Mavericks vs. Clippers NBA expert prediction and odds for Western Conference playoffs (Dallas offense bounces back)

NBA betting preview, prediction and best bet for Mavericks-Clippers. 
 Apr 21, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives past Paul George for a bucket.
Apr 21, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives past Paul George for a bucket. / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Oddsmakers aren’t exactly buying the Clippers after their 12-point victory over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 on Sunday without star forward Kawhi Leonard. Looking to avoid a 2-0 hole, Dallas is a short favorite on the road Tuesday night. 

Leonard, who has missed nine consecutive games, practiced in a walk-through on Monday and is officially listed as questionable for Game 2. Do the Mavericks bounce back and even things up before the series moves to Dallas? Here’s the betting preview for the matchup with a pick. 

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Mavericks vs. Clippers odds, spread and total

Mavericks vs. Clippers how to watch

  • Date: Tuesday, April 23 
  • Game time: 10 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Arena
  • How to watch (TV): TNT

Mavericks vs. Clippers injury report

Dallas Mavericks

  • No injuries to report 

Los Angeles Clippers

  • Kawhi Leonard (knee): questionable 

Mavericks vs. Clippers key players to watch

Dallas Mavericks

Kyrie Irving: With Luka Doncic going 11-for-26 from the field, Irving was much more efficient, finishing with 31 points on 10-of-18 shooting with a 3-for-6 performance from beyond the arc. He added seven rebounds and four assists. 

Los Angeles Clippers

Russell Westbrook: The Clippers only had three players come off the bench in Game 1 of the series, a trio led by Westbrook. In 23 minutes off the bench, Westbrook turned in 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting to go with four assists, four rebounds and  a +/- of 9. 

Mavericks vs. Clippers prediction and pick

Dallas committed four fewer turnovers than the Clippers in Game 1 and was right there in the rebounding battle (LA had a 45-41 edge), but the Mavericks just couldn’t buy a bucket in a brutal second quarter where they were outscored, 22-8. Dallas won the second half, 67-53, and will hope to use that momentum to even the series at one game each. 

It’s tough to imagine Dallas will shoot as abysmal as they did in the series opener. The Mavericks finished just 31-of-80 from the field (38.8%) and connected on just 10-of-33 attempts from beyond the arc. Dallas is second in the NBA in 3-point attempts per game and expect them to bounce back in Game 2 against a Clippers’ defense that is better at defending shots from inside the arc (No. 9) vs. from the perimeter (No. 14). 

However, Leonard is the X-factor right now. It’s hard to lay a short spread on the road with Dallas when they could flip to being underdogs depending on if Leonard suits up, which is where we’re trending with Leonard suiting up for practice on Monday.

Instead, split your handicap and count on the Mavericks’ offense to recover from its poor shooting display in Game 1. Dallas averaged 114.3 points per game against the Clippers during the regular season. The Mavericks find their groove in a game they desperately need. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.