Los Angeles Lakers (45-21) at Dallas Mavericks -5.5/206 (44-23), 8:30 pm Eastern Tuesday
by Zman of Predictem.com
From here on out, the Western Conference will feature big games with big playoff implications on an almost nightly basis. And another one of those will take place Tuesday night when the Dallas Mavericks play host to the Los Angeles Lakers.
NBA betting boards list Dallas as a 5 1/2-point home favorite for Tuesday’s game, with a total of 206. Also, the Mavs are moneylined at right around -225, with LA getting +200 as road underdogs.
Los Angeles has lost two straight games, both without forward Pau Gasol, who will also miss Tuesday’s game with a sprained ankle. In their most recent outing, the Lakers became the 22nd consecutive victim of the Houston Rockets, losing 104-92 Sunday. So going into this week’s action, LA leads the Pacific Division by one game over the second-place Phoenix Suns, and sits in second place in the West, one game behind Houston but only two games from being in seventh.
Dallas has won five games in a row, all by at least 19 points, after beating Miami Sunday 98-73. So heading into Tuesday’s action, the Mavericks are tied for third place in the Southwest Division, 2 1/2 games back of the first-place Rockets. But more importantly, Dallas owns the seven slot in the Western Conference playoff race, just one game from fourth place and home-court advantage in the first round but also only 2 1/2 games from ninth place, and being left out of the post-season party.
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Dallas is 9-5 since getting guard Jason Kidd in that trade with New Jersey. But the Mavs have also beaten LA four straight times in Big D.
The Lakers are a profitable 39-26 against the spread this season, 22-13 straight up and 22-12-1 vs. the numbers on the road.
Dallas is 30-33 (with several pushes) ATS this season, 29-4 straight up and 15-14 vs. the numbers at home.
These two teams have split their first two meetings this season, the Mavs winning in Dallas 112-105 back in January and the Lakers winning in LA 108-104 in overtime 16 days ago. And the Mavericks took three of four from Los Angeles last season. So over the last six meetings in the series between these two teams, Dallas is 4-2 straight up and 3-1-2 against the spread. Also, the o/u has gone 4-2, as those games have averaged 200 total points (excluding that OT period they played).
The Lakers rank 3rd in the league in point differential at +7.0 per game, Dallas 7th at +5.0.
Los Angeles is shooting 48% from the field as a team this season, 37% from 3-point range and 76% from the free-throw line. At the other end of the court, the Mavs are shooting 47% from the floor, 36% from beyond the arc and a league-leading 82% from the stripe.
Los Angeles ranks 4th in the league in FG defense at 44%, the Mavericks 5th at 45%. And the Mavs rank 3rd in the league in rebounding at +3.0 boards per game, LA 10th at +1.1.
The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com ranks the Lakers 3rd at 97.0, Dallas 7th at 95.2. Sagarin’s current NBA home-court advantage figure is 3.5.
The o/u is 32-33 in Lakers games this season, which are averaging 209 total points, while the totals are 33-31 in Mavericks games, which are averaging 196 points.
Zman’s Pick: The total in this game has moved from 206 up to 210. We’re going UNDER 210 tonight.