The Dallas Mavericks made some moves to boost their sportsbook odds (betus reviews) before the trade deadline, and they did it with the Los Angeles Lakers in mind because to be the champs, you have to beat the champs. The Mavericks will host the Lakers on Wednesday night, but the Lakers have had their way in Dallas lately.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks odds – Wednesday, February 24, 9:00 PM ET
This will be the second half of a back-to-back for the Lakers, who are 10-3 in the second half of back-to-backs this season. They play in Memphis on Tuesday, and they’re hoping that Kobe Bryant will be available to play, and that’s pretty likely when you consider how many injuries it took just to get Bryant to sit for five games, which also stretched around the All-Star break. The Lakers went 4-1 in the five games that Bryant sat, losing only a one-point game against Boston at home, and that has to be encouraging to Bryant and coach Phil Jackson. Bryant is still the leader of the offense, but maybe this will give him some more confidence in his teammates.
The Mavericks are hoping that the acquisitions of Caron Butler (whom Bryant lobbied to get here a couple of years ago) and Brendan Haywood from Washington for Josh Howard will improve their sportsbook odds, but we know for sure it’ll improve their locker room as Howard was immature and reportedly sat out games with hangovers. Jason Kidd now has a whole slew of weapons in Butler, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry coming off the bench, but the pickup of Haywood may be more important to the Mavs’ chances. Erick Dampier is out for at least a month with a finger injury, and you probably couldn’t get a better replacement for Dampier as Haywood is very similar, and possibly better. He’s long, can rebound and block shots, and that will definitely help against the Lakers’ trio of Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.
The Mavericks should be the favorites at home, as they are 17-9 at American Airlines Center prior to Monday’s visit from Indiana. Bryant has averaged just 15.0 points in three meetings with Dallas, but two of those have resulted in wins. Butler gives the Mavericks a backup option if Nowitzki is getting extra attention. The Mavericks have lost three in a row at home to the Lakers, who were 16-9 on the road ahead of their game in Memphis on Tuesday, but they’ll probably still be trying to work Bryant into the lineup. Watch out for the Mavericks’ defense, as they hadn’t allowed more than 100 points since getting Haywood from Washington.
NBA betting pick: Dallas
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