Timberwolves vs. Mavericks NBA Preview and Best Bet

Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP

The Minnesota Timberwolves can double up on the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday night, this time as 1-point road faves on the NBA odds board.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Dallas Mavericks

Tuesday, December 21, 2021- 8:30 PM EST at American Airlines Center

It’s time to spin the Random Player Generator again. COVID-19 has thrown Tuesday’s matchup between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks for a loop, but the NBA has a new plan for dealing with it this time: Replacement players. And they’ll need a metric tonne of them for both sides of this contest. As we go to press, the Wolves have five players in the protocol, and the Mavericks three, along with several injuries on top of that.

Despite the chaos, the Timberwolves (15-15 SU and ATS) are available as 1-point road favorites on the NBA odds board at PointsBet. That’s probably a bargain price on Minnesota, given the improvements they’ve made this year – and the specific players who are missing for the Mavericks (14-15 SU, 13-16 ATS). But now more than ever, you might want to wait for the morning shoot-around to see who’s likely to play.

COVID Does Dallas

These are tough times for everyone, of course, but the Mavericks have gotten the short end of the stick. Luka Doncic is out indefinitely with a sore left ankle; Dallas is 2-3 SU and 3-2 ATS since he last played, so if you stuck with the old-school “fade/follow” dynamic that I’ve been espousing in this space, you’ve profited off Doncic’s absence.

There are new problems, though. Kristaps Porzingis left Sunday’s game against Minnesota with a sore right toe and did not return – he’s listed as questionable for the rematch. Maximilian Kleber entered the league protocol after that game and presumably won’t clear quarantine until December 30. That’s arguably the three best players on the Dallas roster right there, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Feeling Minnesota

By the way, the Wolves won Sunday’s game 111-105 as 3.5-point home favorites. And they did it without Anthony Edwards, Josh Okogie, and Taurean Prince, although Edwards is the only one of the three playing at a decent level thus far.

Patrick Beverley and Jarred Vanderbilt have since entered league protocol, and they’ve both played quite well for Minnesota this year, so there’s no need to bet any large amounts on this matchup. But in general, the Wolves have turned into a promising NBA pick of late, cashing in four of their last six games. They’ll probably retain their betting value for a while; this is about as small-market a team as you’ll find, and they’ve been so bad for so long, the public will need ample time to catch up.

On the flip side, the Mavericks have been in the spotlight for most of the past 20 years, from Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash to Doncic and Porzingis. Definitely wait to see if Porzingis is available for this game, then size your bets accordingly, and let the chips fall where they may.

NBA Pick: Timberwolves –1 (–110) with PointsBet