This is a 1* free play on the Dallas Mavericks ATS over Portland on Sunday night (9:05 EST).
These teams have played each other three times this year: Dallas won 114-91 at home on November 5th. Portland won 106-104 at home on January 29th, before the Mavericks then won 105-99 in Dallas on February 6th. Dallas is 37-39 overall, and 15-24 on the road. It's coming off a 117-108 victory at Sacramento on Friday though, and will now look to parlay that momentum against the struggling Blazers as they make a push towards the playoffs (note that not only is Dallas 24-14 ATS on the road this year, but it's also 19-8 ATS after allowing 105 points or more, and 17-7 ATS vs. poor defensive teams that allow 99-plus points per contest). Portland is 33-43 overall, and 22-15 at home. The Blazers most recent loss was a listless 116-98 setback to Houston on Friday (note that Portland is only 17-23 ATS in revenging a loss vs. an opponent this year, and only 11-12 ATS vs. good offensive teams that score 99-plus points per contest). For me, this comes down purely to motivation. This is a favorable stretch for the Mavericks, with two whole days off after tonight, and then vs. Phoenix on Wednesday: "We're playing game to game and trying to win every one and give ourselves a chance," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle assessed last night. "This is a prideful group of guys. We want to finish this season on an uptick." Portland has nothing to play for, and has lost by an average of 17.3 points during its slide. Consider a second look at Dallas in this one.