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Bet on the NBAIn the race for the NBA Western Conference No. 2 seed, the match tonight between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks may be a deciding factor. The Mavericks host the game tonight in Dallas, which begins at 9:00 PM ET at the American Airlines Center. Both teams know how much is at stake, which should make it an interesting game.

The sportsbook knows that this can be an extremely close game – both teams are playing so well right now that it could go either way, and should be a close game. These expectations are reflected in the fact that the Lakers are only -1 point favorites tonight. The total is set at 194. A blowout of either team is certainly not expected.

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The Mavericks are currently 1.5 games ahead of the Lakers in the West. Neither team really has a chance to catch up to the San Antonio Spurs this late in the season, so the battle for second place will be more interesting to watch. In the first meeting of these two teams in Dallas on January 19, the Mavs pulled out the 109-100 win. The two will play again on March 31 in Los Angeles.

The Lakers are coming off of their first loss in nine games to the Miami Heat on Thursday night. Before then, their eight-game winning streak really set the tone for what is expected of the defending NBA champs. They are on the tail end of a four-game road trip, which ends tonight with the Dallas Game. They beat the Spurs and Atlanta Hawks in the first games of this recent trip.

Don't expect the Lakers to take it easily being beaten by Miami on Thursday and being beaten by the Mavericks in the first game of the season series in January. And don't expect the Lakers to go from an eight-game win streak to a two-game losing streak. Los Angeles is a better team than that, and I would expect them to win tonight.

Dallas has won the last two meeting of the teams, but had lost eight of the previous nine before their current series win streak. It would be difficult to imagine the Lakers dropping three in a row against the Mavericks, no matter how good each team is and how well they stack up against each other. My bet is on the Lakers coming back strong from their recent loss to Miami.


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