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Basketball picksMay 6, 2011

Value on the Mavs at -275

The Dallas Mavericks are up 2-0 in their series vs. the Lakers. To turn this around and win this series, LA must win 4 of 5 games with only two home games. Can they do it?

Sure they can do it. But it’s unlikely. And, thanks to some unique circumstances, we can get value by backing the Mavs to close this one out.

Why might the Mavs be undervalued here? Well there are two obvious reasons:

  1. This is the Lakers (as public a team as it gets). This the team coming off back-to-back NBA championships. This is the team with Kobe Bryant – one of the best of all time. This is the team with the Zen Master Phil Jackson – the NBA coach with the most championships. So, the betting public just can’t bring themselves to believe this team will lose.
  2. This is the Mavs – the under-performing Dallas Mavericks. This is the team that had a 2-0 lead and a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter of game 3 vs. the Miami Heat a few years back… and went on to lose the series and the NBA championship. This is the team with a super star that people just can’t respect (7 foot white guy that doesn’t bang down low). This is the anti-Lakers – a team the public doesn’t like.

These two factors mean that the the oddsmakers shade the series line towards the public favorite Lakers. They have set the line for this series at this point at Lakers +235 and the Mavericks at -275. Yes, these are shaded lines.

There have been 18 teams that have gone on the road down 0-2 in a best of seven NBA playoff series. Only three of those teams were able to come back and win the series. That’s 17%. That means 83% of the time, the team up 2-0 hosting game three went on to win the series. Fair odds on an 83% chance bet is -500. Yet, we are getting -275 on Dallas.

History aside, ask yourself after watching the first two games of this series which team looks like the better team. I’m on the Mavs to win this series at -275 (Bodog) which is a huge overlay vs. the fair odds of -500.