The sky is falling in La-La Land where the Los Angeles Lakers are dropping further down the Western Conference standings. The Lakers have lost both games since the All-Star break and have just one victory in their last six outings going back to February 8.
Los Angeles is a home NBA betting underdog hosting the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday. The Mavericks wrap a five-game road trip in L.A. having won three of the past four, including a strange comeback win at Golden State on Sunday.
Here are our free NBA picks and predictions for Mavericks at Lakers on March 1.
Mavericks vs Lakers odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The Lakers opened as low as +4 but with rumblings that LeBron James may sit out due to a sore knee (currently questionable), that spread spiked to +6.5 before buyback on Los Angeles slimmed that line to +4.5 but it is climbing to +5.5 as of late Tuesday afternoon. The total opened at 217.5 points and has bounced between 216.5 and 217 in the lead up to tipoff.
Mavericks vs Lakers predictions
- Prediction: Mavericks -5 (-110)
- Prediction: Under 216.5 (-110)
- Best bet: Lakers team total Under 105.5 (-112)
Predictions made on 3/1/2022 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Mavericks vs Lakers game info
• Location: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
• Date: Tuesday, March 1, 2022
• Tip-off: 10:00 p.m. ET
• TV: TNT
Mavericks vs Lakers betting preview
Mavericks: Trey Burke G (Out), Marquese Chriss C (Out), Tim Hardaway Jr. G (Out), Frank Ntilikina G (Out), Theo Pinson G (Out).
Lakers: LeBron James F (Questionable), D.J. Augustin G (Questionable), Wenyen Gabriel F (Questionable), Austin Reaves G (Questionable) Anthony Davis F (Out), Avery Bradley G (Out), Kendrick Nunn G (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Under is 28-13 in Mavericks’ last 41 games overall. Find more NBA betting trends for Mavericks vs. Lakers.
Mavericks vs Lakers picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
The up-and-down movement of this spread would indicate that early bettors were trying to get out ahead of any injury updates on LeBron James. But with action taking that spread back down from +6.5 to +4.5, you have faith in the market moving as if LeBron is playing. Even with James in action, basketball bettors can’t feel too secure betting on the Lakers.
Los Angeles is still without star Anthony Davis and the L.A. offense is stuck in mud. Los Angeles boasts an offensive rating of just 106.9 over the previous six games – and all but two of those contests were played with Davis. Since he went down with a foot injury on Feb. 16, L.A.’s advanced offensive metric has slumped to 95.2 (second lowest in the league) in losses to the Clippers and most recently, New Orleans.
Dallas scored a marquee win at Golden State on Sunday but did so after falling behind 21 points and benching its starters. The Mavericks reserves kept playing, forcing stops, and making smart shots – clawing their way back with a 33-13 fourth quarter.
The Mavs may have had a couple defensive blips at Utah and New Orleans (and the opening quarter at Golden State) during this current road swing but still rank among the NBA’s elite at stopping opponents, allowing only 105.6 points per road game and ranking seventh in defensive rating as visitors.
Dallas is especially strong at slowing down transition attacks, allowing a mere 17.1 points per contest in transition and checking opponent scoring frequency of 49% in those sets (seventh lowest). The Lakers’ broken playbook is dependent on pushing the ball and finding those spots in transition, more so when LeBron is leading the charge.
Even with the Mavericks playing some shoddy ball the past two games, it’s tough to get behind Los Angeles. Getting points with the Lakers at home used to be a rare spot but the team is 11-32 SU and 20-23 ATS as a dog inside Crypto.com Arena the past two years.
Prediction: Mavericks -5 (-110)
This is a mismatch in tempo for these two teams, with L.A. looking to run (fifth-fastest pace rating) and the Mavs relying on methodical movement in the halfcourt set (slowest pace in the league).
Dallas can dictate the pace by scoring high-percentage buckets and forcing L.A. to inbound the ball on the bulk of possessions. The Mavs offense has been very efficient since dealing Kristaps Porzingis to Washington at the trade deadline and technically has been playing without him since January 29, due to injury.
The Mavs went from an effective field goal rate of 52.3% (17th) with Porzingis to 56.5% (sixth) since January 30, not seeing a major spike in scoring (106.1 to 109.5) but finding a natural fluidity in their offense without trying to shoehorn Porzingis into the playbook. That’s help slow down the game as well, with Dallas’ pace rating going from 96.22 to a snail-paced 93.93 in the 11 games without KP.
That means the Lakers will be forced into more halfcourt sets than they would like. And if you watched their puzzling performance against the Pelicans on Sunday, you saw just how bad this team is when it’s forced to slow down and rely on perimeter play.
Los Angeles was 7 for 34 from beyond the arc and when it tried to force penetrating passes, they were picked off – leading to a gag-inducing 23 turnovers. The Lakers also had a measly 15 assists and sit among the worst teams in assists per field goal in the NBA.
These Western foes clashed inside the American Airlines Center back in December with L.A. at full strength and Dallas without Luka Doncic. The pace of that outing posted a rating of just 95.55 and the final score of 107-104 played Under the 212-point total… even with the game going to overtime.
Prediction: Under 216.5 (-110)
Los Angeles’ offensive stupor is not fully to blame on the team’s lack of cohesion, well let’s saw 70/30 to blame. Part of those scoring woes has to do with some stiff defensive competition in recent outings.
Before botching a winnable game against the Pelicans, Los Angeles ran into the Clippers, Jazz and Warriors – three of the top defensive teams in the West. Dallas is the next tough cookie to crack.
The Lakers have scored 106 points or less in four of their last five outings and that’s where their team total for Tuesday sits at most books: 105.5 points.
If Los Angeles is going to get past that prop, it won’t be doing it from long range. It’s shooting a dismal 32% from deep over the past five outings and faces a Mavs defense that gets its heels above the 3-point arc. Dallas allows a league-low 10.7 makes from outside per game while holding foes to less than 34% success from 3-point range.
That means the heavy lifting has to come from 2-point buckets and the free throw line - likely generated in halfcourt, which won't sit well with Los Angeles. And the way the Mavericks' offense monopolizes the shot clock (23% of shots coming with seven seconds or less), there won’t be enough possessions for L.A. to threaten that team total tonight.
Pick: Lakers team total Under 105.5 points (-112)
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