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LeBron is something like a Christmas Day tradition. He’ll play his 17th Christmas Day game of his career when his Los Angeles Lakers travel Texas to face the Dallas Mavericks and Luka Doncic.
I’m sure Doncic will be a Christmas mainstay for the NBA in the years to come, but his Mavs are just 17-16 this season. The Lakers are even worse at 13-19, and they got a lump of coal in the form of Anthony Davis injury news. Davis is out indefinitely with a foot injury, so things might not be turning around anytime soon.
Let’s take a look at the odds for the second game of the Christmas Day slate.
Lakers vs. Mavericks odds, spread and total
Lakers vs. Mavericks prediction and pick
The Lakers just lost to the Hornets, 134-130 when LeBron lost his shoe on the Lakers final possession and they were unable to score to tie the game. LeBron had a good outing, but just doesn’t have much help with the way the Lakers are currently constructed. The other four Lakers starters were Lonnie Walker IV, Patrick Beverly, Dennis Schröder, and Thomas Bryant. That sounds like a team tanking for Victor Wembanyama, not trying to compete in the playoffs.
Another problem with that roster is there is nobody to guard Luka Doncic and to defend the rim. Luka just dropped 50, 10, and eight on Houston and without AD, the Lakers are just as bad defensively as the Rockets. The Mavs play at a very slow pace, so that is concerning when picking them to win as a favorite, and the four guys around Luka aren’t much better than LeBron’s supporting cast.
Likely, it’ll be a case of whichever team gets hot and hits shots on kick out threes, I trust Dallas’s shooters more, so let’s ride with the Mavs.
Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change