Los Angeles Lakers at Dallas Mavericks
Wednesday, 3/21/12, 9:30 PM EST, TV: ESPN
Opening Point Spread: Dallas -4
Current Betting Line: Dallas -4.5
Opening Total: 188
Current Total: 188
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Los Angeles suffered a disappointing 107-104 defeat to the Houston Rockets last night as three-point road favorites inside the Toyota Center. “I’m concerned,” commented Lakers star Kobe Bryant about the team’s latest fourth-quarter collapse. The Lakers might be able to bounce back due to winning both regular-season meetings against the Dallas Mavericks by a combined eight points. Defensively, the team ranks seventh in the NBA in allowing 92.9 points per game, but has slipped a bit over the past eight games in surrendering 102.0 points during that span. Los Angeles is 7-8 ATS as an underdog this season.
The Lakers have been very happy with the play of All-Star center Andrew Bynum, who was recently named the NBA Western Conference Player of the Week in averaging 27.5 points on 65.5 percent shooting. Los Angeles will need that type of performance in hopes of pulling off a slight upset tonight, as Bryant has scored just 29 combined points on 29.7 percent shooting in two games against Dallas this year. Los Angeles has won the last two meetings inside the American Airlines Center by the same score of 96-91.
Dallas has won four games in a row and comes off a 112-95 victory over the Denver Nuggets as 4.5-point road underdogs. The Mavericks have gone “over” the total in six consecutive games. All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki is averaging 28.5 points on 54.8 percent shooting over the past four games. He scored 33 points and grabbed 11 rebounds versus the Nuggets last time out. The team is 18-7 at home this season, including a 12-4 mark versus Western Conference foes. Dallas is 17-24 ATS when playing in March the last two-plus seasons.
The Mavericks have dropped 12 of the last 15 regular-season meetings with the Lakers, as they look for Nowitzki to help turn the tide. He has averaged team highs in scoring 23.0 points and grabbing 9.5 rebounds in playing 34.0 minutes per game in two series meetings. Dallas has reached the century mark in scoring in each of the last four games. The Mavericks are now 14-1 when scoring 100-plus points in a game this year.
Bettors will likely back the Lakers due to their 4-0 ATS mark as a road underdog of 4.5 points or less, while the Mavericks are 2-5 ATS as a home favorite.
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