NBA Game Preview and Odds at YouWager: Lakers vs. Mavericks

8:30 PM ET, January 7, 2014
American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t impressed YouWager fans at all this season. Things seem hard to change around with a road-heavy schedule ahead.

Tonight the Lakers will begin a stretch in which it plays 10 of 11 games on the road versus the Dallas Mavericks.

Los Angeles (14-20) has dropped seven of eight overall as they come off a 137-115 home defeat versus the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

This marked the club’s most points allowed in regulation since a 141-124 loss versus the Charlotte Bobcats on Nov. 24, 1993. Rivals are currently averaging 108.3 points over the last eight games.

Oddsmakers consider rebounding is a big problem for the Lakers surrendering a 58-38 edge on the boards versus Denver. Coach Mike D’Antoni’s team averages a minus-5.1 margin per game, worst in the league.

Kobe Bryant’s return is still unknown and Steve Nash might not come back until February which means Los Angeles will remain short-handed as they try to turn things around.

The Lakers have lost their last three road games by double digits, and its next four come versus the teams comprising the bottom half of the Western Conference playoff picture — Dallas, Houston, the Clippers and Phoenix.

Pau Gasol is still one of the team’s few bright spots as he plays well despite being linked to trade rumors. He’s averaging 24.3 points and 11.0 rebounds over his last three contests.

Dallas (19-15) shot 52.1 percent from the field in that contest and matched a season high with 13 3-pointers on 27 attempts, but they’re coming off a season-low scoring total in Sunday’s 92-80 home loss against the New York Knicks.

The Mavs have dropped four in a row at home after starting 11-2 there and will be looking to avoid their first three-game skid of the season overall.

Forward Dirk Nowitzki scored 18 points Sunday and missed a season-worst four free throws on nine attempts. The 35 year-old has only 22 points over his last two games versus the Lakers while going 8 of 22 from the field. Nowitzki had averaged 25.3 points in his previous 10 matchups.

Los Angeles had won nine of 10 meetings and five straight in Dallas prior to their Nov. 5 defeat.

Mavs forward Shawn Marion’s status is uncertain after injuring his ankle Sunday.

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