Lakers vs. Mavericks Betting Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions: Injuries Boosting Value on Dallas

Lakers vs. Mavericks Betting Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions: Injuries Boosting Value on Dallas article feature image

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic (77) of the Dallas Mavericks.

  • The LA Lakers (30-7) are 2.5-point dogs on the road and will face the Dallas Mavericks (23-14) for the final time this season with the over/under set at 222.5.
  • Which side should you be betting in this Friday night NBA showdown (9:45 p.m. ET on ESPN)? Our experts analyze the updated odds and give their picks.

Lakers at Mavericks Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions

  • Spread: Mavericks -2.5
  • Over/Under: 223.5
  • Time: 9:45 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: ESPN

Odds as of Friday afternoon and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.

The Mavericks host the Lakers with both teams nursing some injuries to their stars. The Mavs are 2-4 in their past six games, including a loss to the Lakers in that span. Will they bounce back against LA tonight?

Our NBA crew previews how they are handicapping this matchup.

Betting Trend to Know

The Dallas Mavericks lead the league Offensive Rating (115.3) and are the most profitable team to the over this season (23-14).

If you dig a bit closer though, the Mavs haven’t been as much of a lock to hit the over as they seem recently. Since the beginning of December, when the total closes at 220 or higher — it’s currently 223.5 — the Mavericks are 3-6 to the over. A $100 bettor would have lost $311 during that span. — Malik Smith


Bryan Mears: This Spread Seems … Off

These teams just played on Dec. 29 and the Lakers, at home, closed as a five-point favorite. Let’s say home court is worth 2.5 points. That closing spread suggests the Lakers were 2.5 points better on a neutral court at the time, assuming the market is efficient.

Tonight the Mavs are two-point favorites at home, and if we use the same math it puts the Lakers at a half-point on a neutral court. What’s the difference for tonight’s game, and why the two-point swing?

Let’s start with the injuries. Kristaps Porzingis played in that Dec. 29 game, and he’s out tonight with a knee injury. This season, the Mavs have been largely neutral with or without Porzingis on the court — they’ve been 3.9 points/100 worse on offense but 2.7/100 better on defense. But that’s potentially underselling Porzingis’ value.

On the Lakers’ side, Anthony Davis (glute) is out and Avery Bradley (fever) is questionable to suit up, while LeBron James is probable after being limited in practice yesterday with flu-like symptoms … Ah! There’s the reason the Mavs are currently favored and why the line is different by a couple points.

The question is, though, where this line should be depending on who plays and who sits. I think Davis is worth more than just two points to the Lakers, especially in a high-level game (value isn’t in a vacuum, it absolutely changes based on opponent quality).

That means this line was likely hedging based on his status, which books have often done over the past few years — they like to hedge to minimize the risk and having a line move 4-5 points, but it also isn’t a perfect system.

These teams have already played three times this season, with the Lakers taking two of them. LA’s defense was excellent in those two, and they were able to withstand severe rebounding disadvantages in all three games. One consistent thing is the Lakers have been able to dominate attacking the rim, and Porzingis’ absence likely won’t help in that regard. — Bryan Mears

Matt Moore: Injury News Is Key

I think you have to play this one by recent play and not by season-long trends. The Mavericks are trending downward, especially with Kristaps Porzingis out. That’s odd, because the season-long trends have indicated them being better without him, and they were actually in the red in net rating before the last 45 days or so.

But Dallas is 3-8 in its past eleven games against the spread. In the last 10 games, they’ve slipped to 17th in defense and just seventh in offense; the historic offense from the start of the year is starting to lag. Teams are also finding ways to scheme against Doncic, especially with Porzingis out.

The Lakers, meanwhile, have won six in a row, and while they haven’t been covering consistently, they’ve also been double-digit favorites.

Davis is out and the line moved from -2 to -2.5. James appears more probable than questionable in this game despite the illness. I think the Lakers can cover without Davis vs. a market-exaggerated line. If James plays, though, this feels like a stay away for me at the current number. — Matt Moore

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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