The Los Angeles Lakers have a rematch from their Christmas Day matchup against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night in LA.
The Lakers have quietly moved to within half a game of the play-in tournament in the West, with LeBron James playing at an extremely high level recently without Anthony Davis.
Dallas has won seven of its last 10 games, but it’s fallen behind the Sacramento Kings and holds the No. 5 spot in the West, just 3.5 games ahead of Los Angeles, which sits in 12th.
The West is an absolute gauntlet this season, and both of these teams could use a win on Thursday night to further their playoff hopes.
The Lakers are still down Davis, Lonnie Walker IV and Austin Reaves due to injury, and guard Patrick Beverley is listed as questionable with an illness for this game. Dallas won’t have Josh Green or Dorian Finney-Smith while Dwight Powell is listed as questionable.
Los Angeles got destroyed in the second half by the Mavericks on Christmas Day, and it’s listed as a home underdog in the latest odds.
Can LeBron and the Lakers cover, or even pull off the upset?
Mavericks vs. Lakers odds, spreads and totals
Dallas Mavericks @ Los Angeles Lakers | Odds by BetMGM
Mavericks vs. Lakers prediction and pick
Dallas has a lot more shooting than the Lakers, ranking third in the NBA in 3-pointers made per game compared to Los Angeles at 29th, but I think there is value in taking the Lakers as underdogs in this game.
Los Angeles is 6-4 against the spread as a home dog this season, and I can’t understate how well LeBron has been playing lately.
The four-time champion is averaging 31.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game in 21 matchups since returning from an adductor strain. The Lakers are 13-8 straight up in those 21 games.
Dallas is down its best defender in Finney-Smith, and the Mavericks have struggled on the road, especially as favorites.
So far this season, the Mavericks are 3-9 against the spread as road favorites and just 7-13 straight up away from American Airlines Center.
As good as Dallas’ record is this season, the team is just 13th in the NBA in net rating. I don’t think there’s a huge difference between these teams, it’s just more of a question of whether or not Doncic or James controls this game.
I’ll back LeBron and company to at least keep this game close.
LAL +3.5, O/U 235.5
Consensus betting odds
- Pick & odds as of January 12, 2023, 8:52 AM
Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record here.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.