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Game 1 NBA Gambling: Mavs vs. Lakers Free Pick | Preview

NBA Odds: Dallas Mavericks vs Portland Trail Blazers Preview & Game 1 Free Pick

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Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Date: Monday, May 2, 10:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Staples Center
Broadcast: TNT
Mavericks vs. Lakers betting lines from BetOnline.com
Money Line: Mavs +220, Lakers -260
Spread: Lakers -6
Over/Under: 188.5
Click here for indepth NBA ATS Stats —>
Bet Now @ BetOnline.com

The Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers have been perennial powerhouses in the Western Conference for years, but this marks the first time they’ve squared off in the playoffs during the Dirk Nowitzki/Kobe Bryant era. Game 1 of their second-round playoff series tips off Monday.

Bryant had an up-and-down series against New Orleans. The elite scorer was held to less than 20 points three times, though he also racked up a pair of 30-plus point games. An ankle injury didn’t slow him down too much, but he’ll need to be a little sharper against the Mavericks, who are defending quite well right now.

A big performance from Bryant is also even more important than usual with Pau Gasol playing average at best. The big man didn’t score more than 17 points in the series against New Orleans, averaging just 13.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. That’s way too low-impact from a player of Gasol’s caliber, and a similar performance in Round Two could cost Los Angeles a shot at a third consecutive title. Lifetime Bonus at BetOnline

With Gasol struggling, young center Andrew Bynum kept the team afloat. Bynum is a wonderful talent, and he played through his bum knees to averaging 15.2 points (second on the team in scoring) and 10.3 rebounds (first) per game in the series. Unfortunately, Bynum’s knees limit him from playing to much and making a bigger impact.

Dallas relied on Dirk Nowitzki to carry the day. Though Nowitzki didn’t shoot the ball particularly well throughout the series, he still put up 27.3 points per game. His life will be made much easier if Jason Terry can find some consistent. Terry—Dallas’ second-leading scorer—was held to 13 points or less in three of the first four games of the series. He finally got untracked in the final two games, scoring 20 and 22 points, respectively. That’s the kind of game Dallas needs from Terry to get past L.A.

Unfortunately, nobody else on the team can score. Jason Kidd enjoyed a few big games to start the series with Portland, but he quickly fell back to earth. It sounds like Caron Bulter—who was averaging 15.0 points per game before going down in January with a torn knee ligament—could make his return in this series, but he won’t be available for Game 1.

For now, Dallas appears to have a mental edge. The Mavericks are fighting off demons after years or early playoff exits, while the Lakers seem complacent at times after winning two straight NBA Championships. More importantly, Dallas is dominating against the spread, going 9-0-1 in its past 10 games on NBA odds. Take the Mavs, who will fight till the bitter end of this one.

Dallas at Los Angeles pick: Mavericks

Ian Van Den Hurk has covered amateur and pro sports for years, including a successful run handicapping anything from football to mixed martial arts.

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About Ian Van Den Hurk

Ian Van Den Hurk has covered amateur and pro sports for years, including a successful run handicapping anything from football to mixed martial arts. Looking for more sports betting tips and expert sports handicapping articles from Ian V? We've got your back...


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