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It Los Angeles Lakers (1-7 p.m., 5th Pacific) Visit the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on Christmas afternoon to play. Dallas Mavericks (17-16, 3rd southwest). Los Angeles has lost each of its last three since Friday night’s 134-130 loss to the Charlotte Hornets. During the current three-game losing streak, the Lakers have allowed an average of 132.7 points per game. Luka Doncic scored 50 points as Dallas beat the Houston Rockets 112-106 for the second straight game on Friday night. Anthony Davis, Cole Swider and Juan Toscano-Anderson are out for Los Angeles. Dallas is playing without Josh Green and Maxie Kleber, and Jaden Hardy, Reggie Bullock and Dorian Finney-Smith are questionable.

The Lakers need defense

Los Angeles is playing without its best point guard, Anthony Davis, and his absence is evident on the court as the Lakers are allowing an average of 132.7 points per game over their last three games, leading to three losses. On the season, Los Angeles is allowing an average of 117.8 points per game, which is 26th. Opponents are shooting 47.0% overall against the Lakers and 34.8% from three-point range. Los Angeles is allowing an average of 46.3 rebounds per game, which is 29th in the NBA, while the Lakers are averaging 44.8 boards per game. Without the injured Davis, the active leader is LeBron James, averaging 8.4 boards per contest. Davis averages a team-best 2.1 rebounds per game, but without him, the leader on the court is James, who averages just 0.7 swats per contest. Davis leads the Lakers in steals, but James is second, averaging 1.2 per game.

Los Angeles is averaging 115.7 points per game, sixth in the NBA. The Lakers are shooting 47.8% overall, which is 8th best, and 33.6% from the line, which is 26th. Los Angeles suffers offensively without Davis on the court as the big man leads the way with an average of 27.4 points per game. James is the second-leading scorer, averaging 27.1 points per game, and five other Lakers players are averaging double figures. Russell Westbrook is averaging 7.6 assists per game. Los Angeles is averaging 14.2 turnovers and has a 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Dallas’ defense continues to change the shine

The Dallas Mavericks are sixth in the NBA in scoring at 109.4 points per game. Opponents are shooting 48.0% overall and 35.9% from three-point range. Dallas is allowing an average of 43.2 rebounds per game, 10th in the NBA, while the Mavericks are averaging just 38.8 rebounds per game. The leading rebounder is Luka Doncic, averaging 8.3 boards per game. Doncic leads in steals, averaging 1.7 per contest, and Christian Wood leads in swats, averaging 0.82 blocked shots per game.

Dallas is a below-average 23rd in scoring, averaging 111.0 points per game. The Mavericks are shooting 46.5% from the field, which is 20th, and their 3-point percentage is 35.9%, which is 14th. Doncic is Dallas’ leading scorer, averaging 32.8 points per game. Doncic is shooting 49.7% overall and 35.2% from behind the line. Wood is the second leading scorer with an average of 16.9 points per game and Spencer Dinwiddie is third with an average of 16.5 points per game. Doncic leads the team in assists, averaging 8.7 dishes per contest.

Best bets

Full game side bet

Rating:


Los Angeles is struggling without Anthony Davis on the court. The Lakers have allowed an average of 132.7 points per game over their last three games, leading to three straight losses. Los Angeles has failed to cover the spread in five of its last six games on the road and in its last four overall. Los Angeles struggles against an opponent with a winning record at home, failing to cover the spread in each of the last five in that scenario. The Lakers have failed to cover the spread in each of the last four games in Dallas and in each of the five games between the two. Los Angeles is 26th in points allowed at 117.8 points per game and continues to rise when Davis is injured. Davis leads LA in scoring, rebounds, steals and blocks.

Take the Mavs -8

Prediction: Dallas Mavericks -8

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Overall selection of the full game

Rating:


“Lakers” cannot stop anyone. Los Angeles has allowed an average of 132.6 points per game in its last three games, all of which have been shutouts. In each of those three games, the Lakers gave up 134 points to Charlotte, 134 points to Sacramento and 130 points to Phoenix. The total has been completed in each of the last five games Los Angeles has played on the road and seven of the last nine overall. The total has ended in five of the last seven games Dallas has played at home against a team with a losing record on the road.

Take

Prediction: Over 226.5

Is written
Kevin Vallego, “Kevin W.

Kevin grew up in an all-sports household. Every afternoon was reserved for watching any sport on TV After years of watching sports he was introduced to the world of betting and soon statistics, trends and odds became Kevin’s best friends. Now, almost 2 decades later, His life revolves around sports, writing about them and betting on them. We’re happy to have Kevin on our Winners & Whiners & StatSalt teams, and you should be happy to have him too!



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