Los Angeles Lakers (28-32) at Dallas Mavericks (32-29)
Game Info: Sunday, February 26, 2023 at 3:30 p.m. EST (American Airlines Center)
Betting Odds: Mavericks (-4) / Over/Under (237)
Pick: Lakers (+4)
Sunday afternoon's primetime matchup gives us a plethora of superstars on the same stage when the Los Angeles Lakers head into Dallas to take on the Mavericks.
Los Angeles is in win-now mode for the last 22 regular season games as the year comes to a close. Currently, they sit in the 13-hole in the West standings, but with a swift run to end the year, they can jump into a play-in spot in no time as they are only 1.5 games back of the Utah Jazz for the last spot. After stumbling at the beginning of the month before the All-Star break, they have managed to win 3 of their last 4 games (3-1 ATS in that stretch). In a star-studded encounter against the Mavericks, the fact that LeBron James and Anthony Davis are projected to suit up will play a big role in their chances of securing a win away from home. James has accomplished everything possible in the game of basketball, but one of his more impressive seasons has come this year. Even though he has battled injuries throughout the campaign at various points, he has averaged 29.6 PTS, 8.4 REB, and 7.0 AST on the year at 38 years old. Truly one of the most outstanding seasons for a man his age at this point in his career.
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Dallas opened the last quarter of the season up with a drubbing of the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night. As the year progresses toward the Playoff season, the Mavs will look to continue to build the relationship between newly acquired Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic. Whether they squeak in through a play-in game or get an auto-bid with a top 6 seed, they will be one of the more dangerous teams down the stretch as they have two elite ball-handlers that can control late-game situations with the best of them. As a team, they have not struggled on the offensive side of the ball, sitting 6th in the league in Offensive Rating, but if they want to make some noise late in the year, they will need to clean it up on defense, as they are a bottom-10 side there. Head Coach Jason Kidd has always preached defense, so time will tell if they can figure it out away from their basket come Playoff time.
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- The Lakers are 3-1 ATS in their last 4 games
- Dallas is 1-8-2 ATS when on 2-3 days of rest
- The Mavericks are 8-21-1 ATS coming off a win
I am not suggesting that we will see a Clippers-Kings outbreak as we saw a few nights ago, where both teams scored 170+ points each, but this one could see points galore. Despite that though, the Lakers are beginning to round into form at the right time. LeBron has openly stated in press conferences that he does not want to miss the Playoffs for the second year in a row and I don't want to get in the way of a highly motivated LeBron in any way. Give me the Lakers to keep it close on the road in Dallas and quite possibly take a win home with them as they make their way back to L.A.
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