All odds in this article come from our partner, FanDuel Sportsbook. Right now, new FanDuel Sportsbook users get $100 in free site credit just by placing a $10 bet on either the Clippers or Mavericks to win tonight’s game. Click here to grab this offer now.
We are back with the NBA. I've had to stay away until the playoffs started, and teams actually cared about winning games again. In the last two weeks of the regular season, only a handful of teams were trying to win and not tank for the No. 1 pick. The NBA Playoffs have been fun so far, and the addition of fans has really brought that playoff atmosphere back. Nothing like hearing MSG chant curse words at Trae Young. Let's examine who the public is gambling on and decide if we should fade or follow them.
Lakers (-2) vs. Suns (+2) 10:10 p.m. ET
It should be no surprise that Phoenix is leading this series 1-0 after their 99-90 win on Sunday. Even though the Lakers are the defending champions, they haven't played like defending champions. LA finished the season as the 7th seed with a 42-30 record. Anthony Davis isn't playing like a top-five player lately, and in Game One, this was no different. Davis finished with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 5-16 FG, 0-2 3P, and a -18 for the game. If you watched the game, it looked like Davis didn't want to be there. The Lakers' other best player, LeBron, acted like he died when he fell on his shoulder and didn't have good stats for Game One. LeBron finished with 18 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds, 6/13 FG, 3-7 3P, and a +2 for the game. Even with LeBron and Davis playing horribly, the public doesn't think this will happen again, as 63% of the bets are on the Lakers' spread.
The addition of Chris Paul transformed the Suns from a bad team to one of the best teams in the West. Phoenix finished the year as the 2nd seed with a 51-21 record. It's not only Paul who transformed this team, but Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton took a leap this year. In Game One, Ayton and Booker showed how great of a duo they are. Booker finished Game One with 34 points, 8 assists, 13-26 FG, 3-7 3P, and a +9 in 45 minutes. Ayton went head to head against Anthony Davis, and Ayton was the better player, and it wasn't close. He finished with 21 points, 16 rebounds, 10-11 FG, and a +16 in 37 minutes. Chris Paul left the game twice because of a shoulder contusion that he suffered; it's the playoffs, and that's never good for Paul's health. He didn't look like an All-Star in Game One either, since he scored 7 points, 8 assists, 3-8 FG. It didn't matter though, as the Suns won easily.
Phoenix was one of the best teams while playing at home; they finished with a 28-9 home record and were the best team ATS at home, going 24-13. The Suns aren't a one-sided team but are great on both sides of the ball. They finished 6th in offensive rating, 2nd FG%, 7th 3P%, and 2nd FGM. On the defensive side, they finished 9th in defensive rating, 7th in PPG allowed, 15th FG% allowed, and 5th 3P% allowed.
Even with two superstars on the team, the Lakers surprisingly weren't that great offensively this year. They finished with the 24th offensive rating, 12th FG%, 21st 3P%, and 21st FGM. With Frank Vogel as their coach, the Lakers are a great defensive team. They finished 1st in defensive rating, 2nd PPG allowed, 9th FG% allowed, and 4th 3P% allowed.
I know LeBron doesn't win Game Ones normally, and they are the defending champions, but I don't care. I believe that the Suns are the better team, that LeBron doesn't look the same, and that Father Time might be catching up with him. Davis doesn't look like a No. 1 option, and the Suns are hungry for playoff success, so I'm fading the public with my pick. If you want to double bet this game, I wouldn't be against betting under 210 points. Game One finished with only 189 points, and both of these teams are great defensively. Unlike other sportsbooks, with FanDuel, you can parlay the same game, and parlaying Suns +2 and under 210 points gives you a +235 pick.
The pick: Suns +2
Mavericks (+7) vs. Clippers (-7) 10:40 p.m. ET
Once again, the Clippers are the favorite to win a series, but they aren't playing like a team that should be favored. I truly don't understand this team; they have great players like Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Serge Ibaka, but they struggle to win. Last year, the Clippers lost in the 2nd round against the Nuggets in seven after beating the Mavericks. Last year, the Clippers won Game One, but not this year; on Saturday, LA lost 113-103. The public believes that the Clippers will get back on track tonight, as 63% of bets are on the Clippers' spread.
On Saturday, Luka was the best player on the court, as he finished with 31 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds, 11-24 FG, 5-11 3P, and a +19 in 41 minutes. He got great help from role players on his team. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 21 points, was a +16, and Dorian Finney-Smith had 18 points. Dallas's second-best player Porzingis didn't show up in Game One, as he only had 14 points, 4-13 FG, 1-5 3P. The Mavericks were an up and down team all season but finished the season as the 5th seed, going 42-30. Dallas was a much better offensive team than defensive since they finished 9th in offensive rating, 13th FG%, 18th 3P%, and 8th 3PM. Their defense finished 19th in defensive rating, 9th PPG allowed, 8th FG% allowed, and 15th 3P% allowed.
Even though the Clippers were disappointing this season, they did finish with the 4th seed, going 47-25. In Game One, the duo of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard finished with 49 total points, going 17-40. Kawhi played great on both sides of the ball, as he had 4 steals. The Clippers were a much more balanced team. They finished 3rd in offensive rating, 5th FG%, 1st 3P%, and 6th 3PM. On the defensive side, they had the 7th defensive rating, 4th PPG allowed, 14th FG% allowed, and 6th 3P% allowed.
Los Angeles and Dallas both went 21-16 ATS when the Clippers were home and the Mavericks were on the road. The Clippers went 18-15 ATS as home favorites, compared to the Mavericks, who went 8-7 ATS as away underdogs. Following a loss, LA could bounce back, going 14-11 ATS, and Dallas struggled to keep up momentum all season after a win; they went 20-22 ATS.
I think that the duo of Kawhi and George will have better games, and I don't see role players having two great games in a row for Dallas. This is why I'm following the public with my pick.
Truthfully it doesn't matter what I say because FanDuel Sportsbook offers a great deal for this Clippers-Mavericks game. Sign up today and make your first bet of $10 or more on either Dallas or LA's Moneyline win or lose; you will get $100. You don't need to worry about the spread with this great offer, and you can either think that I'm an idiot for believing in this Clippers team, or I'm a genius. Head over to FanDuel to get this great offer.