Dallas Mavericks vs. LA Clippers Pick
Dallas Mavericks (15-14 SU, 17-12 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (17-13 SU, 16-14 ATS)
When: Thursday, December 20th, 2018 – 10:30 PM ET
Where: Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA
By: Keith Franks, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: DAL +3.5 / LAC -3.5 (MyBookie Sportsbook)
Power Rankings: Pick-Em
Takeaways From Dallas and Los Angeles’s Most Recent Games
The Mavericks have struggled as of late as they are presently riding a three-game losing streak while also failing to produce a cover in their last four fixtures. Most recently, the Mavs were defeated on the road on Tuesday at the hands of the Denver Nuggets in the Mile High City. As a 4.5-point underdog, Dallas was defeated 126-118 by the Nuggets.
Mirroring a similar trend, the Clippers also enter into this contest in overall poor form as they are currently riding a four-game losing streak. Overall, Lob City has won just one contest in their last seven outings. Most recently, the Clippers hosted the Portland Trailblazers in the City of Angels on Monday where they were defeated 131-127 despite being favored by 1.5 points.
How the Public is Betting the Dallas-Los Angeles Game
At the moment, 75% of the betting public are spotting the points with the Clippers. Despite this, we have not seen the line budge from the heavy steam on Lob City.
The Mavericks and Clippers have shared a well-balanced series as each team has won four of the last eight games overall. Most recently, the Mavs took down the Clips 18 days ago in the Metroplex defeating Los Angeles 114-110 outright as a 3.5-point underdog.
The Mavs will be getting back point guard J.J Barea and franchise legend forward Dirk Nowitzki for this contest as both are listed as probable. The Dallas duo have both nagged by ankle injuries. On the Los Angeles side of things, former Sixth Man of the Year shooting guard “Sweet” Lou Williams is listed as questionable for this contest due to soreness in his hamstring.
Today’s College Basketball Pick: Duke vs Texas Tech
Can The Mavericks Get Over Their Road Woes?
A huge narrative that defers action from the Mavericks is their paltry 2-11 SU road record. When you couple this with the notion that Los Angeles has overall been in good form in the Staples Center at 9-4 SU this season, the sell button will be pushed on Dallas in this position. Nevertheless, the Mavericks have the ingredients to put together a recipe to get a win here in the City of Angels. The Mavericks own a top-10 scoring defense giving up just 108.7 points per game (10th overall). This is pivotal given the fact their defensive prowess can undermine Los Angeles’ fifth-ranked scoring offense (114.4 points per game). When you couple this with the fact that the Mavericks are fourth in the league in defensive rebounding (42.4 boards per game), Dallas can also limit LA’s second efforts to score.
Los Angeles’ Success From A Cast of Journeymen Characters
After all-pro point guard Chris Paul left for Houston along with a late-season trade in 2017 that sent forward Blake Griffin to Detroit, the Clippers’ projected ceiling was low. Despite this Lob City has found a way to breakthrough and this is thanks to a cast of journeyman characters that have revamped this team’s roster. Most notably, forward Tobias Harris has been a revelation as he is putting together a career season averaging a team-leading 21.5 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game. This is the kind of numbers teams like Detroit, Orlando, and Milwaukee hoped to see out of T-Harris in his previous stints. Similar sentiments have been expressed over bench forward Montrezl Harrell who is also putting together a career season as he has revamped his production in scoring (15.1 points per game), rebounding (6.6 boards per game), and blocks (1.5 per game) since coming over from Houston in 2017.
The Mavericks have been quite profitable in this series as of late as they have covered successfully in their last three meetings with Los Angeles. Overall, Dallas is 5-1-1 ATS in the last seven contests between both parties. The Home Team has won the last six meetings (6-0 SU) overall.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Dallas +147 (Money Line)
As we have seen in other situations previously, the price dictates the play. According to Sports and Odds, the Clippers are severely overvalued as this game should be priced as a pick-em. The market is playing on Dallas’ poor road form which inflicts a premium on takers to back Los Angeles here in order to entice takers to take action on Dallas. This is where we step in. Given the fact this game should be priced as a pick-em according to the metrics, this contest is virtual flip of the coin where Dallas have a 50% chance of winning. Yet, the Mavericks are not priced as such and we can get enormous value trading away the points here and ride a 57% swing in a 50/50 spot to make an extra $.47 on the dollar thanks to the nature of the wager. The beauty of value bets such as these as that if anyone takes advantage of such a proposition as they arise (Risking 1 unit to make 1.4 units with a 50% chance of winning, as opposed to the standard vig of -110 or 1.1 units to make 1 unit in most pick-em spots), takers can be in the green by a country mile. This is one of those spots and thus it is imperative to take a plunge Dallas on the Money Line. When you add in Mavs’ solid defensive acumen and physicality on the boards to limit second chances compared to their counterparts, there is even more upside. Mavericks get the win here.