Sunday NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Favorite Bets for Mavericks vs. Clippers (June 6)
Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Dallas Mavericks star Luka Dončić and Los Angeles Clippers standout Kawhi Leonard.
- One angle on the Hawks-Sixers matchup. Two dueling sides in the Game 7 bout between the Mavericks and Clippers.
- Justin Phan, KennyDucey and Brandon Anderson deliver their top picks on Sunday's NBA card below.
Editor’s note: Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid is active for Sunday’s Game 1 matchup against the Atlanta Hawks.
There is nothing like Game 7 showdowns in professional sports.
On Sunday, we get one of those glorious moments when the Los Angeles Clippers host the Dallas Mavericks in their winner-take-all battle. Kawhi Leonard facing off against rising star Luka Dončić? Sign us up.
Our Action Network analysts have three picks for you on the card, including two from the late afternoon matchup. There’s also a selection from the Game 1 of the Eastern Conference series between the Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers.
Let’s see what’s on deck and where our crew is going in these games.
NBA Odds & Picks
Atlanta Hawks vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Justin Phan: Joel Embiid is currently listed questionable for Game 1 of the Philadelphia 76ers’ second-round showdown against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday after reportedly suffering a small meniscus tear in his right right knee.
Embiid was able to participate in portions of practice Friday and Saturday, but he wasn’t able to do much in the live events, according to Sixers head coach Doc Rivers.
He’ll continue to receive treatment ahead of the game, but he and the team have operated as if Embiid is functioning on a day-to-day basis. I would be surprised if he’s a go for this game and without Embiid, there’s value on the Hawks to cover this spread.
I bet this at Atlanta +3 and the line has actually moved a half point at various books since then. Without Embiid, I like the Hawks in this spot down to +2 as my top pick.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Kenny Ducey: Here’s the dirty little secret about this series: That amazing Dallas offense? It’s no more. The Clippers have locked up the Mavericks on the defensive end, limiting them to just 30% shooting from three over the last three games after seeing a number over 50% through the first three contests.
A combination of a tremendous effort from a talented roster and a cooldown from ridiculously unsustainable numbers has led to this, but the issue might be a bit deeper.
Dallas ranked near the bottom 10 in the league all year long in 3-point shooting, so nothing leads me to believe we’re going to see that electrifying offense we saw to open the series. What’s even more damning is the Mavericks are still taking 41.1 percent of their shots from deep, which isn’t going to bring them much joy in Game 7.
Without any great way to score aside from a Luka Dončić stepback, I don’t see Dallas hanging with a team Los Angeles, which has exploited a weak defense and featured one of the best players in the world in Kawhi Leonard.
When it mattered the most, Leonard took a series-high 25 shots in Game 6 — the most attempts since he played in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks a couple of years ago — and matched a career playoff high with 45 points.
He’s not going to allow many of these possessions to be empty, and I will bet on him any day of the week the way he’s playing.
The Clippers were a decent 21-18 against the spread this year at home, and I expect them to run the Mavericks off the court. I’d bet this to seven points.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Brandon Anderson: This Clippers-Mavericks series has been one of the oddest, most unique series in NBA history.
For the first time ever — and no, the bubble with “home” and “road” teams does not count — the visiting team won each of the first five games in a playoff series. Then, of course, that record extended to six, and one of these two teams will become the first franchise ever to lose three home games in a series and still advance.
Home court has meant absolutely nothing in this series. Instead, it feels like game after game comes down to shot variance first and foremost, and maybe second and third too. There are times when Luka Dončić can’t miss, and when Tim Hardaway Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber and other Dallas role players are bombing away from deep and hitting everything.
The Mavericks have looked untouchable in those moments. But in other games, Kawhi Leonard has brought his game to another level and hit every shot he’s taken, while Paul George has had his moments and guys like Reggie Jackson, Nicolas Batum and Terrence Mann have stepped up.
Game 7s are almost always about random variance anyway. Which random role player had that one great three-minute stretch off the bench? Which 3-and-D guy happened to make his two 3s that night? It feels like that will be the case again here in a series that has felt like that from the moment it tipped.
I like the Clippers better overall, a little. They have basically removed Ivica Zubac and Patrick Beverley from the equation and had great success with a small ball switching defensive lineup against Dončić in Game 6. Overall for the series, it does feel like Los Angeles has been at least a little bit better, that Dallas has been a little bit luckier to make it here.
But how much is a little?
This feels like a slightly weighted coin flip, and if you’re giving me 50/50 odds, I’d take the Clippers straight up. However, at +220 to the moneyline, I have to take the Mavericks and play the odds. There’s just nothing I’ve seen this series that makes me think the Dallas’ chances are that good.
The most damning factor against Dallas is being the road team in a Game 7, where home teams have won around 80% of the time in NBA history. But of all series for that stat to not matter, shouldn’t it be this one?
Heck, couldn’t you argue that with the Clippers’ history of choking and horrendous performance at Staples Center this year, maybe Los Angeles would be better off on the road? And that maybe it’s Dallas who has looked right at home instead?
I’ll take my chances at +220 odds. I just can’t make the Mavericks anywhere near that much of an underdog.
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