Dallas Mavericks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder host the Dallas Mavericks for game three with the series tied at a game apiece. The Thunder is 2-point favorites over the Mavericks with an over/under total set at 200.
The Oklahoma City Thunder rebounded in a big way in game two as their bench sparked the effort with 50 points. The bench played so well that coach Scott Brooks actually stuck with them for the fourth quarter as starting point guard Russell Westbrook played spectator. The Thunder managed to limit JJ Barea and Jason Terry with relative ease while Dirk Nowitzki was quiet for stretches but still efficient. The Thunder challenged players outside of that core-scoring trio to beat them, and the young team executed the gameplan with great maturity.
The Dallas Mavericks looked a little sluggish in game two after an electric game one. Dallas jumped out to an early 11-point lead, but failed to sustain the hustle and energy level throughout the game. The Mavericks defense that was lacking in game one was an issue again in game two as the question now becomes are the Mavericks even a good defensive team anymore when matched up against a young athletic group? It almost seems as though Dallas will have to win by exploding on offense, which could be troubling for their backers.
This line opened at 3 with a total of 202.5 and the early market movement has been downward on both fronts as we now see the Thunder -2 with a total of 200. The pace has been getting progressively slower as the series wears on and I’m on board with the line movement on the total that has pushed this number lower. I still believe that Dallas is capable of playing a methodical clamp down style of defense and that they will favor that approach after learning that this younger team will wear them out in the end trying to play seven games of up-tempo ball. I’m taking the under 200 here.