Los Angeles Lakers @ Dallas Mavericks – Sunday February 24, 2013 1:00PM EST
Both teams in this Sunday matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks have something to prove. The online sports betting crowd thinks that the Mavericks, despite its terrible start to the season, can still make a second half surge and get into the playoffs. Dallas is in the middle of a group of teams that are only three or four games out of the playoffs in the Western Conference, and the Mavericks has way too much pride to at least not make some kind of run as the playoffs get closer.
The online casino players know that the Los Angeles Lakers is in that same crowd with the Mavericks, but this season has turned into something much more personal for Los Angeles. Every detail of the Lakers’ collapse this season has been front page news all over the country. A team can only take so much of that before it starts to feel a personal need to pull itself up by the bootstraps and get back to work. The recent passing of former Lakers’ owner Dr. Jerry Buss also adds a strong level of personal motivation that the Lakers can use to make a run to the playoffs.
The Mavericks appeared to right the ship just before the All-Star break when the team played .500 ball in the last 10 games before the All-Star break. The best sports betting sites had the Mavs written out of the postseason when not even the return of Dirk Nowitzki was enough to push the team to the next level. There was even a point where Nowitzki himself was calling for his own benching because the team was playing so poorly. But things seem to be looking up in Dallas and the team at least wants to finish the season at .500. That may even be the cut-off point for the playoffs in the Western Conference this season.
Los Angeles Lakers
It was no coincidence that the Lakers started playing better basketball when Steve Nash returned to the lineup. The betting sites noticed that Dwight Howard stopped pouting long enough to start being a contributor to a winning effort. It has become extremely evident that this can be a good team when it wants to play together and win. The problem is that all of the drama in Los Angeles may have pulled the cohesiveness right out of the Lakers and left the team for dead.
The Bottom Line
Of these two teams, the Lakers has the best shot at making the playoffs. But that does not mean that the Mavericks is going to roll over and just let the Lakers win this game. This will be a competitive game from both teams and it should be exciting to watch. But, in the end, the Lakers should come away with the win.
Read more about the Lakers and its media struggles this season.
Pick: Los Angeles Lakers