The NBA content machine keeps on churning as we witnessed a massive trade between the Nets and Mavericks mere days before the deadline. A day after LeBron James breaks the all-time scoring record, we now get to see Kyrie Irving make his debut for the Dallas Mavericks. It’s not quite the spectacle we hoped for as Luka Doncic is still out with an injury, but will still be a sight to see nonetheless. Can Kyrie lead Dallas to victory in his first game in a new uniform?
Dallas Mavericks vs LA Clippers Betting Odds
Oddsmakers certainly don’t think so as they opened the Mavericks as a +7.5 underdog while on the road. Bettors have backed the home favorites by taking the Clippers up to -8.5 as of writing, passing through the key number of -8. This comes as no surprise as the Mavericks identity is taking a massive shift, losing key role players while adding ball dominant Irving. It also doesn’t help Luka is still out with an injury, losing out on a massive scoring output from the star point guard.
Speaking of scoring, oddsmakers believe points are expected to be scored at a moderate pace as they opened the total at 220.5. Bettors have failed to take a stand on either side of the total as of writing, keeping the number the same since the opener. This brings some intrigue as the Clippers are firing on all cylinders as one of the hottest teams in the league with an elite defense. The Mavericks on the other hand have question marks all over for how the offense will work.
Dallas Mavericks vs LA Clippers Prediction
The Pick: Dallas Mavericks Under 106.5
I will take a different form of the total by taking the Mavericks team total under. This will be for a small wager as the Mavericks are taking on a whole new offensive identity with the addition of Kyrie Irving. Taking just the team total also limits the variance that the Clippers bring towards the total. They have been playing as one of the best teams in the nation while the Mavericks defense has regressed to well below average in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency per TeamRankings.
Especially on the defensive end as the Clippers run as one of the best defensive units in the league. They allow scoring at the third lowest rate, specializing in smothering opposing looks for well below average Effective Field Goal percentages. With the Mavericks gutting out their perimeter secondary scoring by trading them away, the Mavericks are now more reliant on the duo of Irving and Christian Wood. This lack of versatility makes it easier for the Clippers to zero in on them.
Should one, if not both, of Irving and Wood struggle to find any sort of scoring consistency then the Mavericks offensive rhythm will fall apart. Especially since they play at a slow pace, playing at a below average tempo in relation to setting up their half court sets or Luka Doncic isolations. We may see a heavier dose of Irving isos as he needs to get more accumulated with the Mavericks system, potentially leading to stalled out possessions and empty trips.
- Mavericks are 0-4 ATS in the last four meetings
- Under is 4-0 in the last four meetings against each other
Can the Clippers limit second chance opportunities?
Battle of the boards
When it comes to cashing an under ticket, limiting second chance opportunities is crucial as it bleeds more time off the clock with a change of possession. The Clippers rebounding abilities will be critical, negating the Mavericks chances of putting points up on the board.
Lucky for us, the Mavericks are one of the worst rebounding units in the league by ranking near dead last in rebounding percentage. Ivica Zubac, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard should have little issue gobbling up rebounding opportunities, averaging a combined 22.6 rebounds per game.
Take the Mavericks team total under as they should struggle under a new offensive identity led by Kyrie Irving.
Dallas Mavericks Starting Lineup
LA Clippers Starting Lineups
Dallas Mavericks Injuries: Frank Ntilikina (Q), Markieff Morris (P), Kyrie Irving (P), Luka Doncic (O), Davis Bertans (O), Maxi Kleber (O)
LA Clippers Injuries: John Wall (O)