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The Dallas Mavericks will start off the playoffs with a series against the Los Angeles Clippers. Can Kyrie Irving and the Mavs find a way to outlast the Clippers in seven games? Ben Rajavuori thinks so, and provides his best series betting pick in Mavericks vs. Clippers.
ANALYSIS

Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers Series Prediction: Can Kyrie Irving, Mavericks Steal Opening Series?

The first round of the NBA Western Conference playoffs features some great matchups, with none probably being more intriguing than the matchup between the closely-seeded Clippers and Mavericks. The Clippers are the fourth seed coming in with a record of 51–31, while the Mavericks are just one game behind at 50–32 as the fifth seed. The Clippers will start with home-court advantage, but the Mavericks are -125 favorites to take the series.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers Series Prediction

The Dallas Mavericks had a very good season this year as Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic perfected their chemistry and combined to score 59.5 points per game. The two have looked like the most electric duo in the NBA this season, and when they are on, the Mavericks look unstoppable.

What’s more impressive is that the Mavericks have really turned around their defense over the second half of the year. In fact, the Mavericks have the highest defensive rating since the All-Star break, even ahead of some of the other best defenses in the NBA. With their defense clamping down and having the scoring power of Luka and Kyrie, the sky is the limit for this Mavericks team in the postseason. This is not an easy matchup for anyone.

The Los Angeles Clippers improved their record from last year and had an important off-season move by signing James Harden. Harden has meshed well with this team, and is scoring 16.6 points per game this year. Additionally, Russell Westbrook was much healthier this season and played in 68 games after playing in just 21 last season. He has done very well in his role off the bench for the Clippers, facilitating the offense with the second unit.

This Clippers team is a very experienced group that has championship experience and vets all over the court. Their experience is what might be their biggest edge in the playoffs this season, but their age might also be their downfall.

Leading score Kawhi Leonard is coming into the series injured and may miss Game 1. He is currently questionable with a knee injury and even if he does play, I doubt he will be 100%. This is a massive injury for the Clippers, as Kawhi Leonard is their leading scorer with 23.7 points per game this year.

Given that the Clippers will start at home in the series for the first two games, if Kawhi Leonard misses even one, that is a big blow to the home games for the Clippers to start this series, as they will have to travel and play three in Dallas after that. The Mavericks have looked like the better team since the All-Star break and seem more well-balanced right now as the healthier team. Their defense has really stepped up in the second half of the season, and it seems almost impossible to slow Luka and Kyrie down for an entire seven-game series. With the injury to Kawhi coming in to play for the first games for the Clippers, I think the Mavericks can steal at least one in LA and then take two of three in Dallas. If they can get three wins in the first four games, it feels inevitable that they will take this series. I am trusting the line with the Mavericks being favored as the lower seed. Mavericks in six is my official prediction.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers Series Picks

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Article Author

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Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.

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