Los Angeles Lakers
(31-12, 19-23-1 ATS)
(26-14, 20-18-2 ATS)
The Dallas Mavericks are clearly limping right now, and they are in real need of a makeover to help salvage their season. They’re going to be back on the hardwood on Wednesday night for NBA betting action against the defending NBA Finals champs, the Los Angeles Lakers.
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Things aren’t exactly all peaches and cream for the Lakers either, as Head Coach Phil Jackson knows that this team has a lot of work to do if it hopes to win the title once again this year. The good news is that the offense is really back on track and the team has gone 8-1 SU and 4-4-1 ATS over the course of its last nine games. LA is averaging 103.4 points per game this year and has one of the best average margins of victory at +7.3 points per game in the league. The key, as always, is the play of Kobe Bryant. Black Samba has scored at least 21 in four straight games, but he had his streak of games with at least 24 scored stopped at six out of seven in Monday night’s win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Instead, it was Andrew Bynum that starred with a double-double, while Pau Gasol also had 21 points on 8-of-19 shooting. Lamar Odom has definitely seen his production drop quite a bit of late. Since the start of calendar year 2011, the 31 year old has averaged just 13.8 points and 9.5 boards per game, and this can largely be attributed to the fact that his minutes have been eaten by a now healthy Bynum.
No one in Big D really wants to talk about health right now. The Mavs only finally got back Dirk Nowitzki on Saturday night at the Memphis Grizzlies, and all that happened was that frustration continued to mount. Nowitzki was tossed from the game, and Dallas lost its fifth straight both SU and ATS in a crushing 89-70 loss. Just two nights later, another terrible 103-89 loss was handed to Dallas in spite of the fact that Nowitzki scored 32 points. During this losing streak, the Mavericks are being outscored by the average final of 101.8-89.3, and needless to say, that type of margin of defeat is certainly not sitting well with Owner Mark Cuban. The good news, if there is any, is that the Mavs are coming back home. The bad news is that they really haven’t played all that well this year, especially against the NBA odds. They’re only 8-12-2 ATS thus far at the American Airlines Center in 2010-11.
Dallas has really got to wake up at some point and smell the coffee. This is a winnable fixture, especially at home, and a rejuvenated Nowitzki should be able to lead his team to a mild upset of the defending champs in a game that could really change the season for the Mavericks.
NBA Free Pick: Dallas Mavericks +3