Thunder Mavs: Game 1 Preview

NBA Western Conference Finals logoThe NBA’s Western Conference finals begin on Tuesday night in Dallas where the No. 3 Mavericks host the No. 4 Oklahoma City Thunder (9:05 p.m. ET, ESPN).

The Mavericks have been off for more than a week since sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers so there could be some rest rust. Oklahoma City has the opposite problem as they could be a little weary after a brutal seven game series against Memphis.

Dallas is listed as a 6-point home favorite at and the total is set at 193. On the moneyline, the Mavs are -260; the Thunder are +220.

The Mavericks and Thunder met three times during the regular season and the road team won each game. Dallas won the first two meetings in Oklahoma City while the Thunder won the last meeting in Dallas.

The Thunder will be relying on their superstar Kevin Durant in this series. Durant led the NBA in scoring during the regular season (27.7 ppg) and leads all scorers the playoffs (28.9 ppg).

The Mavericks, meanwhile, will be led by veteran Dirk Nowitzki, who is averaging 26.5 ppg in the playoffs (No. 4 overall).

If the two stars do their part, it might actually be the matchup at the point that decides the series. Russell Westbrook did not play well in the season series against Dallas as he shot just 31.8 percent.

That said, Westbrook is thriving in the playoffs averaging 23.9 ppg (No. 8 overall) and 7 apg (No. 5 overall). Veteran Dallas guard Jason Kidd played well against the Lakers but he may have big problems trying to guard the young, speedy Westbrook.

Led by Jason Terry (18.3 ppg in the Playoffs), the Mavericks have the edge in bench scoring and that depth may be a huge factor in this series.

Here are some key NBA Playoff betting stats for Tuesday’s game:

The Thunder are 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 road games. The Thunder are 43-21-1 ATS in their last 65 Tuesday games.

The Mavericks are 8-0 ATS in their last eight home games. The Mavericks are 6-0 ATS in their last six playoff games as a favorite. The Mavericks are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six vs. the Northwest. The Mavericks are 4-1 ATS in their last five Tuesday games.

In this series, the Thunder are 6-0-1 ATS in the last seven meetings in Dallas and the road team is 18-7-2 ATS in the last 27 meetings. The underdog is 9-3-1 ATS in the last 13 meetings.

The under is 3-1-1 in Oklahoma City’s last five road games. The over is 7-3 in Oklahoma City’s last 10 vs. the Southwest. The over is 4-1 in the Mavericks’ last five overall. In this series, the over is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Dallas.

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