Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 3 Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Friday, August 21)
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Kristaps Porzingis.
- The Clippers and Mavericks face off Friday evening in a pivotal Game 3 NBA Playoffs matchup.
- Dallas has evened the series 1-1 despite missing Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis for long stretches in each of the first two games.
- Read on for Bandon Anderson's NBA betting guide, including odds, picks and predictions for Game 3.
Clippers vs. Mavericks Betting Odds
|Clippers Odds||-5 [BET NOW]|
|Mavericks Odds||+5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-195/+175 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||232.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
After a couple days of everyone panicking about the No. 1-seeds losing a game, the Clippers apparently decided it was their turn at the wheel. Los Angeles beat the Mavericks 118-110 in Game 1 but fell behind early in Game 2 and never recovered, losing 127-114.
The Mavericks and Clippers are now tied-up at one game each as the series heads to Dallas. Oh wait, nope, still in the bubble, so at least the Clips have that going for them. LA is now listed at -340 to win the series, while the Mavericks are down to +260.
Game 3 will set the tone for the series going forward. Will the Clippers regain control, or will the Mavericks put one of the “big three” on the ropes early?
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The one thing Dallas has consistently done all season is score a lot of points. The Mavericks had the No. 1 offense in the league — not just this season, but in NBA history. They continue to score plenty of points, even against a defense featuring Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Kristaps Porzingis is really stretching out the Clippers defense, and Luka Doncic is having his way.
The crazy thing is that those two haven’t even been that great yet. Doncic had a whopper of a Game 1 line but also recorded 11 turnovers and missed much of the first half due to injury. Dallas rallied without him, went on a big run, and was in the game late, despite missing the ejected Porzingis much of the second half.
Game 2 similarly saw a muted Doncic, who picked up some cheap fouls and missed a big chunk of the second half. Yet again, the Mavs offense did not slow down. Trey Burke picked up the slack and Dallas widened their lead with Doncic watching from the bench.
Burke and Porzingis are listed as probable, while Doncic is not on the injury report at all, so the Mavs should be a full go. We’re still waiting to see Porzingis and Doncic at their absolute best, but Dallas has received big contributions off the bench from Seth Curry and Boban Marjanovic. The Mavs may be young, but they have entered the playoffs to compete and win. You better believe they have LA’s full attention now.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers are still waiting for a fully healthy effort, and it’s fair to begin questioning if we’re ever going to see it. Coming into the series, there were question marks about Montrezl Harrell — who had yet to play in the bubble — along with Patrick Beverley and Landry Shamet, who were struggling through injury. Then all three played in Game 1 and that seemed to be the end of the injury narrative.
But that clearly is not the case. Harrell played only 15 minutes in Game 1 and fewer than 22 minutes in Game 2, and he hasn’t looked like himself. Shamet has played fewer than 26 minutes combined over both games and has yet to make a positive impact.
Most worryingly of all, Patrick Beverley was a surprise Game 2 scratch with a strained left calf. He’s listed as doubtful for Game 3, and given his injury history, it wouldn’t be shocking to see him miss most of the rest of the series.
Beverley is a huge part of this team, so don’t overlook the potential impact from his absence. He sets the tone for LA with his energy and defense at the point of attack. The Clippers have no other two-way guard to replace him.
Reggie Jackson at least hit a few 3s in Game 2, but he shouldn’t be playing big minutes, and Lou Williams is a sieve on defense. LA doesn’t want to put Kawhi or PG through the strain of defending Doncic all game, but their guards aren’t getting the job done. It may be time.
Paul George was absolutely miserable in Game 2, scoring 14 points on 4-of-17 shooting and an ugly -13 Plus/Minus. With Beverley out and Harrell still working back into shape, the Clippers need much more from PG.
Dallas’ defense is not very good, but the Clippers are letting them off the hook by playing stagnantly offense, with Kawhi and PG taking turns attempting difficult shots.
Leonard is the only Clipper who’s been good in both games. Dallas is too good to lose to one player. The Clippers need to be better.
Betting Analysis & Pick
It’s difficult to examine this series and believe LA has outplayed Dallas. To the contrary, the Mavericks appear to be the better team through two games. The Clippers didn’t win a single quarter in Game 2, and the Mavs hung close throughout Game 1 despite losing big chunks of time from both of their stars.
There are four stars in this series, but only two have showed up so far: Doncic and Kawhi have matched each other step for step. So will PG or KP step up first?
In the end, I think Patrick Beverley’s absence is the key factor to consider. The Mavs haven’t had any trouble scoring, and it’s clear that LA’s defense is not good right now. Dallas has scored 118 points and 114 points in its two playoff games, and the Mavericks averaged 117.0 during the regular season.
I expect this series to remain close going forward, though the Clippers are arguably still the better, deeper team. Dallas and LA have each had hot and cold scoring streaks, and no lead has been safe. If either of these teams falls far behind in the first half and gives nice +EV odds, I’m happy to live play them.
But my angle here is the Dallas team over at 113.5. With Beverley out, Dallas is going to score the ball. If the Clippers want to win, they’re just going to have to score even more. I’d play that Mavericks team over up to 114.5, and I’m definitely grabbing the Dallas moneyline live in the first half if it ever gets to +250 or better. This team believes in themselves, and I’m starting to believe too.
Picks: Mavericks team total over 113.5; Dallas +250 live.