Tuesday marks the final day of group stage play in the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament. The Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks will play their last game in West Group B, with at least something on the line. The Rockets have a chance at the top spot in the group or a place in the Wild Card, making them an option for NBA betting picks.
In the Rockets’ last game, they faced the Denver Nuggets in an In-Season Tournament matchup, getting a big 105-86 win. On the other hand, the Mavericks lost to the Los Angeles Clippers 107-88 in a poor effort for one of the league’s top offenses.
Rockets Seek to Advance in In-Season Tournament
It is still unsure what effect the NBA In-Season Tournament will have on the regular season, but it has certainly brought extra excitement to some early games. More competitive games and matchups can lead to more surprises for NBA basketball picks.
One of those big surprises has been the Rockets. After an active offseason of spending money on free agents, hiring a new head coach and using a top-five pick in the draft, Houston had confusing expectations in 2023-24. NBA predictions are still trying to figure this team out, with the Rockets overperforming.
That is evident in Houston’s 8-6 record, which featured a six-game win streak during which it beat three teams from last season’s playoffs. Furthermore, the Rockets have been a solid team against the spread, covering 10 of 14 games, including nine of the previous 10. Part of that has been due to the team’s defense, which is third in defensive rating (107.3).
With their early-season success, the Rockets have found a path to the next stage of the In-Season Tournament. They are in second place in West Group B, behind the New Orleans Pelicans, but a win over the Mavericks would tie both teams with 3-1 records.
The next tiebreaker would be the point differential. The Pelicans have already played their four games and own a +33-point differential. The Rockets have to beat the Mavericks by a lot to win the group, with a current point differential of +16.
There is a chance the Rockets compete for the Wild Card spot, but it’s a similar issue because the Phoenix Suns have a +34-point differential advantage. NBA odds aren’t favoring the Rockets to make it, but there is a chance.
Mavericks Already Out Of In-Season Tournament
Dallas has had a far less successful In-Season Tournament. The Mavericks have already lost two games to the Nuggets and Pelicans, eliminating them from the tournament, though they still have one game left to play.
However, that should not sway NBA lines too much. All In-Season Tournament games still count toward a team’s regular-season record. The Mavericks have struggled to pick up wins recently. They have only two wins over the last six games, and their offense is beginning to struggle despite having the seventh-best offensive rating at 118.8.
Luka Dončić is expected to play Tuesday against Houston, Mavericks coach Jason Kidd says, although an MRI exam earlier today confirmed a left thumb sprain on Dončić’s non-shooting hand.
Dereck Lively II (lower back contusion) is questionable.
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No one else on the roster is offering that much support, with Tim Hardaway Jr. (16.3) being the other player in double-figure scoring. The supporting cast has let the two stars down while the defense is giving up 118.3 points per game and is hard to rely upon.
Rockets vs Mavericks Game Information
- Game: Houston (8-5) vs Dallas (10-6)
- Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
- Day/Time: Tuesday, Nov 28, 8:30 p.m. ET
- Rockets vs Mavericks Live Stream: NBA Game Pass
Rockets vs Mavericks Best Bet
This game could have significant implications for the In-Season Tournament, which might give the Rockets an extra boost to win. They would have to beat the Mavericks by a lot to make the In-Season Tournament standings interesting, but there is a chance. Houston has the offense and defense to have a big game against Dallas despite being winless on the road.
NBA Best Bet: Houston Rockets +155
Rockets vs Mavericks Betting Lines
Questions Of The Day
Which players are likely to have a big impact on the outcome of this game?
The Rockets have several potential big-scoring players, but the Mavericks will always rely on Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving offensively.
What are the historical trends between these two teams?
The Mavericks have won seven of the last 10 games against the Rockets, including the previous four.