Mavericks vs. Clippers Odds, Preview, Prediction: Value on the Total in Pivotal Game 5 (June 2)
Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks.
Mavericks vs. Clippers Game 5 Odds
|Moneyline||+240 / -295|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesday and via FanDuel.|
Just last Wednesday, the Dallas Mavericks upset the Los Angeles Clippers twice at Staples Center and had a commanding 2-0 lead with an opportunity to expand on that in Games 3 and 4 at home.
Things can change in a blink of an eye.
One week later, the series is tied 2-2 and heads back to L.A. for a pivotal Game 5 with all the momentum favoring Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers.
To make matters worse for the Mavericks, Luka Doncic is battling an injury (cervical strain) and struggled shooting in Game 4 going 9-of-24 from the floor and missing all five of his free throw attempts. If Doncic is not at 100%, it will be a real struggle for the Mavericks to contend with a stacked Clippers team.
The market certainly agrees with that sentiment as the Clippers has opened up as hefty seven-point favorites. I believe the Clippers are the superior team and Doncic’s injury status is a big concern, but seven points is a large number to lay. Instead, I see betting value on the total of 217, where I believe this has the set-up of a low-scoring game.
Dallas Has Gone Cold From Deep
Regression on 3-point shooting was bound to come for the Mavericks. After hitting 17 3s (47% shooting) in Game 1, 18 3s (52% shooting) in Game 2 and 20 3s (51% shooting) in Game 3, they came crashing down to earth in Game 4, shooting an awful 5-for-30 from behind the arc.
Their offense came to a screeching halt in Game 4 without Doncic playing at full strength and it had a trickle-down effect to the rest of the team. Tim Hardaway Jr., who has really excelled in this series, scored just four points and missed his four 3-point attempts after going 15-for-23 (65.2%) from behind the 3-point line in Games 1-3.
Kristaps Porzingis has not stepped up to be the consistent second option that Dallas thought it acquired via trade two seasons ago. In fact, Rick Carlisle brought in Boban Marjanovic for 14 minutes in Game 4 to try and combat the Clippers with some size and interior defense. He responded well and scored 12 points in that short amount of time. If this trend continues in Game 5, I like this game to be slow-paced and low-scoring with the 7-foot-4 big man on the floor.
The Mavericks are 16-8 (66.67%) to the under this season as underdogs, per the Sports Data Query Language database. This is active on the Mavericks as they keep their game play slow and methodical against the better teams and allow Doncic to break down the defenses.
Clippers Make All the Right Adjustments
Leonard has been outstanding and unstoppable in this series. He scores at will and can do it in so many different ways. Not only is he knocking down 3-pointers, he is powering his way to the basket with no resistance and scoring with ease.
Ty Lue made a change to the starting line-up beginning in Game 3, bringing in Reggie Jackson and Nicholas Batum to replace Patrick Beverley and Ivica Zubac, respectively. Beverley’s best years are way behind him and was a net-negative on the floor. He was completely ineffective on defense against Doncic and provides nothing on the offensive end.
Jackson has played really well in the starting role, putting some pressure on Doncic to actually to try a little harder on defense. In turn, he will now have to expend more energy and that could impact him on offense.
The Clippers have ramped up their defensive intensity in the past two games and seemed to figure out how to contain the Mavericks. Ultimately, the offense is dependent on Doncic and if he is not at full strength, I don’t have much confidence in the Mavericks offense to put up that many points.
These teams are two of the slowest-paced teams in the NBA. During the regular season, the Mavericks and Clippers finished 26th (97.9) and 28th (97.6) in Pace, respectively, per NBA Advanced Stats.
The pace has been incredibly slow for this entire series. It was 85.6, 96.8, 84.8 and 91.3 in the four consecutive games. Games 2 and 3 went over the total due to some unsustainable shooting by both teams.
These teams have a stronger familiarity with one another having gone through a grueling playoff series last season and through four games this series. They know each other’s tendencies very well and with this budding rivalry in a pivotal Game 5, I think each team will make defense their main priority.
Finally, Doncic is still playing through an injury and if he is still not 100%, I am bearish on Dallas’ offensive output.
Five of their past seven matchups have gone under the total and I expect the same in Game 5. I make the total on this game 215 and I would play this down to 216. I also expect the Clippers get another win to take the series lead.
Pick: Under 217 (down to 216)