Lakers-Mavericks prediction, odds and pick

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The Los Angeles Lakers will travel to Texas to face the Dallas Mavericks for a Christmas Day showdown at the American Airlines Arena. It’s the holiday season and time to look at our NBA Christmas Odds series and make a Lakers-Mavericks prediction and pick.

The Lakers lost 134-130 to the Charlotte Hornets at home on Friday. LeBron James led the Lakers with 34 points while shooting 15 for 23 from the field and distributing eight assists. Meanwhile, Austin Reaves scored 20 points off the bench, while Russell Westbrook added 17 points. The Lakers shot 52.2 percent from the field but allowed the Hornets to shoot 55.3 percent. Moreover, they fell into too significant a hole to mount a comeback.

The Mavericks defeated the Houston Rockets 112-106 in a sloppy victory at the Toyota Center. Luka Doncic had a monster game with 50 points while shooting 17 for 30 from the field. Moreover, he nailed six 3-pointers. Doncic also had eight rebounds and 10 assists. However, the rest of the starting lineup struggled, mustering only 29 combined points. The Mavericks shot 45 percent from the floor and 36.4 percent from the triples. Also, they converted 88.9 percent from the free-throw line. The Mavs also lost the battle of the boards 45-34.

The Lakers lead the all-time series 115-52. However, the Mavs have dominated more recently. Dallas took two of three from Los Angeles last season. Significantly, the only loss came in a 107-104 defeat at the American Airlines Center. James has averaged 26.9 points per game with 7.8 rebounds and 7.1 assists throughout his career against the Mavericks. Meanwhile, Doncic has averaged 23.6 points per game with 8.2 assists and eight rebounds throughout 12 career games against the Lakers.

Here are the Lakers-Mavericks NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel

NBA Odds: Lakers-Mavericks Odds

Los Angeles Lakers: +8 (-112)

Dallas Mavericks: -8 (-108)

Over: 229 (-110)

Under: 229 (-110)

Why The Lakers Could Cover The Spread

The Lakers started the season slowly and then went on a hot streak. Unfortunately, things have taken a turn for the worse. The Lakers are 13-19 and last in the Pacific Division. Moreover, they stand 2.5 games behind the last play-in spot in the Western Conference. It got worse with the news that Anthony Davis will be out indefinitely with a foot fracture. James and the rest of the squad must pick up the slack.

James averages 27.4 points per game and shoots 49.3 percent from the field. Moreover, he averages 8.2 rebounds and 6.7 assists. But who will help him on the offensive end? Consequently, no one has stepped up consistently to fill the void left by Davis. Lonnie Walker averages 15.5 points per game and must elevate his game to help. Additionally, Westbrook and Reaves must thrive off the bench and help the Lakers get things into gear.

The Lakers shoot the ball well, ranking eighth in field goal percentage. However, they struggle from the 3-point line, ranking 26th in the league. The Lakers are 10th in the NBA in free throw percentage and 17th in turnovers. Ultimately, the Lakers have thrived on the boards. Los Angeles currently ranks seventh in the league in rebounds. Also, the Lakers rank 10th in blocked shots. The Lakers must block shot opportunities and find ways to stop Doncic from dominating them. Ultimately, it would mean forcing the Mavs to go elsewhere.

The Lakers will cover the spread if they can distribute the ball and James gets help. Likewise, they must stop Doncic.

Why The Mavericks Could Cover The Spread

The Mavs are playing average basketball this season. Consequently, their inconsistent play has put them at 17-16. If the playoffs began today, the Mavs would be the eighth seed and forced to have a play-in game with the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City. Therefore, the Mavs are not in a great position and must find ways to string together some wins.

Doncic averages 32.2 points per game and shoots 49.4 percent from the field. Additionally, he averages 8.3 rebounds. Christian Wood has been a pleasant surprise, averaging 17.2 points per game. Wood shoots 53.6 percent from the floor and 8.1 rebounds per contest. Spencer Dinwiddie averages 16.6 points per game and shoots 46.3 percent from the floor.

The Mavs are struggling to shoot, ranking 19th from the field. Additionally, they are 14th from the 3-point line. The Mavs also struggle at the free-throw line, ranking 26th. Moreover, the Mavs rank last in the NBA in rebounds. But the Mavs also control the ball well, ranking second in turnovers.

The Mavs will cover the spread if they can shoot the ball efficiently and win the battle on the boards. Additionally, they must stop James.

Final Lakers-Mavericks Prediction & Pick

The Lakers are deadweight without Davis. Thus, expect the Mavs to pull away late and finish off the Lakers for a 10-point victory.

Final Lakers-Mavericks Prediction & Pick: Dallas Mavericks: -8 (-108)



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