The Dallas Mavericks are in the driver’s seat on the best sportsbooks as they take a 3-2 lead with the series heading to Dallas for Game 6. It follows therefore that the onus is on the Los Angeles Clippers to win Game 6. Otherwise, their postseason will be over before it really gets going.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks
Friday, June 4, 2021 – 9:00 PM ET at American Airlines Center
The objective on hand is simple: a home win will rubber stamp Dallas’ ticket for the second round while a road win will send the series into a deciding Game 7 at the Staples Center. Interestingly, though, this series features a most unusual trend as for the first time in the history of the playoffs, all five games of the series have been won by the road team. That’s something to consider in the betting and it raises the question of whether it will hold true again for game 6.
In other words, can the Clippers rely on this trend to deliver a road win and send the series into a deciding Game 7? Or will the Mavericks finally buck the trend to capitalize on home advantage and put away the Clippers once and for all?
We preview this game in this column alongside the best NBA odds on offer and serve up a betting verdict.
Clippers Slip up in Game 5
The Los Angeles Clippers slipped up badly in Game 5 at home, succumbing to a 105-100 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. According to the NBA odds, the Clippers were installed as the favorites across multiple sports betting sites but they failed to deliver. Heck, they didn’t even whiff at the odds which had the Clippers close as the 7.5 -point faves.
Kawhi Leonard barely struck a chord in Wednesday’s showdown, at least he was nowhere near his lofty standards putting up merely 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. Paul George had a slightly better night with 23 points, 10 rebounds and six assists but it clearly wasn’t enough to make up the difference on the scoreboard. Elsewhere Reggie Jackson added 20 points, two rebounds and three assists, Marcus Morris put up 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists while Nicolas Batum put up 10 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
If there was an area of the game that is cause for concern, it’s their struggles from deep. In total, the Clippers made just 14 of their 38 shots from the three-point range. Misfiring more than half of their deep range shots clearly won’t cut it and they’ll need to be much sharper for Game 6.
Mavs Deliver in Game 5
In spite of being tipped as the massive 7.5-point underdogs on the NBA odds board, the Mavs pulled off the road upset to take the initiative in this Western Conference first round series. Then again, it wasn’t the first time that they pulled off the big upset on the road against the NBA odds. The first two games of the series saw the Mavs close as the six and seven-point road underdogs but they won and covered each time.
Luka Doncic was a formidable force in Wednesday’s 105-100 triumph, making up almost half of Dallas’ points singlehandedly. He put up an incredible 42 points, eight rebounds and 14 assists. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 20 points, seven rebounds and two assists while the rest of the team made up the rest of the points in a collective smatter.
So far, one of the guiding aspects of the Mavs game is their potency from deep. In the postseason, they sport one of the strongest three-point records at 43.2 percent efficiency.
NBA Predictions and Picks
The LA Clippers entered the first round as the team to beat in the eyes of many, including top sportsbooks, but things haven’t quite gone to plan. They’re one foot out the door and staring at a must-win game if they hope to stave off elimination on Friday. And yet, bookies corner this game in their camp, if ever so slightly. The Clippers are currently trading as the 2.5 point faves, up from an opening 1.5 points. Clearly, bettors are buying what they’re selling as they’ve bet up the NBA line by a point with still 24 hours to go before kick-off.
It’s been a topsy-turvy series from the start and not least of all, it has clearly favored the road team in every single game. However, the Clippers simply can’t hang their hats on that trend and hope for the best nor should bettors.
The Dallas Mavericks started this series brightly and surprised many when they took a commanding 2-0 lead over the Clippers in the first two games. Granted they did lose their way in the ensuing two games with Game 4 representing one of their worst defeats in the series as the Clippers steamrolled them in a 106-81 beatdown. But one has to be impressed by how well they rebounded in game 5 after playing so badly in the previous game. More importantly. the Clippers were totally unable to slow down Doncic in Game 5 as evinced by his monster stats. If Doncic lights up again, the Clippers may well be sent packing prematurely.
In any event, whichever way one slices this game for NBA picks, it’s sure to be a riveting contest between two teams that have grand designs in the postseason. The Clippers may be favored but the Mavericks have the momentum and now with the series nearing the finishing line they’ll be mindful of the fact that this is their best shot to get over the line.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.