at one point in the first quarter. Ultimately though, the uber-talented Steph Curry's 51 point showing was adequate to usher the Warriors past the Mavs to a 128-114 victory.

The simulation component of our work gives Dallas an 8-11 point advantage tonight, while the quant element makes the Mavericks 11-12 point favorites. Thus, each factor in our three-pronged model conveys the message of extreme value on this pick. We are wagering accordingly.

In our estimation, in setting the opening line at DAL -2, bookmakers were overly influenced by how the Mavs wilted last night, as well as by the fact that Dallas, the second oldest team in the league on the basis of real age, is travelling to the Kings to play on zero nights rest this evening.

We can easily forgive Dallas for dropping last night's match, as the Warriors are the best team in the NBA. We would expect a similar outcome from any team passing through Oracle Arena, where Golden State is a virtually infallible 23-2.

We are similarly dismissive of concerns about the Mavs advanced age. Dallas has endured back-to-back sequences 11 times so far this season, and has prevailed in the second game in seven instances. Of their four losses from this position, three came against winning teams, and the other occurred with Dirk Nowitzski out.

Also, Dallas' newly acquired Point Guard, Rajon Rondo, is out indefinitely after fracturing an orbital socket on January 31st. This event too might have some impact on the seemingly depressed betting line. We regard Rondo's absence as another non-issue though. At -0.45, ESPN's Real Plus Minus suggests that, on average, Rondo's on-court presence is detrimental to the Mavs scoring margin.

This low rating for the highly touted PG likely owes to well-documented holes in Rondo's game. To illustrate, while the 9th year Guard from Kentucky is among the top of the league at his position in total assists and assists per game, he is also a league leader in turnovers. Further, Rondo is a notoriously poor shooter (Grantland produced a solid piece exploring the implications of Dallas' acquisition of Rondo). In contrast to Rondo's almost mid-tier rating on the basis of RPM, backup Guard, J.J. Barea, who has been logging excess minutes in Rondo's absence, sports a positive RPM. Also, the Mavericks' second backup, Devin Harris, rates only a few slots below Rondo by this gauge.

A quantification of Rondo's impact based on an alternate statistic, the Player Efficiency Rating (PER), likewise hints that his absence will not create a terrible void for the Mavericks. To wit, Barea and Harris both sport higher PERs than Rondo.

Bottom line: The opening line of DAL -2 left us momentarily scratching our heads, however, we quickly regrouped and jumped on the vlaue play. Consistent with their tendency when playing on zero nights rest, our work expects the Mavericks to play solid ball tonight (after floundering last night) and to win easily. Dallas ranks 3rd in offensive efficiency on the road, while Sac is 24th in defense efficiency at home. Look for the Kings, who have dropped eight of their last ten out, to be overwhelmed by a Mavs team set on winning.

Happy betting!!

#nba2014 #kings #mavericks #playerefficiencyrating #realplusminus #rajonrondo #grantland

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