The No. 4 seed Los Angeles Clippers and No. 5 seed Dallas Mavericks will soon face off in the first round of the 2021 NBA playoffs. It’s a rematch of last year’s first-round series, which the Clippers won in six games inside the league’s bubble.

Who’s Favored?

It will be a significant upset if the Mavericks outlast the Clippers. Los Angeles has -430 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook to reach the second round. Dallas is a +320 underdog to win four times in seven games.

Players To Watch

Luka Doncic has to be the best player in the series for Dallas to win. The preseason MVP favorite averaged 31.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 8.7 assists against Los Angeles in the 2020 playoffs. The Clippers are extremely difficult to beat when Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are playing their best. The two stars had nearly identical regular-season numbers, averaging a combined 48.1 points, 13.1 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game while shooting better than 40% from three-point range.

Series Schedule

The series starts with Game 1 Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles. You’ll need NBATV to catch every game between the Clippers and Mavericks.

Prediction 

Without Kristaps Porzingis taking the next step, the Mavericks didn’t improve much from last season. It’s a matchup of two elite offenses, but the Clippers have just too much talent.

Clippers over Mavericks in six

Kawhi Leonard Clippers Mavericks Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers looks for help as he is defended by Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks and Maxi Kleber (42) during the second half of Game Three of the first round of the playoffs at the AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 21, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Photo: Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images