The Dallas Mavericks take on the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 3 of one of the best playoff matchups in the West. It’s time to continue our NBA Playoff odds series and make a Clippers-Mavericks prediction and pick.
The Mavericks are looking to regroup after a Game 3 loss in which Luka Doncic suffered a neck injury.
The Clippers will try to even the series after two shock losses in L.A. Los Angeles badly needs a win to avoid a 3-1 hole.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Clippers-Mavericks odds for Game 3.
NBA Odds: Clippers-Mavericks Odds
Los Angeles Clippers -3 (-110)
Dallas Mavericks +3 (-110)
Over 221 Points (-110)
Under 221 Points (-110)
Why The Mavericks Could Cover The Spread
Dallas is on one of the most impressive hot streaks of the season from beyond the arc
The Mavs are currently shooting a whopping 50.5% from three, and it seems like anytime a Mavericks gets a good look from deep it’s going down.
Dallas isn’t just shooting the lights out from deep. They also hold the third-best shooting percentage from the field among postseason teams.
The Mavericks’ offense has been marshaled by Luka Doncic, who has killed the Clippers all series. The star is averaging a crazy 38.0 points per game, 9.0 assists and 8.7 rebounds, all while shooting 51.9% from the field and 45.9% from three.
The biggest concern for the Mavericks tonight is Doncic’s health after hurting his neck in Game 2, but Woj has announced that the Dallas star is ready to go.
Rick Carlisle’s group will continue to rely on Doncic on the offensive end. On the defensive end, they will continue to swarm the three-point line, where they’ve held the Clippers to only 35.6% from deep. This percentage is nearly 5% lower than the Clippers’ regular-season mark from beyond the arc.
As long as the Mavs continue to pressure Los Angeles from beyond the arc, Dallas should keep this game close and have a shot at their third upset of the series.
Why The Clippers Could Cover The Spread
The Clippers won their first shootout of the series in Game 3.
L.A. didn’t do a great job of slowing the Mavs in their latest matchup as Dallas still shot 51.3% from the field. The game-deciding factor was the Clippers finally getting some offense from players other than Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
This Clippers team is significantly deeper than the Mavericks, but they didn’t show it in the first two matchups. Los Angeles had a total of four double-digit scoring performances from their role players in total in the first two games. The highest of these was Reggie Jackson’s 15 in Game 2.
This is simply not enough offense to keep up with the Mavs hot shooting right now. Kawhi and Paul George are going to get their points, but one of Jackson, Nic Batum, Marcus Morris, or Rajon Rondo is going to have to step up and give the Clips another scorer.
On defense, the Clippers should see the Mavericks shooting regress. It’s nearly impossible to shoot over 50% from three for an entire series, especially for a Mavs team that didn’t shoot the ball particularly well.
Dallas shot the ball at the 12th lowest rate in the regular season from three, finishing with a 36.2% mark from beyond the arc. Sooner or later, the numbers have to drop.
Against a Doncic who is less than 100%, we could see the Mavericks’ offensive efficiency drop tonight.
Final Clippers-Mavericks Prediction & Pick
While Game 3 was a must-win for the Clippers, Game 4 is almost as important. 3-0 leads have been insurmountable in the NBA, and 3-1 leads are just a touch more doable. We should see the Clippers fight with their season on the line again in Game 4 and expect them to continue their offensive prowess from Game 3. Ride with the Clips to cover the small spread and regain home-court advantage.
FINAL PICK: LAC 116, DAL 109 (LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS -3)