Mavericks among heavy underdogs in NBA Western Conference Playoffs

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The Dallas Mavericks will be gunning for their first opening-round playoff series victory since claiming the NBA championship in 2011 when they kick off the postseason against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday as big +600 underdogs on the series prices at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Dallas mounted an impressive stretch run to climb into sixth place in the Western Conference, posting straight-up wins in seven of their last nine heading into Saturday night’s Mavericks vs. Thunder betting matchup at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The Mavericks’ hot finish comes on the heels of a dismal 2-10 SU run that appeared to have snuffed out their playoff hopes.

Instead, Dallas was able to capitalize on a brutal 1-10 SU finish by Memphis to draw even with the Grizzlies in the Western Conference standings, and get the nod as the No. 6 seed on the strength of a 3-1 SU head-to-head record this season.

The Thunder return to the NBA playoffs after failing to qualify for the postseason a year ago, wrapping up their campaign on a losing note, dropping five of their final eight contests, but still amassing a 55-27 record, fifth-best in the league.

Oklahoma City has also dominated the Mavericks, claiming victory in all four meetings between the two clubs, and swept Dallas in their most recent playoff matchup four years ago.

The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors also start their title defense on Saturday, when they host the Houston Rockets in Game 1 as 13-point favorites at the sportsbooks.

The Warriors made history in the final game of the regular season, topping the Grizzlies 125-104 to set a new NBA record with their 73rd win of the campaign, and are pegged as heavy series betting favorites against Houston.

The Rockets also played meaningful ball in their season finale, crushing Sacramento 116-81 to clinch the final playoff spot in the West, but sport long odds against Golden State, having recorded just one SU win in their past 13 against the Warriors, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.

The Grizzlies face an uphill battle when they take on the San Antonio Spurs in the first round as major underdogs. Memphis has lost five straight to the Spurs, who rebounded from their only multi-game losing streak of the season with two victories to end the campaign.

Finally, the Portland Trail Blazers represent the strongest underdogs in the Western Conference side of the bracket entering the postseason, listed at +200 NBA series odds in their matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers, who open as the series as the -304 favorites.