Clippers vs. Mavericks: Kawhi & Co. Have Value on the Road

Action Network contributor Joe Dellera previews how to bet Clippers vs Mavericks, including updated odds, picks and predictions for Wednesday's game.

Clippers vs. Mavericks Prediction, Picks

Clippers Odds -2
Mavericks Odds +2
Over/Under 236.5
Time 8:30 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here’s everything you need to know about Clippers vs. Mavericks on Wednesday, Dec. 20 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.

The red-hot Clips head to Dallas to take on the Mavericks after they dominated the Pacers on Monday night. This is the first game of a back-to-back set for the Clippers who look to continue their winning ways while the Mavericks look to rebound after getting steamrolled by the Nuggets on Monday.

Let’s get to our Clippers vs. Mavericks prediction and pick.

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Clippers vs. Mavericks Prediction

Pick: Clippers -3

Clippers Betting Outlook

The Clippers have been incredible of late and after their initial five-game skid to start his tenure as a Clipper, they are 13-3 and just dominating their opponents. Across this stretch, they have the second-best Net Rating in the league, +11.3, with elite offensive and defensive numbers. They’ve been even better over the last two weeks with a +20.3 Net Rating while scoring an obscene 132.8 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass.

Since then, James Harden is averaging 17.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 8.6 assists per game while being instrumental to the team’s success. His vision has opened the offense up and each of Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and even Ivica Zubac have seen their efficiency increase alongside Harden.

One of the biggest changes for the Clippers has been staggering the minutes between Harden and Russell Westbrook so their minutes do not overlap. When they’ve shared the floor, the Clippers have a -11.5 Net Rating, per Cleaning the Glass. When Harden is on the floor without Westbrook, the team’s Net Rating skyrockets to +17.4 and when the Clippers’ primary trio of Harden, Leonard, and George (Questionable – Illness) are in without Westbrook the results are awful. It’s unfortunate to lay so much blame on Westbrook, but when those four share the floor they are -22.7 in Net Rating, per Cleaning the Glass. Those lineups did not work.

Mavericks Betting Outlook

The Mavericks are dealing with a number of injuries at the moment. They will be without Kyrie Irving (heel), Dereck Lively II (ankle), Josh Green (elbow), and Maxi Kleber (toe) for this game. This likely leaves them with a starting lineup of Luka Doncic, Dante Exum, Tim Hardaway Jr, Grant Williams, and Dwight Powell.

Over the last three seasons, Luka is averaging 37.9 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists against the Clippers. He’s truly had their number. However, while he has been exceptional, this matchup might prove to be too difficult.

On the season, the Mavericks have a +1.6 Net Rating, but there is some surprising underlying data. The Mavericks have four players with positive point differentials on the entire season: Dante Exum (+18.7), Seth Curry (+16.3), Dereck Lively II (+10.8), and Kyrie Irving (+2.4). Even Luka Doncic (-3.1) has a negative Net Rating, per Cleaning the Glass.

With Luka on and Kyrie off, the Mavericks have a -1.0 Net Rating on the season — shockingly they’ve been successful without either of Luka or Kyrie on the floor with a +10.2 Net Rating in 171 possessions; however, in the same situation last season, the Mavericks were -7.1 in Net Rating, per Cleaning the Glass.

Given the Mavericks’ relative lack of depth in this game, I expect them to struggle against what has been an elite Clippers team.

Clippers vs. Mavericks Picks, Odds

This matchup pits two teams who are tied in record but dramatically different underneath the hood. While Luka Doncic is good enough to win nearly any game on his own, this one presents a particularly difficult challenge with the Clippers operating at nearly full strength and the offense humming of late.

The Clippers have figured out a system that works, and considering Dallas has the 23rd ranked Defense in the league, they will struggle to stop the Clippers’ offensive assault. I bet this at Clippers -2.5, but I wouldn’t play this past -3.5.

Pick: Clippers -3