The battle of the biggest and best of Texas is set to take place in Dallas this evening, as the San Antonio Spurs come to town to challenge Dirk Nowitzki and the defending champion Dallas Mavericks. Where are we placing our NBA picks in this matchup?

While the NBA betting lines opened at sportsbooks fairly low, the public has since pounded Dallas up to -3 favorites at home. This state isn’t big enough for the both of them, and most likely, neither is the Western Conference Championship series. Which team will come out victorious and cover the NBA odds tonight?

Better with age

Spurs vs. MavericksDespite the fact that Manu Ginobli has been hurt most of the season, the Spurs still find themselves well within the playoff picture, and even flirting with possible home court throughout the playoffs if the Thunder start to falter. Either way, as I mentioned in my Western Conference report at the halfway point, this team is not as old as most think. Yes, Tim Duncan is way past his prime, but he is still putting up better numbers then he did last season. Most seem to think that Tony Parker is old. However, the Frenchman is only 29. The rest of their core guys are quite young. 

San Antonio played last night and outplayed Oklahoma City down the stretch to earn a 114-105 victory over the Thunder. Tony Parker once again brought his A-game, as he scored 25 points. Now coming off of the back-to-back travel game, it will be interesting to see which Spurs team shows up tonight. 

What is very curious about this game has been the spread. It opened up at -1 ½ in favor of Dallas, and despite the public favoring the Spurs; the line has gone higher in favor of the Mavs. The Spurs haven’t been very inconsistent off of back to backs this season, but Dallas is not playing extremely well right now either. 

Not-so defending champs 

No one can take away the fact that Dallas won a championship last season. However, they sure didn’t act like they won a championship in the offseason. When the lockout was lifted, the Mavs dumped core guys like Tyson Chandler, JJ Barea and then injured Caron Butler. Why did they do this you ask? It’s because Mark Cuban is a genius.

The Mavs are set up to be loaded with cap space at the end of this season. Once they dump Lamar Odom by not picking up his team option, and by not signing their guys from last season, the Mavs are set up to not only be able to bring in the likes of Deron Williams, they would have had the money to persuade Dwight Howard as well. Now that Howard has opted in to his contract in Orlando, that scenario is not as likely. However, I don’t think this means much for Howard and his future in Orlando. I could still see him coming to Dallas some time in the next year or so.

Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs

The Sharp Pick 

Enough about these two teams in the long run. We need to discuss tonight’s Battle O’ Texas. San Antonio and Dallas have split their 2012 season series against one another, and the Spurs have covered in both games. The Spurs are also 7-2-1 ATS against Dallas in their last ten meetings, dating back to April 2010.

As I stated above, the line movement for this contest is a bit fishy. The Spurs are 6-4 on the latter game of back to backs this season. One of those wins was against the Mavs on the second game of a back to back. With that being said, if our friends at Vegas are baiting us, I can’t resist. The Mavs are 0-5 ATS in their last five games, and are 0-5 ATS in their last five games against the Spurs. They are only 1-4 ATS in their last five games playing San Antonio at home.

I’m taking the points and possibly the bait for one of my NBA picks for Saturday.

My Pick: Spurs +3