Lakers vs Mavericks Picks and Predictions: Lake Show Doesn't Get Blown Out of the Water

The Lakers have been atrocious and will likely be without LeBron James tonight against the Mavericks. Defense-forward Dallas, favored by a whopping 12 points, isn't an offensive powerhouse. We like Russell Westbrook & Co. to do just enough to cover.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2022 10:38 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Russell Westbrook Los Angeles Lakers NBA
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One team on the rise. One team sinking like a stone. A contrast in momentum and possibly motivation is on the court tonight when the Dallas Mavericks host the Los Angeles Lakers.

Dallas is pushing for the third seed in the Western Conference, coming off a big win over Utah and earning victories in three of its last four. Los Angeles, on the other hand, is in danger of dropping out of the No. 10 spot in the conference and losing any hope of a postseason shot via the play-in tournament.

Check out our free NBA picks and predictions for Lakers at Mavericks on March 29.

Lakers vs Mavericks odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

Bookies opened Dallas as low as -8.5 and that shot up to -11.5 and climbed as high as -12.5 before buyback slimmed that spread to -11.5. The total opened at 223.5 points and took a tumble to 218 by the time of this writing.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Lakers vs Mavericks predictions

Predictions made on 3/29/2022 at 10:15 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Lakers vs Mavericks game info

Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET

Lakers vs Mavericks betting preview

Key injuries

Lakers: LeBron James F (Doubtful), Dwight Howard C (Probable), Anthony Davis F (Out), Kendrick Nunn G (Out).
Mavericks: Tim Hardaway Jr. G (Out), Trey Burke G (Out), Sterling Brown G (Out), Theo Pinson G (Questionable).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 10-4 in Lakers’ last 14 road games. Find more NBA betting trends for Lakers vs. Mavericks.

Lakers vs Mavericks picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

A blown 23-point lead and injury to LeBron James against New Orleans on Sunday has the Lakers locked into a nosedive. Los Angeles has lost two straight, three of four, and 10 of 14 this month, clinging to the last-gasp 10th spot in the conference by half a game.

Los Angeles is expected to be LeBron-less against the Mavericks tonight, in what will be the team's sixth road game in the past seven outings. Los Angeles’ "other guys" came to play the last time James sat, but that was the lone home game in this stretch — a 126-121 loss to Philadelphia as 9.5-point underdogs.

Dallas has picked up wins in three of its last four but benefited from Rudy Gobert’s late scratch against Utah on Sunday, split meetings with Minnesota, and roughed up hapless Houston at home in this stretch. That span came on the heels of back-to-back losses to Charlotte and Philadelphia.

The Mavericks are a less-than-average offense and play at the slowest pace in the league, feeding a very good defense that allows a league-low 102 points per home game on the season. That’s a big reason why Dallas is a solid 21-16-1 against the spread inside American Airline Arena. 

The Mavs’ offensive output is unchanged by venue and while the Lakers defense has been an absolute joke this month, Dallas doesn’t really have the bones to bust this game wide open considering its methodical pace and poor 3-point shooting (ranked 26th this month). Jason Kidd’s crew is 27-15-1 ATS as NBA betting favorites on the year (59%) but up those spreads to -5.5 or higher and Dallas drops to just 8-10 ATS. 

The Lakers haven’t been as bad as the win/loss record would indicate. As mentioned, they did hold a 23-point lead over the Pelicans this weekend before it all went to shit. The game before that, L.A. hung with the Sixers (sans James) thanks to solid efforts off the bench. And the game before that, the Lakers put 131 points on Cleveland (one of the best defenses in the NBA) on the road — thanks in large part to LeBron’s 38 points but again getting great scoring from the reserves.

This bet may not be for the faint of heart, but we’re grabbing all the points with L.A. and steering into the skid.

Prediction: Lakers +12 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

The Lakers' biggest blemish during this downward spiral has been their woeful defense. Los Angeles ranks out near the bottom of most defensive metrics in March, including advanced defensive rating, opponents field goal percentage, and average points allowed — hemorrhaging more than 122 per night in the past 14 contests.

That’s why we’ve seen so many of the Lakers’ recent games turn into track meets, going Over the number in four of their last five. Los Angeles has combatted that defensive ineptitude with respectable work on the offensive end, holding an offensive rating of 122.4 over that five-game span (fourth highest). 

The last thing L.A. wants is to get into a slowed-down defensive grinder with the Mavs. Even with LeBron not leading the transition attack, the Lakers can go smaller with Stanley Johnson and still push tempo, fueled by Russell Westbrook’s late-season surge. For as good as Dallas’ defense is, it's been ho-hum against transition attacks on the year, allowing 1.10 points per possession on 50% scoring frequency.

Also, we mentioned the Lakers’ bench making the most of any minutes. The reserves are contributing an average of almost 39 points per game over the past five outings, getting big efforts from Carmelo Anthony and Malik Monk. 

Prediction: Over 218 (-110)

Best bet

The Lakers’ offensive renaissance over the past five games has anchored itself in strong first-half efforts, averaging almost 63 points in the opening 24 minutes of those contests. Los Angeles hung 69 points on the Pelicans before pulling a no-show in the second half, mustering a mere 39 to complete the collapse.

Overall, the Mavericks are the best first-half defense in the NBA, budging for a measly 52.8 points allowed in those first two frames. However, Dallas has softened a bit in first halves this month, giving up an average of 55.9 1H points over those last 14 games, with that spiking to 57.6 over the past five contests.

Being that this is the Lakers’ second straight road game and sixth roadie since March 16, Los Angeles’ legs could start to weaken in the second half. We’ll keep this bet between the opening tip and halftime horn.

Pick: Los Angeles Over first-half Team Total 51.5 (-122)

NBA parlays

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