Mavericks vs Clippers Game 2 Best Bet and Prediction for Tuesday, Apr. 23

The Dallas Mavericks have a must-win game against the Clippers in Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks are about to take on the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night in a must-win game for Luka Doncic & Co. After putting together one of the most disappointing performances of the season in Game 1, the Mavericks suffered a deflating 109-97 loss to the short-handed Clippers. Now, they need to bounce back, win, and take home-court advantage as the series heads to Dallas.

Fortunately for the Mavs, Kawhi Leonard is questionable to play in Game 2, while the Mavericks don't have anyone listed on their injury report. Leonard has been going through practices with the team for the past few days according to coach Ty Lue, but hadn't taken full contact as of Sunday. Now that the Clippers already have a win in their back pocket, they might want to give Leonard a longer break and save him for Game 3.

Plus, the odds suggest that Leonard will likely not play tonight. On FanDuel Sportsbook, the Mavericks are -138 favorites against the Clippers.

Mavs vs. Clippers Game 2 Odds, Spread, and Total

Mavs vs. Clippers Game 2 Best Bet and Prediction

It would be a major blow if the Mavs can't get a game from the Clippers during Kawhi Leonard's absence. Because once the star forward comes back, Los Angeles will have even more defensive options to throw on Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

So, Dallas will go all out in trying to get this win tonight. Doncic and Irving will likely both play 40+ minutes. Doncic settled far too often to his stepback three instead of the usual drive-and-kick offense that makes the Mavs' offense so deadly.

However, for that to work, Dallas' role players need to hit shots. PJ Washington, Tim Hardaway Jr, Derrick Jones Jr, and Maxi Kleber combined for 3/13 shooting from three in Game 1. Neither the volume nor the accuracy is good enough. It allowed the Clippers to pack the paint and stop Irving and Doncic's drives.

Yet, the Clippers without Leonard are simply not that good. It will be hard for James Harden to replicate his Game 1 performance, and there are just too many defensive weaknesses for Doncic to exploit.

Doncic will almost certainly play much better in Game 2. He has already proven himself to be one of the best playoff performers in the league. Expect a big game from him and a Dallas win.

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Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.