Clippers vs. Mavericks NBA Odds & Picks: Back LA’s Strong Shooting Attack to Down Mavs (Wednesday, March 17)
Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic (left) and Kawhi Leonard.
- The Clippers look to take two in a row from the Mavericks on Wednesday night in Dallas.
- The Mavs have righted the ship this season thanks to improved defense of late, while the Clippers have shot the ball lights out all season.
- Matt Trebby breaks down where he sees betting value in this Western Conference matchup.
Clippers vs. Mavericks Odds
|-140 / +120
|Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. ET
|Odds as of Tuesday and via PointsBet
The Clippers look to take two straight from their visit to the Lone Star State, as they face a Mavericks team that has thrived of late and gotten itself back in the Western Conference playoff picture.
The Mavericks currently sit one game ahead of the Golden State Warriors in the race for the eight seed, while the Clippers are sitting fourth, 3.5 games behind the top-seeded Utah Jazz.
The Clippers have thrived this season by shooting the ball well, along with strong play from their two stars. Dallas, meanwhile, has righted the ship after an 8-13 start thanks to strong defensive play, which is a surprise given its historical offensive prowess from last season.
Let's dip into where the betting value lies on Wednesday night in Dallas:
Los Angeles Clippers
You know the story with the Clippers. They go as their two stars, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, go. Last year in the playoffs, the two faltered, so the team was eliminated by the Denver Nuggets in the second round.
The Clippers are having success this season because they’re shooting the ball at very, very high rates. Entering play on Tuesday night, LA is tied for second with the Bucks in Effective Field Goal Percentage and third in True Shooting Percentage, according to NBA Advanced Stats.
All of Marcus Morris, Nicolas Batum, Patrick Beverley, Reggie Jackson and Lou Williams are shooting at least 40% from 3-point range this season. The Clippers’ Offensive Rating of 116.8 is third in the NBA, trailing only the Bucks and Nets.
LA lost six of nine heading into the All-Star break, including their last three to the Bucks, Celtics and Wizards. They have come out of the gates with wins over the Warriors and Mavericks on either side of a 20-point loss to the Pelicans.
After an underwhelming start to the season, there’s reason for optimism in Dallas.
The Mavericks have won five of their last seven and seven of their last 10 games. While Dallas’ Offensive Rating over its last 10 games ranks 14th, it has been its defense that has led to success.
Rick Carlisle’s team ranks seventh in the NBA, entering play on Tuesday night, over its last 10 games with a Defensive Rating of 108.4, according to NBA Advanced Stats. The Mavs’ 4.6 Net Rating is ninth during that span.
Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Richardson have been better defensively of late, while Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson have been strong off the bench.
You can tell that the first matchup between these teams was played at a very slow pace, given the Clippers and Mavs ranking 17th and 28th in that metric on the season, according to NBA Advanced Stats.
The Clippers shot 50% from the field and only had nine turnovers but only scored 109, while Dallas was 49.4% from the field and 41.5% on 41 3-point attempts but only got 99 points.
As was pointed out by our Brandon Anderson in his Clippers-Pelicans preview from March 14, the Clippers have won 16 games this season by 13 or more points. That’s an indication that when LA is on its game, it tends to win comfortably.
I’m going to back that trend here. After losing that game against New Orleans, the Clippers bounced back on Monday night against Dallas. The 2.5-point spread right now is a little low given LA's trend of victories, so I'll bet that up to 4.5, if the spread was to get there.
Assuming Leonard and George are healthy, I have no reason to doubt they won’t do it again.
Pick: Clippers -2.5 (up to -4.5)