NBA Playoff Positioning at Stake

Dallas will be looking to win the Southwest Division tonight with a win, but that will not be easy against a Portland team that the Mavericks have yet to bat this season and has won six straight at home.

Dallas Mavericks (51-27) at Portland Trailblazers (48-30)

Bovada has the Blazers as 4-point favorites in this game with a total of 192.

Both teams are in the playoffs, but this Western Conference match up is still important for playoff positioning. Portland is tied with San Antonio and Oklahoma City for sixth in the West and want to stay out of the eighth position so they do not have play the L.A. Lakers in a first round playoff series.

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Dallas is tied with Phoenix for third in the West, but only trail second place Denver by .5 games and only lead fifth place Utah by .5 games. The Mavs would like to finish in the top four in the West so they can, at least, host a first round playoff series.

This season the Portland is 25-13 at home and 43-33-2 ATS and Dallas is 24-14 on the road and 32-44-2 ATS.

Dallas is coming off a win and is 5-5 in their last 10 games and the Blazers have won two in a row and are 8-2 in their last 10 games.

In their last games both teams won on Wednesday night, as Dallas beat the Memphis Grizzlies 110-84 and Portland beat the L.A. Clippers 93-85.

The Mavs have lost all three meetings against the Blazers this season and would love a win tonight to give them some confidence, as they may face Portland in the first round of the post-season.

Dallas only gave up 84 points in their last game, but in seven of their last 11 had given up at least 100.

Portland wins with defense, as they rank third in the league in opponents points allowed, but only rank 21st in scoring. If this game is a low scoring defensive game the Blazers have the edge, but if it is a high scoring game the Mavs have the advantage.

Portland is a better team on the boards and if Marcus Camby (10.4 rpg) and LeMarcus Aldridge (8.1 rpg) can control the glass the Blazers will be sitting pretty.

Dirk Nowitzki (24.7 ppg) has to have a good game on offense and on the boards and his outside shooting will open up the lane for the Mavs.

Dallas is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 road games and Portland is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite.