The Dallas Mavericks were money for backers in the first game of the series and will aim to go up 2-0 in Tuesday night's matchup in Dallas but the Blazers will cover the number tonight.

In Game 1 of their 2011 NBA playoff series, Portland was actually up by six points in the fourth quarter before Dirk Nowtizki carried the hosts on his back to the win.

At the final buzzer, Dallas had won 89-81 but it may have been a wakeup call for the Mavericks that these Trail Blazers were here to compete and should not be taken lightly.

In spite of an uncharacteristically poor shooting night, Nowitzki finished with a game-high 28 points as well as 10 rebounds. He got to the line often and was perfect, hitting 13-of-13 from the charity stripe.

But the key to victory for Rick Carlisle's squad was veteran point guard Jason Kidd, who shot 9-of-14 from the floor (including six 3-pointers) for 24 points. He also had five rebounds, four assists and two steals.

The Portland Trail Blazers kept the game close because of their dominance in the paint. They outscored Dallas 46-18 in the interior and it'll be interesting to see if they can roll that over into Game 2.

LaMarcus Aldridge picked up right where he left off in the regular season, logging 27 points and six boards for Portland. In addition Marcus Camby was a beast on the boards, collecting 18 boards in just over 29 minutes of play.

Portland to even up the series on Tuesday

For Game 2, the Dallas Mavericks are favored by 3.5 points at most sportsbooks with the line dropping from 4. NBA odds makers hae the total at 183.

Dallas has been on a roll versus the spread lately, cashing in five straight contests. The Mavericks have also covered in four consecutive games at home.

The Trail Blazers meanwhile are 5-3 ATS in their last eight matchups while they've also been succesful lately as a small underdog (0.5-4.5), covering in four of their previous five encounters.

Dallas secured the number three seed in the West, getting the regular season off to a hot start before fizzling when Dirk Nowitzki went down. The Mavericks then ended on a positive note down the stretch to grab a high seed.

However they have had a lot of trouble in the postseason over the past few years. Will that playoff curse continue here in 2011?

That remains to be seen, but I do believe the Trail Blazers will pull off a surprise result in Tuesday's crunch affair.

Portland played well against Dallas during the regular season and so long as a few Trail Blazers bounce back with better offensive performances they should be able hang around and cover.

Wesley Matthews, Brandon Roy and Gerald Wallace combined for just 14 points in Game 1 and obviously that's just not going to cut it in the postseason.

I suspect some more output out of those three on Tuesday to lead Portland to a big upset win, leaving the series tied at 1-1.

FREE NBA Pick: Trail Blazers again control the post, resulting in the visitors covering on the road