Opening Betting Line : Mavericks +6 / Lakers -6
Over/Under : 188.5
Game Time : 10:30 PM EST Monday May 2, 2011 on TNT
The Lakers won 2 of 3 games against the Mavs this season and even though both teams have been a playoff mainstay in the last decade this is the first time these teams have met in the playoffs in 23 years. Both teams needed 6 games to get out of the first round and the last time these teams met 5 players were ejected in a heated affair, so there is a little bad blood in this match up.
Will history repeat itself this season? Last season the Lakers got by the Oklahoma City Thunder in a tough first round series and then breezed to the finals. The Mavs are one team that matches up pretty well with the Lakers since they have a couple of 7-footers in Brendan Haywood and Tyson Chandler and they are no longer soft on defense.
In closing out their last series’ on Thursday night the Lakers beat the New Orleans Hornets 98-90 and the Mavs beat the Portland Trailblazers 103-96.
This season the Lakers are 42-45-1 ATS and the Mavs are 49-36-3 ATS. The Mavs have covered the spread in 6 of their last 8 games against the Lakers in L.A.
On the season the Lakers are 32-12 at home and the Mavs are 29-15 on the road.
In both of their losses to the Hornets in round 1 the Lakers did not play physical and their 3 big guys of Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom struggled and they need to come up big in this game and series to get back to the Western Conference finals. Gasol did not have a very good opening round and against Dallas this season he only averaged 13.5 ppg. If he and Bynum can play good in the paint on offense and defense the Lakers will be tough to beat.
Round 1 showed that the Lakers are a better team when Kobe Bryant does not have to take a ton of shots, so L.A. needs the supporting cast to step up. Still, Kobe is key and he will have to shoot the rock well.
Dirk Nowitzki averaged 27.3 ppg in the Portland series and the Lakers cannot let him have a huge scoring game. They also have to play solid perimeter D and keep Jason Kidd and Jason Terry in check, as both of these 2 shot the 3 well in the Blazers’ series.
One key match up in this series is at the center position. In the New Orleans series Andrew Bynum averaged 15.2 ppg 10.3 rpg and he will be facing a solid defensive center in Tyson Chandler. If Chandler cannot contain Bynum in the paint the Mavs are in trouble.
In some other betting trends for this Western Conference playoff game:
Dallas is 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 road games, 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games, and has an Over record of 4-0 in their last 4 games as a road underdog of 5.0-10.5.
L.A. is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games against teams with a winning road record, and has an Over record of 4-1 in their last 5 home games.
In the last 7 games between these 2 teams in L.A. the total has gone Over 5 times.
Our Selection : Both of these teams play good defense and while 3 of the last 4 have gone over the total, we think the under is the way to go here. Take Under 189 points at Bodog.
Dallas Mavericks at Miami Heat Odds 6-12
The Mavs are up 3-2 in this series heading to South Beach and for the Heat to force Game 7 they will have to play better in the 4th quarter, especially LeBron James. 5Dimes has the hometown Heat as 5-point favorites in Game 6 with a total of 187.
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