Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Western Conference Playoff race is heating up and both the Wolves and Mavericks have their eyes set on higher seeding.
In Monday’s matchup, the Mavericks squeaked by Minnesota in Dallas. How will Luka and the Mavericks fare on the road this time as Karl-Anthony Towns and company try and climb out of the play-in tournament?
More importantly, how can we make money on this monster game?
NOTE: This game is being broadcast on NBA League Pass with a special NBA BetStream presented by DraftKings Sportsbook. Catch Action Network analysts Matt Moore and Chris Raybon along with Chirag Hira from DraftKings as they broadcast the game with a sports betting lens.
Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke, Theo Pinson, and Davis Bertans are all out for this game.
Dallas is 2-1 this season vs. the Wolves, so it is looking to win the season series outright and secure the tiebreaker over Minnesota in pursuit of a top-six seed. The Mavericks’ magic number for a playoff spot is six, but a win would drops that number to three with a tiebreaker secured.
Monday’s matchup was fascinating; the Wolves got off a great start, winning the first quarter before getting blasted in the second quarter, 37-25. Most of that damage was done by the Mavericks’ bench.
In fact, the Wolves won the Luka Doncic minutes by seven in this game. It was the rest of Dallas, with 20 points coming from from Spencer Dinwiddie, 22 from Dwight Powell, and 15 from Jalen Brunson that carried the load.
Dallas took advantage of the starts of the second and fourth quarters with Karl-Anthony Towns on the bench and D’Angelo Russell the only starter on the floor. The ‘Mavs outscored Minnesota 29-14 in those two stints, which would ultimately be enough to decide the game.
The Wolves staged a late 11-1 run to take the lead at 3:02 in the fourth quarter, but Dallas responded with a 7-0 run to finish the game.
Now, that doesn’t mean that this next game will follow the same script. If anything, Anthony Edwards’ struggles are likely to be corrected. The Wolves just needed to win their starter minutes by a small amount to get this win instead of essentially drawing even, losing by just two points.
While Dallas got good contributions off the bench from Dinwiddie, whose fit in Dallas has been superb, it was its defense that got the job done. In the 11 minutes Karl Anthony-Towns was not on the floor, the Wolves scored just 0.69 points per possession, a mark that would make the Pistons look like the 2016 Warriors.
That’s also an outlier performance as D’Angelo Russell (whose minutes for Minnesota this year have been tremendous) and Taurean Prince combined to shoot just 12-of-32 from the field.
Of course, Luka Doncic is also likely to shoot better than 5-of-17 from the field, so it might balance out.
That was the only game Doncic has played versus the Wolves this season.
Dallas’ physical defense has carried them this season. It has the size and physicality to match the Wolves, which is difficult with Naz Reid, Jared Vanderbilt and the rest of the squad.
Jaden McDaniels is out with an ankle sprain while Karl-Anthony Towns is day-to-day for Minnesota.
The ‘Wolves had a real chance at stealing that game. With this one at home, this is a game they need to stay within touching distance of the Nuggets for the sixth seed, especially with a game against Boston coming up.
Minnesota has been great at home versus teams over .500. The Timberwolves are 10-7 straight up against teams that fit the criteria at home and 7-3 as a favorite.
The Timberwolves’ defense has fallen off a cliff like most teams’ defenses have as the officiating has gone back to recent years’ standards and offenses have exploded in response.
They have experimented with switching but aren’t very good at it; their base coverage against pick and roll is to play at the level. Dallas is the eighth-best team against that coverage this season.
Edwards will have to play a better game in this matchup and likely will. Overall, the offensive issues that were present on Monday are not likely to be there for either team.
The trends definitely favor Minnesota. On top of its record at home versus good teams, the ‘Mavs are just 6-13 straight up and 9-10 ATS as a road dog this season.
I have this game projected as Wolves -1.5 with an edge towards Minnesota in both the halfcourt and in transition. However, the Mavericks have defied expectations all season.
With Luka Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie, the ‘Mavs are 9-3-1 ATS and 10-3 straight up. They’ve simply been a different team since going to a five-out approach after trading Kristaps Porzingis. The Timberwolves’ sliding defense means that full-season numbers don’t show where both teams are right now.
Finally, as bad as the Mavericks have been on the road, they’re good versus the good teams in that spot. Dallas is 9-5 ATS on the road versus teams above .500.
I like getting the points with the better team overall, and for Dallas to win outright.
Pick: Mavericks +115 | Mavericks +2.5