Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Spread, Line, Odds, Predictions, Picks and Betting Preview
DALLAS MAVERICKS VS. LOS ANGELES LAKERS GAME INFORMATION
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Staples Center
TV Coverage: ABC/ESPN
DALLAS MAVERICKS VS. LOS ANGELES LAKERS MONEYLINE, SPREAD, TOTAL, AND ODDS
Moneyline: Mavericks +205 | Lakers -250
Spread: Lakers -6
Total: 227.5 points
NBA Championship Odds: Lakers +270 | Mavericks +2200
Odds courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook. Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk free for up to $1,000!
DALLAS MAVERICKS VS. LOS ANGELES LAKERS NEWS AND NOTES
The Lakers are at full strength headed into this contest. They don’t have a single player listed on the injury report at the moment. That said, that doesn’t mean you should expect to see huge minutes from LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Those players both saw reduced workloads in their first game of the season, with LeBron logging 28.4 minutes and Davis logging 30.9.
The Mavericks are dealing with a crucial injury to start the year. Kristaps Porzingis is still recovering from a knee injury that he suffered during the playoffs last season, and he’s still a ways away from returning to the court. He’s started doing some non-contact work during practice, but head coach Rick Carlisle said there’s no definitive timetable for his return.
DALLAS MAVERICKS VS. LOS ANGELES LAKERS PREVIEW AND PICK
The Mavericks are not the same team without Porzingis, but this line is not giving them enough credit. They were the best offensive team in the league last season, and they don’t need Porzingis to be lethal on that end of the court. They averaged 118.3 points per 100 possessions with Doncic or the court, but without Porzingis, so they should be fine without him in the short term.
Speaking of Doncic, he’s only going to get better at just 21 years old. He’s coming off one of the most impressive seasons ever for a player that age. He averaged 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game last season, which is absolutely mind-boggling.
Doncic didn’t get off to the best start in his first game, shooting just 11-26 from the field and 0-6 from 3-point range, but he’s going to have a monster season. He posted a usage rate of 40.1% in that contest, which represents a significant increase from his mark of 36.8% last season. There’s a reason this guy is the current favorite to win the MVP at +410 on FanDuel Sportsbook. This will be Doncic’s first game on Christmas, so expect him to try to put on a show.
As for the Lakers, a reduced workload for LeBron during the regular season makes this team very vulnerable. Keeping LeBron healthy for the postseason is obviously the top priority, but don’t expect this team to win as many games as last year with LeBron playing fewer minutes.
Even in his 18th NBA season, LeBron is still one of the most impactful players in the league. The Lakers increased their Net Rating by +10.3 points per 100 possessions with LeBron on the court last season, which put him in the 94th percentile for all players, according to Cleaning the Glass. With LeBron off the floor, the Lakers were actually outscored by -1.7 points per 100 possessions. That’s concerning.
In the first game of the year, the Lakers outscored the Clippers by +2 with James on the court and were outscored by -9 without him. LeBron was the only starter who posted a positive Plus/Minus in that contest, including Anthony Davis. As good as Davis is, this team still needs LeBron on the floor to win games.
The betting numbers also indicate some sharp interest in the Mavericks. They’ve received just 48% of the spread bets, but those bets have accounted for 79% of the spread dollars.
Add it all up, and the Mavericks are my favorite play on Christmas.
The Pick: Mavericks +6