Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks – NBA Pick for December 15th, 2021
Everybody knows how tough the NBA Western Conference is and the Lakers and Mavericks are living it right now. These two teams should be in the playoffs when the regular season comes to an end, barring anything crazy.
With that being said, their slower starts to this season can put them in a whole if they don’t pick up the pace. The Lakers (15-13) are sitting in 6th place in the West, while the Mavericks (14-13) are right behind them at 7th. Both teams are struggling with health, as arguably the most impactful player in this game will be out.
Luka Doncic will miss another game due to an ankle injury, while the Lakers are basically making “game-time decision” their new motto. LeBron James is probable, while Anthony Davis is questionable and will be a game-time decision yet again. That means this game might not feature the stars you were hoping for.
Odds for Lakers vs. Mavericks
With Luka Doncic being ruled out for this game, the Mavericks find themselves as only 1 point underdogs against the Lakers. The Lakers aren’t playing to their full potential just yet, but these are pretty solid odds for them to win this game.
You can find these exact odds on Sportsbetting.ag, so head over there to place your bets.
Let’s break down why each team can win this game on Wednesday night on ESPN.
Why the Lakers Will Win
LeBron is coming into this one with a “probable” tag, which is great for Lakers bettors. He recently had an incredible vintage performance, proving that he still has a lot left in the tank.
Outside of LeBron, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook are their other stars who are capable of taking care of the Mavs. Davis is in a bit of a slump (19% from 3), but is still averaging 24.0 points per game. Westbrook is adding another 19.5 points per game with 8.4 assists per game.
A rising star in today’s league is Talen Horton-Tucker. He had a very impressive performance against the Magic with 19 points and 6 steals. He is just 21 years old but has some serious potential to be a great player in the NBA. Unfortunately for the Lakers, THT will be out for this game with health and safety protocols.
The Lakers came into this season with a ton of depth, but they still are struggling to get healthy. Trevor Ariza, THT, Kendrick Nunn, Dwight Howard, and Malik Monk are already ruled out for this game. Anthony Davis can join them if the Lakers opt to sit him to rest his knee against a Luka-less Mavs.
The Lakers slow start is one thing, but by the end of the year they should be back in the playoffs yet again. With the Mavericks being without their best player, this game is very winnable for the Lakers.
Why the Mavericks Will Win
Now that LeBron is considered “probable” for this game, that is going to make it hard for the Mavs to get a win here. With Luka out, they are going to have to rely on some other players to step up in a major way.
Kristaps Porzingis is coming off a monster game against the Hornets. He scored 24 points, added 13 rebounds, and blocked a season high 5 shots.
14 PTS in 8 MIN ? pic.twitter.com/AFbe53FxbE— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) December 14, 2021
He was once one of the NBA’s most promising players before his big injuries. He can prove that he can still be a superstar with another big performance against the Lakers. If he can have another big game, he can help keep the Mavs in it.
When Luka does not play, more opportunities go to Tim Hardaway Jr., Jalen Brunson, and Trey Burke. They will have the same sort of scenario in this one, but that did not bother them in their dominating victory of the Hornets their last time out.
The fact that the Lakers have not been playing to their “super team” title implies that they are vulnerable right now. The Mavs are going to have to play with very few mistakes if they want to beat the Lakers, but it is definitely possible for them to pull off a win here.
My Pick for Lakers vs. Mavericks
You never want to make a habit out of betting with a team without their best player. The Lakers are 10-6 with LeBron, versus 5-7 without. I cannot rely on the Mavs in this one without Luka, otherwise I think they would be a decent bet for this game.
The Lakers are far from perfect right now, but going against LeBron without Luka is something I cannot do. I think the Lakers have a strong chance of covering the spread on the road and beating the Mavericks.