NBA Playoff Betting Trends: Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Last Updated: May 1st, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Of the four series to make NBA playoffs picks on in the second round in the postseason, this one is it. The Los Angeles Lakers will take on the Dallas Mavericks, and many think that the winner of this series is going to be able to beat the NBA Finals odds and claim the 2010-11 NBA Championship.

NBA Series Prices
Los Angeles -375 vs. Dallas +275 @ Oddsmaker Sportsbook
Los Angeles -360 vs. Dallas +280 @ SportBet Sportsbook
Los Angeles -355 vs. Dallas +295 @ BetUS Sportsbook

Series Trends and History
The road team has been the one to dominate this series over the course of the last 15 clashes. The roadies, much to the surprise of NBA betting fans, is 10-4-1 in these last 15 meetings. Of course, the home team has still won six of the last nine meetings, and that’s the only stat that the Lakers truly care about right now. The last time Dallas won a game here at Staples Center was back in October 2009.

The first two meetings of the year were a split, but the third and decisive game that gave Los Angeles home court advantage in this series was a 110-82 ‘W’ in Tinseltown, the biggest win that this series has seen since January 2010 when LA won 131-96 at home.

Keys to the Series
Key 1: Dirk’s Drive to Be a Champ – Ric Flair had the greatest quote in the world about this series. In order to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man. My, how this will ring. Dirk Nowitzki has never been able to be the man, but at least this is a great chance to beat the man. The Lakers are the two time defending champs, and they have the head coach in Phil Jackson and the superstar in Kobe Bryant to have continued success. Nowitzki might have averaged over 27 points per game in the first round of the playoffs, but if he puts up 70 points per game and the Mavs lose, he is still going to end up with a heck of a problem in the Dallas media.

Key 2: Gasol, Bynum, and Odom Big in the Paint – The paint is typically an area that the Lakers dominate, and against a Portland team that is relatively undersized, this could be another big time advantage in this series. The Mavericks only averaged 41.4 boards per game this year, almost three rebounds per game fewer than what LA put up. Of course, we know that Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom are going to do their thing, as they all averaged at least six boards per game in the first round of the playoffs. They’re all double-double machines though, and we know that Gasol is going to end up being a heck of a lot better than he was against New Orleans (13.5 points, 6.8 rebounds per game).

Key 3: Point Guard Prowess – Both Jason Kidd and Derek Fisher have been around the block a few times in their NBA careers, and both picked a great time to come up big as scorers for their teams in the first round of the playoffs. Fisher, who often was held to just a bucket in a game, averaged 9.3 points per game and shot 55.6 percent from three point range. Kidd, a man who has about a zillion triple-doubles in the career, averaged 11.7 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game in the series against Portland. The one of these two that ends up playing better is almost certainly going to have the team that ends up winning this series, so keep a very, very close eye on the play of the point guards even though neither one might be stuffing the stat sheet.

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Posted in NBA Basketball - Last Updated on Sunday, May 1st, 2011 @ 10:07 pm (EST)
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