The Lakers are the type of team the Mavericks amoeba defense should keep in check. The Lakers lack perimeter shooting, are missing their inside/out threat Anthony Davis, and don’t move the ball well on offense. The X-factor, however, is LeBron James. Sure, LeBron isn’t the player he used to be, but he is still capable of taking over a game and rendering your gameplan useless. Let’s take a look at tonight’s game and whether there is value to be had from a gambling perspective.
Spread: Mavs -5 (-115)
Moneyline: Mavs -200
Vegas knows you want to bet big on the Mavs and is going to force you to pay a little bit extra on the juice to do so. Everything about this game is telling you to take the Mavs. The Lakers have looked horrible since the All-Star break. Russell Westbrook continues to be a disaster. Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony look washed. And yet, despite his age, LeBron James continues to put the fear of God in me. An elite playmaker capable of whipping cross-court passes can pick apart the Dallas defense with ease. The question, however, is whether the Laker shooters will be up to the task. If Malik Monk gets hot from 3, it’s going to be a long night for the Mavs. If not, the Mavs should be able to earn an ugly and hard-fought win.
ADVICE: Pay the juice and take the Mavs.
The Mavs are a 4th quarter run away from being 0-2. While Dinwiddie and Bertans look capable of contributing to the team in meaningful ways, the offense just hasn’t clicked. Dallas has been plagued by turnovers and passiveness by players not named Luka, Dinwiddie, and Bertans. If Lebron is engaged on the defensive end, that trend may continue tonight.
ADVICE: POUND the under.
Two-Team Moneyline Parlay
Mavs/Piston ML (+252)
ADVICE: The Pistons are 3-1 in their last 4 and are playing much better basketball than the Wizards. I would sprinkle a unit on this parlay.