Mavericks vs Lakers

Mavericks vs Lakers | 2020 -2021 NBA Expert Analysis

Written by on December 25, 2020

Christmas Day is the biggest date on the NBA’s regular-season slate each year. The biggest stars and best teams always play on the holiday, the marquee matchup this year features Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks visiting LeBron James and the Lakers, who are favored on the NBA odds.

How to Bet Mavericks at Lakers NBA Odds & TV Info

  • When: Friday, 8 PM ET
  • Where: Staples Center
  • TV: ABC
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • NBA Odds: Lakers -6 (total 230)

Series History

The Mavericks and Lakers are set to meet on Christmas Day for the first time in 2020. The Lakers have taken nine of the last 11 meetings, after Dallas won the previous 14. Los Angeles has now won three straight season series with Dallas (3-1 in 2017-18, 3-0 in 2018-19, 3-1 in 2019-20). The Lakers have taken five of the last six showdowns at home after the Mavericks won the previous seven in L.A. The Lakers won the final two meetings by double digits in 2019-20

Why Bet on Dallas?

Dallas will be without its second-best player, Kristaps Porzingis, at least until next month following offseason knee surgery. Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith will have expanded roles in the meantime.

The Mavs were beaten in their season opener Wednesday, 106-102 at Phoenix — the Suns scored six of the last eight points. Coach Rick Carlisle said the Mavericks were fighting uphill in the second half after falling behind by double figures late in the first half. Last season, the Mavericks were 17-24 in what the NBA defines as clutch games, which have a spread of five points or fewer in the final five minutes. They are 0-1 this season.

Superstar Luka Doncic played through a minor leg injury but still had 32 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Doncic said afterward, “Somebody hit me with [their] knee. I didn’t sprain the ankle.” He kept playing and the ailment shouldn’t threaten his status for Christmas Day. Doncic also has admitted that he’s not in the best shape yet.

Powell was quiet in 18 minutes as a starter on Wednesday, shooting 1-of-3 from the field for two points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal. Powell is nearly a year removed from a torn Achilles, and he’ll be leaned on as heavily as the training staff allows while Porzingis is out.  In his Dallas debut, Josh Richardson had 12 points, seven rebounds, two 3-pointers, one assist and one steal.

Doncic (25.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 9.8 apg) nearly averaged a 25-point triple-double against the Lakers in 2019-20. In the first meeting between the two clubs in 2019-20 (a 119-110 OT win by LAL 11/1/19), Doncic (31 points, 13 rebounds, 15 assists) and LeBron James (39 points, 12 rebounds, 16 assists) became the first pair of opponents in NBA history to record a 30-point, 15-assist triple-double in the same game.

Why Bet on LA Lakers?

Taking the court in a game that counted for the first time since winning the 2020 NBA Finals in October in the Orlando bubble, the Lakers got their championship rings Tuesday night but lost at home to the Clippers 116-109.

LeBron James finished with 22 points, five rebounds and five assists. James went 7-of-17 from the floor including 3-of-8 from distance in 28 minutes. LeBron rolled his ankle early in the fourth quarter which led to him sitting the final eight minutes of the game.

But he says he’ll be good to go on Christmas Day: “I turned it pretty good, but I don’t think it’s going to stop me from playing on Friday.” James’ left ankle buckled when his sneaker appeared to catch on the court when he and Markieff Morris converged on Clippers center Ivica Zubac to defend the big man in the paint. James exited the game with 7:51 left in the fourth quarter and the Lakers trailing 99-92. The Clippers immediately went on a 6-0 spurt to push the lead to 13 with 6:40 left.

Fellow superstar Anthony Davis was just OK in the loss with 18 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Davis went 8-of-15 from the floor, knocking down a handful of mid-range shots but failing to make a three or record any steals or blocks. He also had four turnovers in the first half and was often double-teamed throughout.

Dennis Schroder (sore left ankle) started Tuesday’s game and nearly had a triple-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in 28 minutes in his Lakers debut. Schroder was just 5-for-15 shooting, though. Coach Frank Vogel said this preseason that playing Schroder alongside LeBron is “a huge part of this year’s plan” for L.A. He added that the pair would “see heavy minutes throughout the course of the year.”

Also in his Lakers debut, Montrezl Harrell had 17 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and a block against his former Clippers teammates. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year played 32 minutes off the bench and was 6-for-7 shooting.

Game Trends

  • Mavericks are 1-5 ATS in the last 6 meetings.
  • Under is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings.
  • Under is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Los Angeles.

Expert Prediction

  • Lakers 113, Mavericks 109

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