NBA Game Preview: Los Angeles Lakers at Dallas Mavericks

Mar 29, 2022

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Game: Los Angeles Lakers @ Dallas Mavericks 

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET 

Odds:  Lakers +12, Mavericks -12 

Total: 218 

The Lakers are in a nosedive with just two wins in their last 15 games. It doesn’t get any easier tonight as L.A. travels to Dallas to face Luka Doncic and the Mavs. The Lakers are just a half-game ahead of San Antonio in the Western Conference. The Lakers are currently 10th, but a loss will drop them out of the play-in tournament. To make matters worse, LeBron James is listed as doubtful for tonight after injuring an ankle in Sunday’s loss to New Orleans. James’ status is the likely reason behind Dallas being a double-digit favorite tonight. 

Dallas has been playing well and took over fourth place in the West with a win over Utah on Sunday. The Mavericks have now won 11 of their last 14 games and nine of ten against teams from the Western Conference. The Mavs are just 3-3 SU in their last six games and put up some sketchy performances in losses to Minnesota, Charlotte, and Philadelphia. Still, they are one of the NBA’s better teams. 

The Mavs are one of the better defensive teams in the league. Currently, they are second in the league in scoring defense allowing opponents just 104.1 points per game. In four of their last six victories, the Mavs held their opponents to 100 points or less. It’s no secret how Dallas wins games. Its defense and a very methodical offense that is extremely efficient. The Mavericks play at the slowest pace – 98.5 possessions per game – in the entire league. 

That defense helps keep Dallas in games. That can be seen in the Mavs’ ATS record this season. Dallas is 42-32-1 ATS for the season and they are 12-6 ATS in their last 18 games. They are solid at home too where they are 21-16-1 ATS. Dallas has also had the Lakers’ number whenever they play them at home. In the Lakers last 15 trips to Dallas, the Mavs are 11-4 SU at American Airlines Center. 

What’s interesting about the Lakers is that the last time James missed a game L.A. lost to the Sixers by five points. Don’t forget, the Lakers still have Russell Westbrook who seems to play much better when he is the Lakers’ No. 1 option. The Lakers also offer a contrast in styles to Dallas. L.A. is tied for the top spot in pace in the league averaging 104.6 possessions per game. That’s the same number as Minnesota, the highest-scoring team in the NBA. 

The Lakers have also given up over 120 points per game in their last three. Their last five totals have been ridiculous: 224, 247, 251, 246, and 251. Four of those five games resulted in the Over. The Lakers are one of the top Over teams in the league with a 42-32 O/U record for the season. Dallas, on the other hand, is one of the top Under teams with a 25-48-2 O/U mark this season. At home, that record stands at 9-28-1. In the last 13 games against the Lakers nine have gone Under and the last five in a row in Dallas have gone Under as well.