It does not look good, be it the actual ankle injury that LeBron James suffered in Sunday’s loss to New Orleans, or James’ chances of playing tonight in Dallas. Officially listed as questionable, there are serious doubts James will see the floor. Dallas is fired up and healthy for tonight’s game, as they moved ahead of Utah as the fourth seed in the Western Conference. Luka Doncic dropped 32 on the Jazz but got plenty of help, including seven made 3’s from Reggie Bullock and a double-double from Jalen Brunson. The win on Sunday was the sixth for Dallas in their last 10 games, and with seven remaining on the schedule, they look to secure home court in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
Things are far worse for the Lakers, as they are barely holding on to the 10th seed, but still alive in the play-in scenario. Without James tonight, just hanging with Dallas becomes increasingly more difficult. Los Angeles has dropped two straight games and only won three of their last 10. It is been a tailspin for the team, but Russell Westbrook continues to improve from his mid-season struggles, posting a well-rounded stat line that included 18 points. Dwight Howard is expected to return to the starting lineup against Dallas, playing through a hip injury he suffered last week.
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NBA Player Props & Picks Today | Lakers vs. Mavericks
Best Lakers vs. Mavericks NBA Bets Today & Odds Shopping
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Under 218.5: -110 (DraftKings)
This star-studded event suddenly became Doncic and the Band. Not having James on the floor does not give the Lakers much of a chance, but with any blowout comes the threat of a backdoor cover with backups on the floor. The line is large, over 11 points throughout the day, so the better play is attacking the total. The hardest thing the Lakers are going to be able to do tonight is score points. Dallas is second in the NBA in defensive points-per-game and the Lakers are down their primary source of scoring. The Lakers are coming into tonight’s game without the talent to match their level of desperation. The Mavericks have plenty of talent to win this game rather easily and should immediately put pressure on the Lakers to score. There is no real competitive advantage for the Lakers in the scoring department, so even offensive rebounds or turnovers might be mitigated by Los Angeles’s inability to convert them into buckets. OddsShopper will get the best number across all the books, so it is important to check the site even if it is the difference of a point.
The Mavericks have seen five straight home games go under the point total and are in no sense of urgency to showcase tonight. This is a typical regular-season game down the stretch where the Mavs will try to rest starters late in the game, giving them more incentive to suffocate the Lakers in the first half.
Make sure to check OddsShopper throughout the day for the best value and return on any NBA betting pick today. It is also important to check as Awesemo’s projections update and shift any initial data earlier in the day.
Russell Westbrook Over 19.5 Points: -110 (DraftKings)
Westbrook will be doing everything possible to avoid having his team run off the floor. Without James or Anthony Davis, there is nobody left to check the shot volume. While Dallas is a tough team overall on defense, there should be enough opportunities for Westbrook to clear 20 points. Awesemo has him projected at 20.6 points, along with a 56% chance. Not having James on the floor tonight should trump any recent trends with both Westbrook and James playing together.
Luka Doncic Over 3.5 3-Pointers: +120 (FanDuel)
There are two strong possible outcomes to this game that would correlate with Doncic going over his 3-point prop. He is either going to be a major factor in why the Mavs get out early and pound the Lakers into oblivion, or be out there in critical second-half minutes as Los Angeles finds a way to shock everyone and keep this game close. Awesemo has Doncic projected for 4.0 makes, along with OddsShopper 57% chance and 26% xROI.
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Reggie Bullock Over 10.5 Points: -112 (FanDuel)
Bullock comes off a monster night dropping seven 3-pointers, finishing with 23 points. He should be in another advantageous spot tonight against the Clippers, even if he does not connect as much from deep. OddsShopper has a 60% chance of Bullock going over 10.5 points, along with a 14% xROI. Awesemo’s free projection has Bullock finishing with 12 points tonight.
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