The Los Angeles Clippers are looking to seize the series lead when they host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night in Game 5 of their first-round matchup in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. The Clippers look to have found a winning formula and exploited Dallas' defense to win two games on the road to tie the series at 2-2. A small lineup led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George caused all sorts of trouble as Los Angeles cruised to a 106-81 victory on Sunday night. Add to that a neck injury that is hampering Dallas star Luka Doncic, who struggled to 19 points, and the Clippers feel good about their chances as they head back to the Staples Center.
Tip-off is set for 10 p.m. ET. Los Angeles is favored by 7.5-points in the latest Mavericks vs. Clippers odds at William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 217. Before making any Clippers vs. Mavericks picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
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- Mavericks vs. Clippers: Los Angeles -7.5
- Mavericks vs. Clippers over-under: 217 points
- Mavericks vs. Clippers money line: Los Angeles -330, Dallas +270
- DAL: Dallas is 4-1 against the spread in the last five meetings in Los Angeles
- LAC: Los Angeles is 1-5 against the spread in its past six home games
Why the Clippers can cover
Leonard and George took over in Dallas, and they combined for 49 points on Sunday night. Leonard is scoring 33 per game in the series, George is adding 25 and they are combining for 17 rebounds and more than eight assists. Leonard has been driving to the hoop at will and hitting 3-pointers whenever it strikes him, and he made 24-of-32 shots in the two games in Dallas. He also is averaging more than two steals and one blocked shot per game. George has put the pressure on early, scoring 40 of his 49 points over the past two games in the first half.
The smaller lineup coach Tyronn Lue has employed has opened up the floor and negated the Mavs' size advantage. Los Angeles led the NBA in 3-point shooting (41.1) and was fifth overall (48.2), and it is shooting better than 50 percent from the field in the series. Leonard has hit 10-of-21 3-point tries and is hitting almost 63 percent from the floor. Nicolas Batum got his first start of the series Sunday and had four steals and two blocks to go with 10 points and five rebounds.
Why the Mavericks can cover
Coach Rick Carlisle hopes two days of rest will get Doncic to where he can at least turn his head. Doncic is averaging more than 33 points and eight assists in the series, but he was out of sorts in Game 4. His neck injury affected the way he ran the offense, and he made just 9-of-24 shots and had series-lows with six assists and six rebounds. Kristaps Porzingis scored 18 points Sunday, and the 7-foot-3 center and 7-4 Serbian Boban Marjanovich give the Mavs a distinct size advantage that the Clippers appear to have decided to combat with speed.
The Mavericks are 4-0 against the spread in their last four as a road underdog, and they came into Game 4 shooting 51 percent from 3-point range. They made just 5-of-30 in Game 4 and shot 35 percent overall, and that can turn around quickly. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dorian Finney-Smith were key scorers in the first two games but made just 4-of-17 shots in Game 4. Both shot better than 39 percent from outside for the season, while Maxi Kleber hit a team-best 41 percent.
How to make Clippers vs. Mavericks picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, projecting 226 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Mavericks vs. Clippers? And which side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.