The Dallas Mavericks will look to continue their recent resurgence, and hosting the shorthanded LA Clippers on Saturday will be a good opportunity to do just that.
The Mavs (5-17, 3-10 home) had a horrible start to the season, but they steadied the ship lately and have now won 3 of the last 6. Granted, they did lose two in a row, and getting beat at home by the Nets two nights ago was disappointing, but even in the losses you could see an increased level of play. They will sweat over the fitness of starting PG Smith Jr, but he is widely expected to play.
The Clippers (8-12, 4-6 away) have suffered a huge blow earlier this week, when their best player Blake Griffin got injured against the Lakers. While Griffin’s injury is a massive loss in itself, it becomes even worse given that LA was already missing three starters due to injury (Gallinari, Teodosic, Beverley). The shorthanded Clippers offered little resistance two nights ago at home against the Jazz, losing by 19 points, and they are in huge trouble until some of the starters return from injury.Bet on Mavericks vs Clippers and claim your 100% (100 Eur) bonus at Ohmbet now!
Team news: Aside from the long term injuries of Curry, Finney-Smith and McRoberts, the Mavs also have Smith Jr, Mejri and Noel questionable. Smith Jr, the most important of the three, is listed as probable and should play. At least one of Mejri and Noel will probably play as well. As for the Clippers, they miss 4 starters in the form of Teodosic, Griffin, Gallinari and Beverley.
Bookies opened with Dallas as a 4.5 point favorite, and you have to feel that it was a mistake. In fact, odds started dropping minutes after the odds were published.
The Clippers are a shadow of themselves at the moment. They needed a few weeks to learn playing without Teodosic, Gallinari and Beverley, and finally started winning without them in the last 10 days, but Griffin’s injury has ruined everything. The team looked horrible in the first game without him, two nights ago against Utah.
The Clippers already had a modest bench, so missing four starters is really stretching them very thin, with Doc Rivers having to give big minutes to G-League level players at the moment. You would be hard pressed right now to find an NBA team against which these decimated LA Clippers would be favorites to win.
Dallas are definitely no world beaters, but they are on the up, and are always playing with high energy at home. The Clippers will win very few games in the next month, and this shouldn`t be one of them – especially as it comes very soon after Griffin’s injury, so LA will need some time to adjust.
The Mavs should win this, and the 5 point handicap is an accessible line for them to cover. I wouldn`t be surprised if the point spread keeps moving up towards 6 or 7 points, unless Smith Jr will be ruled out for Dalas (which is extremely unlikely). My tip is Dallas Mavericks to cover the 5 point (asian) handicap. Prediction: Dallas Mavericks – LA Clippers 111 – 97.