Last season the Los Angeles Lakers were soundly beaten in their first game by the Los Angeles Clippers. To begin the 2020-2021 campaign, the Los Angeles Lakers were soundly beaten by the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers ended the 2019-2020 NBA season as league champions and the Clippers fired their head coach.
A Christmas Day present for basketball fans has a full holiday of action concluding with the Lakers hosting the 0-1 Dallas Mavericks. Expectations are high for both teams and this matchup could be a Western Conference playoff series preview.
The Mavericks made the playoffs for the first time in five seasons in 2019-2020, losing to the Clippers in the first round. They’re led by 21 year-old star guard Luca Doncic and center Kristaps Porzingis who is out of the lineup until January.
Dallas Mavericks Betting Preview: Tough Early Season Test
The Mavericks opened the season with a 106-102 loss in Phoenix. Dallas spotted the Suns an eight point halftime lead and couldn’t claw all the way back to get the victory. The Suns appear to have gotten just what they wanted in the acquisition of veteran point guard Chris Paul.
Doncic held up his end for the Mavs, scoring 32 points, dishing out five assists and grabbing eight rebounds in 36 minutes of action. He was aided by a trio of players who each contributed 12 points, but it wasn’t enough to open the season with a win.
Los Angeles Lakers Betting Preview: Déjà vu
The Lakers were undefeated in the preseason, with two of those wins against the Clippers, but things changed in the first game of the season. They faced a Clippers team that came ready to play and the Lakers lost 116-109.
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard combined for 59 points and exposed a lazy Lakers defense. The Lakers are still acclimating some new pieces to the puzzle that surrounds LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
James and Davis led the way in scoring with 22 and 18 points respectively.
The Lakers were sloppy with the ball, committing 19 turnovers with four each from their two stars. Newcomers Montrezl Harrell and Dennis Shroder combined for 31 points, so expect to see more cohesion from them in the second game of the regular season.
Betting Lines and Odds
MyBookie.ag list the Lakers as six point favorites. The leading online sportsbook has the over/under at 227.5 points. That’s a hefty number considering the sluggish offensive efforts in the opening games for both teams.
Free Betting Pick
Until Porzingis makes his return from knee surgery, the Mavericks will be challenged to get wins over the top teams in the NBA. They have an improved lineup from a season ago, but having to rely solely on Doncic for offense will be difficult.
The Lakers showed signs of putting things together against the Clippers and they should bounce back against the Mavs. Look for a big game from forward Anthony Davis after a less than stellar game the last time out.
Free Pick: Take the Lakers, lay the points, but bet the under. Lakers 114 Mavericks 106.