NBA on ESPN: Dallas vs. Boston, Utah vs. Denver and Oklahoma City vs. Phoenix

Brandon RibakSenior Writer IFebruary 4, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 30:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics is defended by Derek Fisher #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half at Staples Center on January 30, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Celtics defeated the Lakers 109-96.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The NBA on ESPN tonight provides us with an intriguing basketball betting double-header.

Dallas Mavericks (33-15) vs. Boston Celtics (37-11)

The Mavericks enter tonight's matchup as proud winners of their last six games. Power forward Dirk Nowitzki is settling back into his natural form and center Tyson Chandler has emerged as an offense threat, averaging 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game during his last five contests.

During the month of January, the Celtics picked up a few impressive wins, out-dueling the league-leading Spurs, the Orlando Magic, and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Boston currently owns the best record in the East, and has won their last two sports betting games.

The last time these two teams collided, the Mavericks won the battle in Dallas.

SBG Spread: Dallas (+6.5)

Prediction: The Mavericks hold a 14-7 record on the road. With Dirk back to his normal ways, you can never rule out Dallas, regardless if they are playing on the road. Take the Mavs with the spread.


Oklahoma City Thunder (31-17) vs. Phoenix Suns (23-24)

After a tough loss to the Miami Heat, the Thunder picked up a win in New Orleans by a score of 104-93. 

Forward Kevin Durant has been unbelievable of late, averaging 37 PPG during his last five outings, including three 40-plus performances.

Phoenix are winners of three straight, with victories against the Celtics, Hornets and Bucks.

Center Marcin Gortat has exploded onto the scene and could do some damage if given ample playing time against OKC.

Spread: Phoenix (+2)

Sportsbook Prediction: With the way Kevin Durant is playing, it's tough not to select the Thunder in this matchup. Pick Oklahoma City and don't look back!


Utah Jazz (29-21) vs. Denver Nuggets (29-20)

Utah got hit by the injury bug during the month of January, and its effects have lingered into February. The team had more losses than wins last month and point guard Deron Williams has now missed his last four games.

The Nuggets have played slightly better than the Jazz over the last month or so, but Melo's status for tonight's game is up in the air right now due to tightness in his knee.

In addition to Williams being a game time decision, forward Andrei Kirilenko has been ruled out for the matchup and forward Paul Millsap has been battling a dislocated pinkie on his left hand and a bruised right thumb.

Spread: Utah (+9.5)

Prediction: With key players being ruled as game time decisions for tonight's game, the same pick would be to take the Jazz with the spread.