Mavericks vs. Clippers Game 2 Betting Odds & Pick: Bet on Kawhi, Clippers in Clutch Time
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Kawhi Leonard and Montrezl Harrell.
- Check out our betting preview for Wednesday's Game 2 NBA Playoffs matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers.
- Find betting odds, predictions and a pick for the game below, including why Brandon Anderson is picking LA to cover against the spread in Game 2.
Mavericks vs. Clippers Betting Odds
|Mavericks Odds||+6.5 [BET NOW]|
|Clippers Odds||-6.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+225/-278 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||230.5 (-108/-113) [BET NOW]|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
Day 1 of the NBA playoffs ended with a bang in a game that had a little bit of everything. Luka Doncic made his playoff debut, recorded four early turnovers before leaving with what looked like a serious injury, returned with his ankle taped, and put up an NBA-debut record 42 points.
To make things even more interesting for the Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis made his playoff debut and got ejected for his first time ever.
The Clippers jumped out to an 18-2 lead early. Dallas responded with a 48-18 run to take a big lead in the second quarter before the teams battled back and forth in a close game until Los Angeles put the game away late.
So what did we learn about these teams? Everything and nothing, all at once. Doncic was not afraid of the spotlight and did his superstar thing, slicing up the Clippers’ defense. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were unguardable, hitting contested jumpers all night.
The Clippers covered by two, the game went under the total by two, and as weird as everything was, it was also kind of exactly what we expected.
I’m a little worried about the health of the Mavericks. Porzingis is questionable with a sore right knee as of Tuesday evening. That’s a bit worrying when he didn’t even play much Monday or the final week of seeding games. Trey Burke is probable with an ankle he sprained Monday. Doncic is not on the injury report, but he played through the ankle injury, one I thought might sideline him for the game or entire series at the time. Dallas is a very thin team already and entirely dependent on its two superstars. It can’t afford anything less than 100% health for Doncic and Porzingis.
Dallas had no answer on defense for Kawhi and PG, but that was weirdly encouraging in some ways. There is no real defense for those two stars making contested jumpers, and the Mavs didn’t let Lou Williams or Montrezl Harrell get going. I suspect Rick Carlisle was pleased with his team’s defense, especially considering Porzingis missed much of the game.
Carlisle had to be pretty happy overall seeing his team go on a big run without Doncic in the first half, then hang tough without Porzingis in the second half. Dallas has proved it belongs. Can it win a game now, too?
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers were surprisingly healthy in Game 1, with both Patrick Beverley and Landry Shamet unexpectedly available, along with Harrell for the first time in the Orlando bubble.
Beverley got into quick foul trouble and couldn’t guard Doncic, but he did the little winning things and helped the team. Harrell wasn’t good, and Shamet was a disaster with a 0.0 Offensive Rating in eight minutes. Reggie Jackson also played poorly off the bench, notching an Offensive Rating of 15 in over 16 minutes. The Clippers will get better as Harrell rounds back into shape and he and Beverley take more of those minutes away, but they also won’t get 19 points from Marcus Morris every night. That will balance out.
Despite the win, you have to think Doc Rivers was the more unhappy coach here. This was a B-minus performance at best from his guys, as Kawhi and PG did just enough late to win. The Clippers certainly didn’t look like title favorites, and the Mavericks are too good for Los Angeles to take its time finding its form.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Considering the Mavs spotted the Clippers 16 points out of the gates and lost most of the second half from their second star, you’re probably feeling good if you’re leaning toward Dallas here. After all, they were one shot away from covering and a few breaks from stealing a win.
At the same time, the Clippers didn’t play very well outside of the first four minutes but won anyway. They’re the better, deeper, healthier team, and all the advantages they had in Game 1 apply again here. This line still feels a bit low. Even if it’s another close game, Dallas remains shaky in the clutch while Kawhi and PG will get those late buckets every time.
Dallas is now a terrible 2-7 ATS in the Orlando bubble. The Clippers are 6-3 without having much to play for yet.
At -6.5, I’ll still take the healthy Clippers against all but a couple of NBA teams. I like them to do enough late to get the win and cover, and I’d play to -7.5.
The Pick: Clippers -6.5 (up to -7.5)