Timberwolves vs. Mavericks NBA Odds, Preview and Prediction

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Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. David Berding/Getty Images/AFP.

The Dallas Mavericks (14-15) host the Minnesota Timberwolves (15-15) this Tuesday evening. Not only are both teams about .500 overall, but the Timberwolves are 6-6 on the road and the Mavericks are 7-7 at home as both teams have struggled to put together winning streaks. However, Minnesota has followed a five-game losing streak with a four-game winning streak, including a 111-105 win over Dallas on Sunday. But what about the NBA odds?

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Dallas Mavericks

Tuesday, December 21, 2021 – 08:30 PM EST at American Airlines Center

The Timberwolves (15-15 ATS) are a 1-point favorite over the Mavericks (13-16 ATS) at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks. There are big-name players out in this one, though none bigger than Dallas superstar Luka Dončić. Can the Mavericks get a split with Minnesota after almost winning Sunday’s game without Dončić?

Sunday Recap: Timberwolves 111 - Mavericks 105

While Minnesota led for 37 minutes on Sunday, the game was close and competitive throughout. Minnesota led 27-25 after one quarter, 56-50 at halftime, but Dallas took an 88-86 lead into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, the offense went cold, shooting 36.8% in the quarter.

Dallas’ Sterling Brown, who missed the last six games, had his worst shooting performance of the season, going 1-of-7 from the field and 1-of-6 from three. Brown missed a game-tying three with just over a minute left, and the Timberwolves were able to close out the win, their fourth in a row.

In Dončić’s absence, point guard Jalen Brunson had 18 points and tied his season-high with 11 assists. However, the Mavericks are 2-6 when Brunson has at least eight assists this season. The star for Dallas was Tim Hardaway Jr., who had a game-high 28 points.

The player Dallas needed to be great is the frustrating Kristaps Porziņģis, who left after 23 minutes of action with a toe injury. Porzingis was only 2-of-9 from the field, but he made all nine of his free throws and the Mavericks were plus-10 with him on the court. He is questionable to play in this one but not ruled out yet. Dallas is 7-4 this season when Porziņģis shoots at least 40%.

For Minnesota, Karl-Anthony Towns led the way with 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. He made a season-high 11 free throws to compensate for shooting 40% from the field as Minnesota’s record has correlated highly with Towns’ shooting efficiency this season. The Timberwolves are 11-4 when Towns shoots at least 50% from the field compared to 4-10 when he is under 50%.

The Mavericks only had 10 turnovers on Sunday, which isn’t unusual as they lead the NBA in fewest turnovers per game (12.2). But an area that could regress from Sunday is the free-throw line. Both teams are below average at the line, but on Sunday, the Mavericks hit 21-of-22 free throws while the Timberwolves were 24-of-31.

These are two of the worst shooting teams in the league as the Mavericks rank 24th in eFG% and the Timberwolves are right behind at 25th. Minnesota is 0-9 when a team shoots at least 47% from the field and also 0-9 when the Timberwolves shoot under 40%. But over the last nine games, the Mavericks are dead last in the NBA in eFG%. Dallas is 0-7 when allowing more than 110 points.

Minnesota will again be without Anthony Edwards (health and safety protocol), though the Timberwolves have won the last two games without him. Patrick Beverley, who was a team-best plus-11 in Sunday’s win over Dallas, will join him in the protocol and miss this one as the Timberwolves are now down five players to the protocol.

But it is impossible to say the Mavericks have a roster advantage as long as Dončić is out and Porziņģis is not 100%.

Prediction

Dallas is only 14-23 ATS as a home favorite since 2020, the fifth-worst record in the league, and most of those games were with Dončić available. Without Dončić, the Mavericks are 2-6 this season, though every loss was by 3-to-8 points.

This could be another close, competitive game like Sunday, but I am going to trust the Timberwolves to prevail again for your NBA picks on the strength of Towns.

NBA Pick: Timberwolves -1 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Timberwolves -1 (-110)
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