NBA Picks: Mavericks vs. Lakers

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 12:14 PM GMT

Tuesday, Apr. 2, 2013 12:14 PM GMT

There should be a playoff-type atmosphere inside the Staples Center Tuesday night, as both the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers are trying to run down the Utah Jazz for a playoff spot.


Let’s take a closer look at the NBA betting odds for this Western Conference affair, with the opening tip scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

Building momentum

Dallas has won four of its last five games, including a 100-98 come-from-behind victory over the Chicago Bulls as five-point home favorites last Saturday, while going OVER the total for the sixth time in seven contests.

The Mavericks are 17-10 straight up (SU) and 16-11 against the spread (ATS) during the second half of the 2012-13 NBA season, while the OVER is 15-11-1 in that situation.

Falling into a pattern

Los Angeles alternated wins and losses over its recently completed four-game road trip, as it picked up a 103-98 victory over the Sacramento Kings as 2.5-point favorites last time out, while going UNDER the total for the first time in five contests.

The Lakers are 17-12 SU and 12-17 ATS in the month of April the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER enjoying a slight 15-14 advantage.

House of Horrors

It’s hard for me to support the Mavericks for an entire 48 minutes as one of my NBA picks against the spread Tuesday, as they’ve dropped 20 of 25 regular-season meetings against the Lakers at the Staples Center.

Dallas has managed to cover the NBA betting odds in four of its last five trips to Southern California in this series, while the road team is 18-7-1 ATS in the last 25 meetings overall.

Earning his money

Kobe Bryant continues to battle through a left foot injury that’s obviously bothering him in a big way, as he’s knocked down just 11 of 35 shots from the floor over the last two games.  He did manage to finish with 19 points and a season high-tying 14 assists last time out.

Lakers center Dwight Howard is averaging 21.3 points and 15.3 rebounds in his last three games, as he tries to shoulder a bigger load on the offensive end with Bryant being limited,  with the team scoring 105.8 points over its last five games.

[gameodds]5/223658/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that NBA handicappers back the Mavericks in the opening 24 minutes Tuesday night, as I believe Nowitzki will continue his strong play on the offensive end from the outset, especially with the Lakers missing forward Metta World Peace.

Los Angeles has struggled with its identity for the entire 2012-13 season, which could show up in a big way in the early going in such an important contest.

NBA Pick:  Dallas Mavericks +1.5 First Half at BetOnline

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