NBA Thursday Betting Picks & Angles (Dec. 12): How to Bet Mavericks vs. Pistons in Mexico City
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin
Two angles based on matchups and trends…
Odds as of Thursday afternoon and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
THE ANGLE: Bad Shots Means Bad Offense
The Spurs take the worst shots and allow the worst shots. Per Cleaning The Glass, they allow the fifth-worst shot profile (for opponents) in the league.
Based on league averages from the locations they’ve given up shots, opponents should be shooting around 51.8% eFG%. They’re actually shooting 53.5%; San Antonio is the only team in the top-10 of opponent expected eFG% allowed to have an actual opponent eFG% over 52%.
Let me put that in English: Teams are shooting way better than they should, and the Spurs defense may be vulnerable but not this vulnerable.
Meanwhile, there’s the Cavs, who are bottom-five on offense in expected eFG%. Now, their eFG% is beneath what it should be, but that’s not necessarily surprising for a young team like this.
This season, the under has gone 14-9 in games with a visiting team that’s bottom-10 in expected eFG% vs. a home team that’s top-10 in expected eFG%.
The total remains up at 219.5. This is going to be a mid-range clankfest; both teams are top-10 in mid-range jumper shot distribution.
THE PLAY: UNDER 219.5 [In New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana or West Virginia? Bet now at FanDuel]
THE ANGLE: Braving Weird Circumstances
The Mavericks and Pistons face off in Mexico City Thursday night as part of the NBA’s Global Games.
Games on neutral court are rare, creating a strange variable in these matches. It’s not really a home game for the Mavs or a true road game for the Pistons.
Detroit is 1-4 ATS as more than a six-point dog this season. The Mavericks aren’t any better as more than a two-possession favorite at 3-5, but Dallas has been too good overall not to back here.
Dallas is the No. 6 team scoring on catch-and-shoot opportunities (per Synergy), and Detroit gives up the 11th-most points off those shots per game. Detroit is third-worst in opponent points in the paint per 100 possessions and third-worst in opponent points off turnovers per 100 possessions.
Delon Wright being out gives me a measure of pause, but the Mavericks have just been cooking. Plus, Andre Drummond is questionable, and the Pistons are 14-18 ATS (10-17 as a dog) when Drummond sits since he was drafted.
Dallas cooks and the Mavs roll.
THE PICK: Mavericks -5.5 (now -7, wouldn’t take it above -7.5) [In New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana or West Virginia? Bet now at FanDuel]