Mavericks @ Lakers Preview and Pick – March 15th, 2009 ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>
|NBA Basketball Betting Matchup|
Bet this matchup at Bdg
Opening Line: Lakers -9.5
This afternoon on ABC, the Los Angeles Lakers entertain the Dallas Mavericks. This very well could be a preview of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. The Lakers have all but secured the #1 seed in the Western Conference with a 52-13 record which ties them with Cleveland for the top spot in the NBA. The Mavs are currently the #8 seed in the West, but are only 2 games out of 3rd and 4.5 games out of 2nd. Either way, both teams are heading to the playoffs and could eventually meet.
Dallas has faired well without forward Josh Howard, who is averaging over 18 point a game this year. The Mavs are 3-1 without him including two nice road wins at Portland and Phoenix. He’s expected to be back by the end of the month. They end their 4-game West Coast swing today. Overall, the Mavs have won 7 of 10 thanks in most part to their offense led by Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki. Kidd is coming off yet another triple-double in Friday night’s loss at Golden State. Nowitzki added 27 points and 9 rebounds of his own. Their defense has allowed opponents to shoot over 50% in their last 5 games. Dallas is a respectable 16-18 on the road this year. Respectable, because only two teams in the Western Conference are over .500 on the road.
The Lakers continue to cruise right along. They lead the Western Conference by 8 games and could even sleep-walk to the Conference title. They just need to keep everyone healthy and get Andrew Bynum back for the playoffs. The Lakers return home after a 2-1 road trip that saw them lose the first one in Portland, but bounce back for wins at Houston and San Antonio.
This is the third and final meeting between these teams this year. The Lakers have won both games by 7 points and are 13-2 against the Southwest Division this year. I’m expecting a closer game than the odds indicate. The Lakers really aren’t playing for much and the Mavs want to at least get one game from them this year.
Prediction: Mavericks +9.5
Here are some other trends to consider in this game:
Mavericks are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. loss.
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