The Dallas Mavericks (15-14) will try to avoid a fourth consecutive loss on Thursday when they visit the Los Angeles Clippers (17-13) as small road underdogs at sportsbooks.
Just a week ago, the Mavericks were going for a fourth straight win, but they suffered a 99-89 road loss to the Phoenix Suns to start their three-game skid.
NBA betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 118.1-103.6, Mavericks (NBA picks on every game)
Why the Mavericks can cover the spread
Dallas opened a four-game road trip with a 126-118 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, falling short of covering the spread as a 4.5-point underdog.
However, there were some bright spots for the Mavericks in that setback, as Harrison Barnes tied a season-high with 30 points, and rookie Luka Doncic had another strong performance with 23 points, 12 assists and six rebounds.
One of the team's biggest issues right now is trying to work future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki back into the rotation. Dallas is 0-3 since Nowitzki's return from an ankle injury but will start playing better with him soon.
Why the Clippers can cover the spread
The Clippers hope to break a four-game losing streak here at home, where they have played much better this season with a 9-4 mark straight up (8-5 against the spread).
They just need to play better defensively after surrendering an average of 125 points in losing their last three games at Staples Center.
Los Angeles has won the past three home meetings against the Mavericks straight up, holding its opponent to an average of 100 points per game while going 1-1-1 ATS. Another strong defensive effort will likely lead to another victory and cover.
Smart betting pick
The Mavericks won the first meeting with the Clippers this year 114-110 as 3.5-point home underdogs on December 2, with Barnes also scoring 30 in that game. In fact, Dallas has covered each of the past three head-to-head matchups with Los Angeles and gone 5-1-1 ATS in the previous seven.
The Mavericks are the more talented of the two teams and proved it the last time they met. Look for Dallas to end its losing streak and extend Los Angeles' with an upset win and cover on the road.
NBA betting trends
The total has gone under in four of Dallas' last six games.
Dallas is 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven games against the Clippers.
Los Angeles is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games.
All NBA odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.