Clippers vs Mavericks odds, picks and best bets for 2024 NBA Playoffs first-round series

The first official matchup has been set in stone for the opening round of the NBA Playoffs! For the third time in five years, the Clippers and Mavericks will meet in the Western Conference Playoffs. Our series betting preview will highlight the odds, stats, trends, and best bets for this clash of the titans so you can lock in your early picks and wagers.

Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and the Mavs (50-30) have been sizzling hot in the home stretch of the 2023-24 season, winning 12 of their past 13 games and making a real push to leapfrog the Clippers for the No. 4 seed in the West. Dallas closes out the season with a home game against the Pistons and a road game against the Thunder. 

MORE NBA PLAYOFFS:
Playoff bracket/clinching scenarios | Finals odds | West No. 1 seed odds

The Clippers (51-29) have also hit a groove of late, despite Kawhi Leonard missing seven consecutive games due to a knee injury. Los Angeles has won seven of its past 10 games, and now Ty Lue’s squad gets to close out the season with two home games against losing teams (vs. Jazz, vs. Rockets). 

This star-studded matchup always makes for appointment viewing amongst fans and bettors alike. Let’s dive into the BetMGM odds to win this clash of the titans in the Western Conference Playoffs, and unveil our best bets to advance to the second round. 

Clippers vs. Mavericks 2024 NBA Playoffs series: Odds to win

Team Odds
Los Angeles Clippers -125
Dallas Mavericks +105

The Clippers, who have been listed shorter than Dallas on BetMGM’s NBA Finals odds futures board all season, have opened as modest -125 favorites to beat the Mavericks in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs. The -125 represents an implied probability of just under 56 percent, so oddsmakers clearly think this one will be one of the tighter series in the opening round. 

We can’t blame sportsbooks for setting this series as close to a coin-flip as you’ll typically see in the playoffs. Dating back to the start of the 2020-21 season, these teams have gone 7-7 head-to-head in the regular season. Los Angeles has gone 8-5 against Dallas in the postseason, but it’s important to note that this will be the first postseason in which the Mavs have Irving. 

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Clippers vs. Mavericks 2024 NBA Playoffs series preview

The Clippers and Mavericks haven’t met since five days before Christmas 2023, and a lot has changed since then. With a deeper and much healthier lineup than four months ago, Dallas seems like one of the more underrated NBA Finals contenders at +900 to win the West (the Clippers, in contrast, are +450). 

We can’t just look at L.A. winning the regular-season head-to-head series over Dallas — the Mavs were without Irving in one of those losses, and all three games took place prior to Dallas acquiring big men Daniel Gafford and P.J. Washington around the trade deadline. 

Gafford has been one of the most efficient two-point scorers since becoming a Maverick. He’s a reliable lob threat, a tireless board-crasher, and a more-than-capable pick-and-roll partner for Irving and Doncic. His efficiency around the rim has made it more difficult for opposing big men to offer help D against soon-to-be NBA scoring champ Luka (33.9 PPG) and Kyrie (28.3 PPG in April). 

MORE: Kyrie’s improved play helps Dallas become true contender

The presence of Gaff and Washington also allows rookie Dereck Lively II to play a reserve role, where he has enjoyed much more success. Lively’s average plus/minus per game off the bench is +15.9 points, whereas his average plus/minus as a starter is just +2.8. 

Dallas has also benefited from Dante Exum’s career resurgence. One of the hottest and most clutch complementary three-point shooters in the NBA, Exum could be an x-factor for this Mavs team in the postseason. 

MORE: Western Conference updated odds, standings, Play-In scenarios

No doubt, the Clippers will have their hands full. But that doesn’t mean Dallas will run away with this series. Paul George has been lights-out, shooting 50.9 percent from the floor and 45.9 percent from three-point land since March 1. Russell Westbrook’s return from injury has also infused L.A.’s second unit, and Ivica Zubac has played very well down low of late. 

However, with Kawhi’s status for the playoffs in doubt, we can’t get too excited about the Clips. Doncic and Irving have proven themselves as vastly more clutch than PG13, Westbrook, and James Harden, and we have already seen Harden start to falter in the home stretch of the regular season (38.5% from the field and 31.3% from three since March 1). 

It’s tough to go against the veteran experience of the Clippers, but the Mavericks have been a more complete team top-to-bottom on both ends of the floor since making the right tweaks at the trade deadline. We like Dallas to eke past L.A. and advance to the second round, and we love that we’re getting the Mavs at plus odds.

BEST BET: The Mavericks (+105) win their first-round series matchup with the Clippers 4-2 if Kawhi remains injured, 4-3 if Kawhi returns before or during the series. 

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