Sporting News
Photo: Sporting News

Wednesday night basketball is loaded with action and there are three late games to choose from for our viewing pleasure. Let’s look at a couple of games and see if we can get a read on them a day in advance. The Mavericks vs. Lakers NBA odds are out and the Lakers are favored by six and a half points. We are still waiting on lines for the Warriors and the Pelicans, but we should be able to make a solid prediction without the help of the betting odds.

Dallas @ Los Angeles

With both of these teams at 2-5, this is a battle to stay off the bottom. After winning a couple of games, the Mavericks are on a four-game skid. The Lakers, on the other hand, got off to a rough start against the defensive-minded Blazers, Rockets and Spurs, but then got their first win against the Phoenix Suns and then a solid victory over the No. 2 Denver Nuggets. Can the Lakers move to .333 and inch ever closer to .500?

One thing that the Lakers have shown us already this season is they have no problem scoring. Their 3-point scoring is lacking, but they can pound the rock in the paint. The Lakers are averaging 122 points per game overall and 126 in the Staples Center. This spells trouble for the Mavs, who are allowing 117 points against less offensively powerful teams. To make matters worse for the Mavericks, they are only putting up 104 points while out on the road. Their point differential is not to be covered.

The one thing that the Mavericks have going for them is the fact that Los Angeles still has one of the worst defenses in the league. LeBron and the Lakers are allowing 122 points overall and a league-worst 127 while at home.

DeAndre Jordan should be able to slow the Lakers’ inside scoring down quite a bit. And even with Wesley Matthews as a fantastic wing defender, the Mavericks just don’t put up enough to keep up with the LA’s scoring habits. The Lakers’ horrible home defense could keep this game relatively close for a while, but they will eventually pull away. Take the Lakers to cover the 6.5 points.

Photo: Skysports

New Orleans @ Golden State

Here we have a Western Conference top-three matchup. The Pelicans have the potential to play as tough as any team in the league. We saw that when they swept the Blazers in the playoffs last season and we’re seeing it in the way they’ve handled teams like the Kings, putting up 149 points. But, the one thing the Pelicans are lacking, that the Warriors are full of, is consistency. The Pelicans squeaked by against the Nets and then dropped back to back games against the Jazz and the Nuggets.

This game has all the makings to be a dogfight right down to the very last minute. If Anthony Davis is confirmed to play, the point spread should be released in the neighborhood of four points in favor of the Warriors. This is likely why the odds haven’t been released. The bookmakers want to see if Davis will play before releasing their lines.

The Pelicans have been scoring an average of 121 points as the visiting team. They have the No. 15 away defense, allowing 114 on the road. Conversely, the Warriors are second in the league in home scoring, putting up 125 per game, and 11th in home D, allowing 108 points per game. If Davis feels good and plays, we should think about taking the Pelicans to cover a four or five-point spread. If not, the Warriors should be able to take care of a potential six-point spread at home.