Mavericks vs. Lakers Free NBA Picks for March 1

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers. Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images/AFP.

The struggling Los Angeles Lakers might belong in your NBA picks for Tuesday’s matchup with the Dallas Mavericks – at the right price.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Tuesday, March 01, 2022 – 10:00 PM EST at Arena

It’s not easy these days being a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers. This team has been a hot mess since they won the title in 2020, crashing out of the first round last year and threatening to miss the playoffs completely this year. Maybe life would be different if both LeBron James and Anthony Davis were healthy at the same time, but that’s rarely been the case – and it certainly isn’t now.

Not that you need two-star players to make things work. The Dallas Mavericks have played remarkably well since trading Kristaps Porzingis to the Washington Wizards on deadline day and handing the keys to Luka Doncic. But with the Lakers available as 4.5-point home dogs at BetMGM, they look like the right choice for your NBA picks this Tuesday, at least for a small wager.

Broken Glass

We probably wouldn’t make the same recommendation at +4, which is where some top-rated sportsbooks have L.A. pegged at press time. These are difficult times for the Lakers (27-33 SU, 26-34 ATS); Davis is out with a sprained right foot and might not be back until the postseason, if they even make it that far. And that’s a very real concern for Los Angeles given their two losses since Davis last played.

The first one wasn’t too bad. Last Friday, the Lakers “hosted” the Los Angeles Clippers and lost 105-102 as 3-point faves on the NBA odds board. But Sunday’s 123-95 dismantling by the New Orleans Pelicans (+2.5 away) was a tough pill to swallow. The Pelicans absolutely dominated the Davis-less Lakers on the glass, and while James led all scorers with 32 points, he also committed 7 turnovers – as did Russell Westbrook, who continues to do Los Angeles more harm than good.

Big Changes In Big D

So why lean towards the Lakers? The Mavericks may be 4-2 SU and 5-1 ATS since they sent Porzingis to Washington in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans, but this is with Doncic playing at an extraordinarily high level, something he probably can’t sustain over the long term. That includes the career-best 51 points Doncic dumped on the Clippers the day of the trade, leading the Mavs to a 112-105 victory as 6.5-point home faves.

Dallas is also coming off Sunday’s insane 107-101 comeback win over the Golden State Warriors as 3.5-point road dogs, a game where Dinwiddie (24 points and 5 assists on 10-for-14 from the floor) came off the bench and saved their bacon. Again, this probably isn’t sustainable given how poorly Dinwiddie played for Washington this year.

Add the recent injuries to point guards Trey Burke (shoulder) and Frank Ntilikina (ankle), and the Mavs will have to lean even more heavily on Doncic and Dinwiddie this Tuesday. They “deserve” to be favored in this matchup at the former Staples Center, but at –4.5 or higher, we’ll recommend the other side instead.

NBA Pick: Lakers +4.5 (–110) at BetMGM