The Dallas Mavericks begin a four game road trip and are leaving Lamar Odom behind as they tip off against the Golden State Warriors. What do the NBA odds makers have to say about this matchup, and where should we place our picks?

NBA odds boards currently offer the Dallas Mavricks at -6.5, which is up from the 6 points the NBA lines listed at their opening. The matchup's total is also on the rise, as NBA betting action has lifted the number to 196.5. 

The Warriors were able to destroy the Mavericks back in March, but now they must do so after having traded their star player. Will the "New" Warriors repeat their 111-87 victory, or will the Mavericks show up to play tonight now that the Odom distraction has been taken care of? Fine out where we recommend placing your NBA picks.

Dallas Mavericks (32-26 SU, 28-29 ATS)

Dirk NowitzkiWhen the Mavericks signed former LA Laker Lamar Odom they thought they were getting a big power forward who could get them 15 points and 8 or so rebounds a game. What they got was a Khardashian that could play a little ball...very little. Odom has been a complete and total bust for Dallas and they decided to rip the bed sheets and press forward into the postseason without all the drama. 

The Mavericks stopped a two game skid with a 110-100 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night. In a twist of irony, it was the first game the Mavericks won in eight attempts without Odom on the court. Reserves Yi Jianlian and Brandon Wright pitched in and should be seeing more work now that Odom has been banished. 

Dirk Nowitzki leads the team averaging over 21 points per game but offense has not been the hallmark of this year's Mavericks team as they are only ranked 20th in the league but have tightened up on defense, allowing only 93.5 points per contest, good for 7th in the NBA. 

Dallas will need to focus down the stretch as they are in a dead heat with Houston and Denver for the 6th, 7th and 8th playoff spots with Utah and Phoenix nipping at their collective heels. The Mavs will need more nights like their 110 point performance on Tuesday night if they are to play into the postseason. 

Golden State Warriors (22-34 SU, 31-25 ATS)

Golden State hopes they can have a repeat performance of their dominating 111-87 whitewashing of the Mavericks back on March 10th. The Warriors outscored Dallas in three of the four quarters and never allowed the road weary Mavs to get back on track. Power forward David Lee led the Warriors in that contest with 25 points, 9 rebounds and had 2 steals for good measure. 

Stephen CurryThough that night the Warriors were unstoppable, they have had little to brag about this season. Golden State has lost 9 of their last 11 with their most recent defeat coming at the hands of the Portland Trailblazers last night. The Blazers lit up the score sheet with a 118-110 victory and that was only two nights removed from a 123-84 embarrassment at the hands of the Denver Nuggets. 

Unfortunately, Golden State's leading scorer is no longer with them but plying his trade in Milwaukee as the Warriors dealt Monta Ellis for Andrew Bogut and Steven Jackson (who was subsequently dealt to the Spurs for Richard Jefferson and a conditional 1st round pick). So the Warriors let a premium guard get away, got an injured center, a 31 year old 6th man and a pick. That sounds like a bad team getting worse to me, but only time will tell.

Analysis:

When last these two teams met, the Mavericks were on the third night of back to back to back road games. It simply doesn’t get any worse than that in terms of scheduling. Dallas was also without the services of Jason Kidd and Brandan Wright in that 111-87 debacle against the Warriors. 

But tonight will be different. Though the venue will be the same, the outcome will be far different. In a case of addition by subtraction, the Mavericks are a better team without Odom’s distracting presence and his absence will give some of the other players a chance to shine. Dallas is a team turning the corner while Golden State is simply a team in disarray.

Lay the lumber on the road and play Dallas-6.

Be sure to check out our NBA Betting Parlay