Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks
The Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks square off in a rematch of last seasons Western Conference finals. The Lakers are -4 point favorites over the Mavericks with an over/under point total set at 181.5.
The Lakers five game winning streak came to an end on Sunday night after falling to the cross town rival Clippers in the first meeting between the two this season. Despite another 40 point effort from Kobe Bryant, who has now had four consecutive games of 40 points or more, the Lakers had no answer for Chris Paul and his 33 point outburst as the Clippers controlled the game from the tip off, running away 102-94 winners in the end. Even with the loss, LA is still one of the hotter teams in the league as they have won seven of their last 10 games after their slow start to the season.
The defending champions Mavericks also got their season off to slow start, however they are looking more and more like championship contenders after winning their fifth straight game in a 99-60 blowout of the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night. Even though their winning streak has come against the likes of New Orleans, Detroit, Boston, Milwaukee and Sacramento, teams with a combined record of 18-42, they average winning margin those games has been 19.8 points. They have allowed an average of just 77.6 points on 33% shooting during their five game winning streak.
Head to head, the Mavericks are 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings and 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Los Angeles. The Lakers are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games as a favorite of 0.5-4.5, but just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games as a home favorite of 0.5-4.5 and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The Mavericks on the other hand are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 road games and 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games as a road underdog of 0.5-4.5.
This is a tough one because both the Lakers and Mavericks have been playing well of late. However, I think the Lakers have a little more going for them here. First off, they have the motivation factor of not just losing to the Clippers, but getting swept by the Mavs in last season’s playoffs. Two, Kobe Bryant is on a tear at the moment and no one is going to slow him down but himself. And lastly, the Mavericks don’t have that man in the middle anymore so Bynum and Gasol should have their way down low. The Mavs are definitely deeper and they can throw a lot of different stuff at you, but just think the Lakers at home will be too much on this occasion.
Los Angeles Lakers -4 Dallas Mavericks