Mavericks vs. Lakers Odds
|10:30 p.m. ET
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.
The Dallas Mavericks take on the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night in a game with significant Western Conference seeding implications.
The Lakers are just inside the play-in tournament with a half-game lead on the Utah Jazz for the 10-seed. They’re also just one game behind the Mavericks, tied with the Timberwolves for the 7-seed.
The playoff race in the West is about as tight as they come. The Mavericks and Lakers are only three and four games behind the Suns in the loss column and a win for either team could set them on a path to avoid the play-in entirely.
Let’s breakdown the odds and I’ll share my prediction for Mavericks vs. Lakers.
Kyrie Irving (foot) is questionable for Friday’s matchup, while Luka Doncic (thigh) has already been ruled out.
Neither star has played since the Mavericks 106-113 loss to New Orleans on March 8 and those absences couldn’t come at a worse time for Dallas as the Mavericks find themselves in a competitive hunt for playoff seeding.
By trading for Irving, the Mavericks doubled down on an already elite offense that ranked eighth in the NBA (115.2). In exchange, the Mavericks shipped off the best wing defender, Dorian Finney-Smith, from a defense that ranked 24th (114.9).
But as good as their offense got, their defense got even worse comparatively. Post-trade, the Mavericks rank seventh in offense (117.8) and 24th in defense (117.7), a -.2 downshift in Net Rating.
The Mavericks brand of defense is particularly susceptible to a team like the Lakers that takes 37.9% of their shots at the rim — the highest percentage in the league.
Dallas ranks a sub-par 17th in opponent rim rate (33.9%) and 20th in field goal percentage allowed at the rim (68.2%), according to Cleaning the Glass.
The Lakers appear eminently aware of their precarious playoff position. Since the Feb. 9 trade deadline, they have the seventh-best record in the league (9-6 straight up and ATS).
In LeBron James’ absence, Anthony Davis has stepped things up significantly, averaging 24.6 points, 14.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.2 blocks per game since the deadline.
The Lakers made several changes to their roster last month and the new acquisitions have brought positive results. The Lakers second-best lineup this season doesn’t include James and is a surprisingly strong defensive lineup.
When Davis, Jarred Vanderbilt, Troy Brown Jr., Malik Beasley and Dennis Schroder are on the court, the Lakers have a +7.9 Net Rating and are allowing just 96.5 points per 100 possessions, which is in the 96th percentile.
The Lakers matchup well with Dallas offensively, but I have questions about their ability to prevent the Mavericks from shooting themselves into the game from deep.
Los Angeles has the best 3-Point defense in the league (34.5%), but ranks just 22nd in Opponent 3-Point Rate. Meanwhile, the Mavericks shoot the second-most 3’s in the league (44.2%).
It should be noted that Davis missed last game with a nagging foot injury, but is listed as probable for Friday. If he plays (as expected), I like the Lakers against the spread, regardless if Irving plays.
Aside from a matchup advantage, the Lakers are showing more effort. The Mavericks are just 6-9 since trading for Irving.
There are also a few trends that lean toward the Lakers in this matchup. The Mavs have struggled to cover off an ATS win through this season.
On the other side, the Lakers have shown resilience after underachieving. They’re 5-0 in their past five games following an ATS loss. And there’s a related system on BetLabs I’ve been tracking that fits with the Lakers on Friday night:
I’d take the Lakers to -6 if both Davis and Irving play and down to -7.5 with Irving out.
I also lean to the over, but will wait on the status of both players before placing any bets on the total. The Mavericks are 7-4-1 to the over when Irving plays. Follow me in the Action app for a play on the over (aoconnorwatts).
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