Sportsbook.com Line/Total: Dallas -6 & 194
The Western Conference Finals will not feature the Lakers or Spurs for only the second time since 1998. Instead, it will be a battle between that veteran Mavericks and the young and ambitious Thunder.
After only one day of rest, Oklahoma City will have to lace up the sneakers and go play Dallas at the American Airlines Center. The Thunder finally knocked off the pesky Grizzlies on Sunday with a 105-90 win. Kevin Durant (28.9 PPG in playoffs) dropped 39 points and grabbed nine rebounds to the lead the Thunder. Russell Westbrook (23.9 PPG in playoffs) recorded his first playoff triple-double with 14 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. Westbrook only attempted 12 shots and distributed much better, which silenced many of the critics who say Westbrook shoots too much and doesn’t share the ball as the point guard. Westbrook and Jason Kidd should be a very interesting matchup with the quickness of the 22-year-old Westbrook and the experience of the 38-year-old Kidd. The short rest shouldn’t hurt the Thunder considering they are one of the youngest teams in the NBA and their top four scorers are 23 or younger. Oklahoma City was 38-17 SU (69%) and 29-24-2 ATS (55%) with just one day’s rest this season.
The Dallas Mavericks come rolling into the Western Conference finals after an impressive sweep of the two-time defending champion Lakers. Eight days ago, Jason Terry and the Mavericks put on one of the best shooting performances seen in the playoffs in a long time. Terry (18.3 PPG in playoffs) hit 9-of-10 three-pointers and scored 32 points. The Mavericks as a team went 20-of-32 from behind the arc and tied a playoff record. Dallas wound up winning Game 4, 122-86 and gave itself more than a week to rest its veteran team. The Mavericks certainly needed the rest since they rely on seven players who are in their 30’s and their leader and point guard, Jason Kidd, is 38 years old.
Oklahoma City has been terrific this year when underdogs of 3.5-to-6 points (8-3 ATS). During the playoffs this year, the Thunder are 6-5-1 ATS, but have been favored in most games. For the year, OKC is 17-12 ATS as an underdog and 25-20 ATS on the road. In their last 15 road games, the Thunder have notched a 10-4-1 ATS record. Dallas has been great as a favorite (35-26 ATS, 57%) but just 24-20 ATS in home games. The Mavs have been terrific in these playoffs going 10-0 ATS, giving them 14 straight ATS wins dating back to the regular season.