The Mavs are -9 on NBA odds as they host the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday with the 'over/under' total set at 210 points. It's the end of a grueling eight-game road trip for Dallas, so what's the best bet here?
Clippers Without Griffin
I believe the Clippers (33-19) are spent from this crazy road trip as they are playing their worst basketball of the season and now will be without two injured starters likely at least until the All-Star Break in guard J.J. Redick and forward and All-Star Blake Griffin. L.A. has lost four straight, the past three by double digits. The Clips were clobbered in Oklahoma City on Sunday, 131-108. It was the second time in three games that the team fell behind by 30 or more points (also Thursday in Cleveland). Before that, the Clippers had played 108 straight games (regular season and playoffs) without trailing by 30 or more points.
Griffin missed that Thunder game and will undergo surgery Monday for a staph infection in his right elbow and will be sidelined at least through the break. Griffin has been dealing with bursitis in that elbow his entire career and often has to have it drained. This is a big loss. Griffin is averaging 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. The team averages 114 points per 100 possessions and shoots 48.6 percent from the field when Griffin is on the court. It averages 100.3 points per 100 possessions and shoots 43.4 percent when he's not. Since Griffin will miss the All-Star Game, the NBA picked Blazers point guard Damian Lillard to replace him. Spencer Hawes started for Griffin against the Thunder, but Coach Doc Rivers didn't commit to that going forward, instead saying it would depend on matchups.
The Clippers have played their past three games without Redick, the team's best 3-point shooter. He's dealing with a back injury and has been ruled out indefinitely. There's an outside chance he can play here but it's not likely. Ideally the team lets him rest through the break. In Redick's absence, Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers, the coach's son and a recent addition, have played more minutes.
Los Angeles is 20-32 against the NBA betting spread and 23-26-3 'over/under.' The Clips haven't lost five straight since acquiring Chris Paul from New Orleans.
Dallas is missing an injured starter of its own in point guard Rajon Rondo. He has missed the past four games with an broken orbital bone of his left eye and a fractured nose. The team thinks he won't have to have surgery, although it hasn't been 100 percent ruled out. He's not going to be back before the All-Star Break at a minimum. In 21 games since being traded to Dallas from Boston, Rondo has averaged 9.2 points and 6.5 assists per game. J.J. Barea has been starting in his place and has struggled, hitting just 34 percent of his shots the past four games.
The Mavericks (35-18) have won two straight. They last played Saturday, a 111-101 overtime home win over Portland. Dallas rallied from a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit, including down 11 with 1:55 left, with Dirk Nowitzki sending it to OT on a late 3-pointer. He finished with 25 points, while Chandler Parsons had 20 points, 10 of which came in overtime. Dallas scored the first nine points of the OT.
Dallas is 26-26-1 against the spread and 24-28-1 'over/under' on NBA odds.
L.A. leads 1-0. On Jan. 10, the Clippers were 3.5-point home favorites on NBA odds (total of 213) and won 120-100. Chris Paul had 17 points and 13 assists and Griffin 22 points in the Clippers' eighth win in their past 11 games against the Mavericks. The last six games between the teams had been decided by seven points or fewer. Nowitzki had 25 points and Monta Ellis 23 for the Mavs, who got only two points from Rondo. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle was ejected in the third quarter after picking up his second technical for arguing a foul on Tyson Chandler.
NBA Free Picks: Take Dallas -8.5 and 'over' 210 points at Pinnacle Sports. The Clippers are 1-7 ATS in their past eight in the second of a back-to-back. Dallas is 7-3 ATS in its past 10 following an ATS win. The 'over' is 6-0 in the past six meetings.