Nov 28 NBA Action: Denver Nuggets @ Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets +9 (-105) @ Dallas Mavericks (bet 153.67% of standard wager size)
Denver Nuggets @ Dallas Mavericks ML (-430) (bet 243.41% of standard wager size)
Our computer prediction work forecasts a Mavericks win by 8 tonight when Denver challenges Dallas at the Mavs' American Airlines Center. Our power rankings composite expects a home victory by about the same margin. Consistent with these 'close, but no cigar' indications, our regression work estimates a 46-47% chance of a Dallas cover.
Tonight's contest will represent the biggest chalk Mavericks backers have been asked to lay this season (Dallas was cast as 7.5 point favorites against the Lakers a couple of weeks ago, and were -8.0 a few days later at the 76ers -- the Mavs split those two games versus the number). And, undoubtedly, Dallas' recent strong run (6-3 both outright and against the spread in their last nine out) is influencing current betting lines.
However, we regard Dallas' week 3 tear as a normalization rather than a sign that the Mavericks are suddenly comers. We are therefore dubious about the Mavs' ability to continue to meet now-elevated expectations. To understand this assertion, consider that before the hot stretch, Dallas opened the season with a losing 3-4 record. Further, the Mavs are 0-3 in their last three games. Granted, these losses were dealt by superior opposition in Oklahoma City, Memphis and San Antonio, but the point remains that even after considering their improved play of late, the Mavs are only 1 game above .500. Thus, a stand-out stint from Dallas was required to elevate the team back to around their expected level of competency. Now that the Mav's record reflects overachievement versus bigger picture expectations, it is hard to bet on continued outperformance.
As such, we are siding with Denver to cover and Dallas to win. We have structured this middle play so that, in spite of the large bet sizes relative to our regular wagers, the maximum risk is limited to the size of our standard bet, while the upside is about two times the size of usual wager.
[It is mathematically impossible to lose both bets, so by betting 153.67% of one's standard bet size on Denver +9 (-105) and 243.41% on Dallas ML (-430), a bettor would collect an amount just above the total outlay minus standard wager size if either Dallas wins or Denver covers; if Dallas wins by exactly 9 the strategy is profitable, returning staked capital plus about 60% of the bettors standard wager size. But if Dallas wins by less than 9, this middle profits by 209% of the standard bet size.]
The Mavs are 12-8 against the spread since 2010 in head-to-head contests versus the Nuggets. However, in games where Dallas is favored to win, Denver has had a modest (5-4) edge. The series between these teams is tied 5-5 over this same period when playing in Dallas, and is 4-4 when the Mavs are the home favorites.
Per OddsShark, 65% of public wagers came in on Denver, but the betting line is holding firm at the opening level of DAL -9.0.