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Dallas Mavericks vs. LA Clippers: betting odds and predictions for Apr. 21

Publish Date: 04/20/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe
Key Points
  • The Mavericks enter Sunday's game on an incredible run of form defensively.
  • Dallas has remained vulnerable to the 3, which is LA's bread and butter.
  • The Mavericks should have a way in offensively at the rim.
  • The Clippers won the season series between these two teams, 2-1

The LA Clippers emerged as a legitimate title favorite in the middle of the season after deploying their "Big Three" to instant success, leading the way offensively and going on a blistering run. The luster has worn off, however, and suddenly LA finds itself as an underdog in its opening-round playoff series.

(Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

Well, it's certainly not for lack of wins. The Clippers may have stumbled a bit around the All-Star break, but did well to finish strong with seven wins in their last 11 contests. They do enter the playoffs on a three-game losing streak, though, and are listing star forward Kawhi Leonard as questionable for Game 1.

The Mavericks, meanwhile, may be the hottest team in the league with 12 wins to close out their final 15 games.

Like the Clippers, though, they come in off the back of two losses -- resting their best players once a berth was secured.

Dallas took the first of three meetings between these two teams back in November before the Clippers rounded into form, taking the final two iterations of the season series in commanding fashion.

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This one should be a tight affair if the odds are any indication, and with Dallas playing considerable better on the defensive end down the stretch they'll be a scary team for anyone to see in the playoffs.

DALLAS MAVERICKS VS. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS FANDUEL ODDS FOR APR. 21

MONEY LINE

  • DALLAS MAVERICKS: -146
  • LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: +124

SPREAD

  • DALLAS MAVERICKS: -2.5 (-112)
  • LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: +2.5 (-110)

OVER/UNDER (TOTAL)

  • OVER 223 (-110)
  • UNDER 223 (-110)

BEST ODDS FOR DALLAS MAVERICKS VS. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

  • The best odds on the Dallas Mavericks are over at BetMGM, where you'll pay -110 to lay the 2.5 points.
  • BetRivers currently has the best odds on the underdogs, offering Clippers +3 (-115)
  • The best odds on the Over are at BetMGM, offering Over 222.5 (-110). You'll find the best odds on the Under over at FanDuel, who has the total set at 223 points.

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DALLAS MAVERICKS VS. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS INJURY REPORT

DALLAS MAVERICKS INJURY REPORT

  • TIM HARDAWAY, JR. - QUESTIONABLE - ILLNESS

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS INJURY REPORT

  • KAWHI LEONARD - QUESTIONABLE - ILLNESS

WHY DALLAS MAVERICKS WILL COVER THE SPREAD

Dallas has long been a maddening team to bet on. It lives and dies by the 3, which can create an incredible amount of volatility on a weekly basis, and it also fails to do much of anything on defense to put itself in a compromising spot when the offense isn't able to drive the ship.

Well, the month of April has been a much different story. The Mavericks rank just outside the top five in defensive efficiency, making the leap up to sixth in rim defense after sitting down in the bottom third of the NBA for the entirety of the season.

Their 3-point defense remains suspect, but when it comes to defending inside the arc this team has done a considerably better job.

The path to victory here is quite simple. The Mavericks will need to keep defending at a high level against a lethal Clippers offense which has done it best work from around the arc, both from deep and in the mid-range.

They'll also need to expose LA's frontcourt, which went from average to well below-average when the calendar turned to April, and this team should be capable of doing so thanks to its newfound love for taking the ball inside for easy buckets.

WHY LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS WILL COVER THE SPREAD

As is the case with many games we discuss in the NBA, the Clippers will need to win the battle on the 3-point line here. For all the strides the Mavericks have taken on defense, they remain a poor 3-point defense with just a 40.4% mark this month, and on the flip side this team's cooled considerably from deep with a similarly-poor mark on offense in this split.

At the height of their powers, the Clippers were one of the most dangerous teams in the NBA from outside and they begun to heat up with roughly 40% shooting from outside in their final three games prior to resting their starters for the remainder of the season.

Of course, keeping control of the basketball will be paramount for a Clippers team which ranked around of the middle of the pack in turnover rate this season, and have remained there over the last few weeks.

The good news here is that the Mavericks are below-average in terms of forcing turnovers, but they've managed to improve by a slim margin in that area this month.

FINAL MAVERICKS-CLIPPERS PICK & PREDICTION

This is a pretty friendly matchup for the Clippers, which is why I'm pretty surprised they're the underdogs both in Game 1 and the series. Yes, their interior defense could be in trouble with the way Dallas has taken it inside with authority, but they'll be taking aim at one of the worst 3-point defenses in the NBA, which is a huge storyline to watch here given the way the Clippers have shot the ball.

On top of that, the Mavericks are running cold offensively and struggling to knock down shots from beyond the arc, which is the lifeblood of this team. I'll give them plenty of credit for playing considerably above their level on defense, but I can't trust them to win this game without a barrage of triples.

That's also been very tough to do this season against the Clippers, and we also have to consider the fact that the Clippers should have a coaching edge here behind Ty Lue.

I like the Clippers to win this game outright.

FINAL MAVERICKS-CLIPPERS PICK & PREDICTION: LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS +130

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