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Injury-depleted Lakers visit slumping Mavericks Tuesday
By: Freddy Wander - StatFox
Published: 1/7/2014  at  4:48:00 AM
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LOS ANGELES LAKERS (14-20)

at DALLAS MAVERICKS (19-15)

Tip-off: Tuesday, 8:35 p.m. ET
Line: Dallas -9.5, Total: 210

The Mavericks try to salvage a win on their three-game homestand Tuesday night when they host the slumping Lakers, losers of seven of their past eight games.

Los Angeles was a resilient team early on in the season, but has fallen back to earth hard recently going 1-7 SU (3-5 ATS) since Dec. 21. The Lakers lost at home Sunday against the Nuggets by a score of 137-115 while allowing them to shoot 53.5% from the field. The Mavericks are currently in eighth place in Western Conference, but have lost their past four games at home both SU and ATS, including a 92-80 loss to the 6.5-point underdog Knicks on Sunday. Los Angeles has gone 6-10 SU (8-8 ATS) on the road this season including three straight losses (1-2 ATS) while the Mavericks are 11-6 SU at home this season, but are just 7-10 ATS. The Lakers already traveled to Dallas once this season with poor results, losing 123-104 on Nov. 5 as 9-point underdogs and allowing the Mavericks to hit 13-of-27 threes (48%). L.A. had won the previous four trips to Dallas (SU and ATS), and holds a 7-2 SU advantage (6-3 ATS) over the past three seasons in this matchup. The total has gone Under in three of the past four meetings, but this could be a shootout as the Lakers are giving up 109.2 PPG over their past five games, while Dallas is putting up 105.4 PPG at home on the year. With SG Kobe Bryant (knee), PF Steve Nash (back), SG Xavier Henry (knee), PG Steve Blake (elbow) and PG Jordan Farmar (hamstring) all out, Los Angeles is a shell of the team that was expected to play this season. On the Mavericks side of things, SF Shawn Marion (ankle) is questionable for this game.

Can the Mavericks halt their losing skid with a double-digit victory? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The five experts are sizzling on NBA Best Bets since the start of December, going 62% ATS (76-47-1) including 66% ATS (50-26-1) since Dec. 16. StatFox Dave has an excellent 73% ATS (19-7) Best Bets record since Dec. 1 and is 58% ATS (29-21) on Best Bets for the season. StatFox Zach has a huge 71% ATS mark (17-7-1) since Dec. 1 and is currently 57% ATS (28-21-1) on Best Bets for the season. StatFox Scott is 67% ATS (10-5) in Best Bets since Dec. 16, while StatFox Gary is also 67% ATS (10-5) in this same timeframe. Since Dec. 12, StatFox Brian is 65% ATS (11-6).

The Lakers are near the middle of the pack offensively this season, scoring 99.7 PPG (16th in NBA), but are shooting well from three-point range (36.5%, 11th in league), and have scored 102.2 PPG over their past five contests. Defense is where they continue to lose their games, allowing 104.2 PPG to their opponents this year (28th in NBA), and giving up a season-high 137 points to the Nuggets in their most recent game. C Pau Gasol (15.6 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 1.5 BPG) has been playing much better since returning from an upper respiratory infection, averaging 24.3 PPG, 11.0 RPG and 3.3 BPG over the past three games. Although he scored only 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting with eight rebounds against Dallas earlier this season, he has still averaged 18.1 PPG (51.6% FG) and 7.8 RPG in 42 career games in this matchup. With what seems like the entire roster injured, SF Nick Young (16.6 PPG) will need to do more than just lead the team in scoring. He has tallied 20+ points in seven of the past nine games, while netting 21 points (8-of-12 FG) the last time these teams met, but has only 9.4 PPG (41% FG) in 12 career games in this series. SG Jodie Meeks (13.1 PPG, 1.2 SPG) is another player that has a chance to show his skills with all the injuries to his teammates, and is coming off a 23-point game against Denver on Sunday. But Meeks had only had 11 points (4-of-10 FG) against the Mavericks this season, and shoots 33.9% from the floor against them in his career.

Dallas has performed well all season on the offensive side of the ball with 102.9 PPG (11th in NBA) on 46.6% FG (5th in league), and is eighth in the league in three-point shooting (37.1%). They are struggling overall on defense though, allowing 101.5 PPG on the season (21st in NBA), but have done better over their past five games by holding teams to 94.0 PPG. PF Dirk Nowitzki (20.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG) is still the face of the franchise and has scored double-digit points in all but one game this year. His game against the Lakers this season was underwhelming though, scoring only 11 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Nowitzki’s career numbers against them are much better though, as he is averaging 22.2 PPG (44% FG) and 10.2 RPG in 53 games. SG Monta Ellis (20.0 PPG, 5.8 APG) has seemingly rejuvenated Dallas this season, and he lit up the Lakers for 30 points on 11-of-14 FG with nine assists in the Nov. 5 win. Ellis had 17.5 PPG (44% FG), 6.5 APG and 6.5 RPG in two games against the Lakers last season, and has done very well in 24 career games against them with 19.3 PPG (46% FG), 5.0 APG and 4.0 RPG. SF Shawn Marion (11.4 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.4 SPG) also has a lot of experience against L.A. (53 games) and has done well too (15.8 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 1.4 SPG), but is questionable on Tuesday night because of an injured ankle.

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