The Minnesota Timberwolves (15-11) will be at home in Target Center when they go head-to-head with the Dallas Mavericks (7-19). Minnesota is an 8-point favorite on the opening line, while the games Over/Under (O/U) opened at 207 points. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 10, 2017, and it can be seen on Fox Sports – Southwest.
Dallas Mavericks at Minnesota Timberwolves Free Preview
In the Mavericks last matchup, they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks, 109-102. Wesley Matthews put together a good game for Dallas, leading the team in scoring with 29 points on 11-for-15 shooting. Milwaukee held the Mavericks to an offensive rebounding percentage of 10.8 (below their season average of 18.2). Dallas, meanwhile, had a better effective field goal percentage (0.533 vs. 0.506).
The Timberwolves hope to maintain momentum after topping the Los Angeles Clippers in their last game, 113-107. With 21 points on 9-for-14 shooting, Karl-Anthony Towns was Minnesota’s leading scorer. The Timberwolves knocked down 16 of their 21 free throws (76.2 percent) and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.591 (above their season average of 0.516).
Half-court execution will be at a premium when a pair of the leagues slowest-paced teams face off. Minnesota ranks 24th in possessions per game (98.0) and Dallas is 22nd (98.2). Furthermore, the Mavericks rank 24th in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.178), while the Timberwolves rank third in opponents FTA rate (0.166).
Of Dallas 26 games, 13 have finished under the projected point total, while 13 of Minnesota’s 26 games have finished over the projected point total. The Timberwolves have the better straight up (SU) record (15-11 vs. 7-19), but both teams have comparable against the spread (ATS) records. Minnesota is 11-13-2, while Dallas is 11-15 ATS.
Jimmy Butler has been on fire over the last five games for Minnesota, averaging 24.2 points, 5.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game.
These two teams have already met twice this year, with the Timberwolves winning both. In the most recent game, Butler scored a game-high 21 points and the Timberwolves defeated the Mavericks 111-87, covering as 6-point favorites. He also had eight rebounds. The two teams combined to put up 198 points, which was 13.5 points below the projected point total of 211.5 points. The Timberwolves dominated every stat category in the game. They had a free throw rate of 0.238 and an effective field goal percentage of 0.542. For those same stats, the Mavericks had marks of 0.174 and 0.419, respectively.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Timberwolves, ATS Winner – Mavericks, O/U – Over
- The Timberwolves rank fourth in second chance points per game (14.4) while the Mavericks rank 25th (9.9).
- Minnesota averages 9.1 fast break points per game, which ranks 22nd in the league. Dallas ranks 27th in fast break points allowed per game (14.2).
- Minnesota ranks sixth in steals per game (8.7) while Dallas ranks 25th (6.7).
- Neither of these teams are great at blocking the ball. Dallas is 27th in the league with 3.6 blocks per game while Minnesota is 28th with 3.6 blocks per game.
- Dallas is 5-6 ATS on the road, while Minnesota is 4-7-1 ATS at home.
- The total has gone under in 6 of the Timberwolves 12 home games, while 6 of the Mavericks 11 road games have gone under.
- Minnesota is 7-2 when they hold opponents below 100 points, while Dallas is 6-5.
- The Mavericks are 5-8 when they score over 100 points, while the Timberwolves are 14-6.
- The Timberwolves rank 11th in points off turnovers per game (18.0) while the Mavericks rank 28th (13.8).
- Dallas ranks fifth in three pointers attempted per game (32.2) while Minnesota ranks 29th (22.7).
- The Timberwolves rank sixth in points in the paint per game (47.2) while the Mavericks rank last (37.5).
- The Timberwolves rank 12th in assists per game (22.8) while the Mavericks rank 14th in assists allowed per game (22.5).
- Minnesota ranks third in rebounds allowed per game (40.8) while Dallas ranks 27th (46.2).
- Minnesota is 3-2 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Dallas is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
- The Timberwolves average margin of victory in their last five games has been 4.6, up from 0.7 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Mavericks have scored an average of 105.2 points per game (4.8 above their season average) and allowed an average of 100.4 points per game (3.3 below their season average).