Update: Vanderbilt has been ruled out. Doncic, Hardaway Jr., Davis and James are in. The line is now Lakers -2.5 and the total is 236. I’ll stay with Lakers -2.5 as the ATS pick and the under on the new total.
Update: Tim Hardaway Jr. and Luka Doncic are questionable for Dallas, while Grant Williams is off the injury report. The Lakers have become 4-point favorites and the total is 231, but we’ll hold off on an updated pick until Doncic’s status gets cleared up.
Fresh off their In-Season Tournament title Saturday, the Los Angeles Lakers (14-9) get back to regular season play with a showdown against the Dallas Mavericks (14-8) Tuesday evening. The Mavericks registered a win over the Grizzlies Monday, and have won their last three games. These teams have met once so far this season, with Dallas grabbing a 104-101 win.
LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Jarred Vanderbilt are all questionable for the Lakers. We can expect James and Vanderbilt to play, but Davis appears to be more of a 50-50 call. Kyrie Irving is sidelined indefinitely for Dallas with a heel contusion. We’ll know the status of Luka Doncic on the second night of a back-to-back set later in the day when the Mavericks release an official injury report.
The Lakers are 1.5-point favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total set at 234. Los Angeles is -125 on the moneyline while Dallas is +105.
Lakers vs. Mavericks, 7:30 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Lakers -1.5
For the time being, let’s assume Davis and Doncic are both good to go. The Lakers have been on a roll lately, winning and covering in their last four games including the In-Season Tournament final. They’ve covered in six of their last eight games. Since that blowout loss to the 76ers, it’s been a different Los Angeles team that has leaned into its defense.
The Mavericks are 12-10 ATS this season, but just 4-6 ATS as the home team. Dallas is surprisingly decent on back-to-backs, going 2-2 ATS with no rest and 3-3 ATS as the team with a rest disadvantage. However, not having Irving will be tough to overcome in this spot. I like the Lakers to keep up their great play of late and get another win.
Over/Under: Under 234
The last meeting between these teams went under this number, and that was with Irving in the fold. The Mavericks are one of the most over-friendly teams in the league, going 16-6 on overs. However, they are 2-2 on overs when going into a game with no rest. Despite averaging 128 points per game over the last four contests, I think this Mavericks offense takes a bigger hit with Irving out.
Since getting routed by Philadelphia, the Lakers have locked in defensively. They are 2-4 on overs, with the four unders coming in a row through the In-Season Tournament final. The Lakers have held their last four opponents to under 110 points, including two games where they kept their opponents under 100 points. I like the under in this game, especially on a slightly higher total.