This NBA handicapper deciphers tonight’s contest between the Dallas Mavericks & LA Lakers. Through insightful observations on this game, he concludes the betting preview article with a totals selection.
Sunday Night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Lakers will host the Dallas Mavericks tonight at 9:35 PM ET. According to the NBA Odds at Bookmaker, Dallas is a 6.5 point favorite, and the posted total is 203.0. This will be the third meeting of the season between these Western Conference rivals, and Dallas won each of the first two encounters.
Way Down Under
The Dallas Mavericks enter tonight’s game having seen the last ten, fifteen of the last eighteen, and nineteen of their previous twenty-four games go under the total. The average combined score of Dallas games during their recent ten game consecutive low scoring run was 188.3 points. There was just one of those ten contests that reached the 200-point plateau. Dallas has scored less than 100-points in six of the last seven and nine of their previous eleven games. This will be the third road game in four days for the Mavericks, and they shot a combined 37.1% from the field in the first two. Dallas has also limited their last six opponents to an average of only 80.5 field goal attempts per game, and that’s well below the NBA average.
Improving Defensively of Late
The Los Angeles Lakers are allowing 105.8 points per game this season which ranks dead last in the NBA. However, they’ve held their last six opponents to an average of 99.8 points per contest. Opponents have also averaged just 78.3 field goal attempts per game in the last three Lakers contests. The Lakers have covered six of their previous seven games, and have gone under the number in twelve of sixteen contests this season after covering four or five of their last six games.
Both of these teams have done a very nice job of limiting opponents field goal attempts in recent games. The Mavericks have made a concerted effort to slow the tempo of their games down over the past six weeks, and for the most part succeeded in doing so. As I already alluded to, Dallas will be playing their third road game in the last four days, and that’s usually not a recipe for a good shooting performance. It’s not like the Lakers are a well rested. They’ll be playing their fifth game in the last eight days. I look for a slower paced game tonight, and don’t anticipate either team will shoot a very high percentage from the floor. As a result, I’m calling for a low scoring affair, and one of my NBA picks on Sunday will be reflective of exactly that.
NBA Picks: Play on the Mavericks and Lakers to go under the total of 203.0 at Bookmaker.