Monday NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: 3 Best Bets for Timberwolves vs. Mavericks, Jazz vs. Nets (March 21)
Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: D’Angelo Russell #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
- The betting options on Monday's NBA slate are plentiful but our crew is locked in on two games: Jazz-Nets and Timberwolves-Mavericks.
- Read on for a detailed breakdown of those games and our experts' picks below.
As the race for the postseason heats up across the NBA, every team is looking to squeeze out wins to improve their position in the standings. Our NBA analysts are focused on two games that will have an impact on the standing in the West and East.
The Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves — sitting fourth through sixth respectively in the West — are all in action Monday with just 3.5 games between them. The Brooklyn Nets are clinging to the eight spot in the East with the Charlotte Hornets just one game behind them.
Our NBA experts break down their favorite bets for the two matchups featuring both teams below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Utah Jazz vs. Brooklyn Nets
Kenny Ducey: I will continue fading the Nets at home until Kyrie Irving is eligible to join his teammates on the floor in Brooklyn. This team is just 7-26-1 against the spread at Barclays Center, which is the worst mark in the league by a fair margin and far outweighs any sort of disadvantage the Jazz may be at on the second night of a back-to-back.
The fact of the matter is, Brooklyn is scoring 119.3 points per 100 possessions with Irving on the floor and 110.5 with him off the court. Though Kevin Durant is a world-class scorer, even he has not been able to lift this team up high enough to defeat quality opposition. It’s been a struggle without the contributions of Irving, and with the Nets ranking 25th in defensive efficiency since the All-Star break.
Utah has put together some kind of three-game run entering Monday, allowing a league-low 100.3 points per 100 possessions in a return to prominence on that end, and on top of that they’ve done a bang-up job against jump shooters by allowing 31.6% shooting from mid-range and 35.8% from three.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Dallas Mavericks
Joe Dellera: The Timberwolves have been red hot since the All-Star break and they are 11-2 over this stretch. Moreover, during the last two weeks they are 6-1 with the second-best point differential in the NBA (+16.7).
The Wolves have stepped it up defensively, and they are allowing just 104.8 points per 100 possessions over the last two weeks, per Cleaning the Glass. They are forcing turnovers, playing sound defense, and dominating their opponents.
On the flip side, the Mavericks have been great since trading Kristaps Porzingis for Spencer Dinwiddie, but their offense still leaves much to be desired. Outside of Luka Donic, who has been absolutely incredible of late with averages of 34.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 8.8 assists over his last 10 games, the Mavericks don’t have much else.
Even on the season as a whole, we had underrated Dallas and they have the tenth-best Adjusted Net Rating at +2.5, but the Wolves are actually better at +3.3 and they are seventh-best in Adjusted Net Rating.
Dallas is favored because they’re at home but 3.5 points is too many to lay against the League’s hottest team. While Karl Anthony-Towns is on the injury report with an elbow contusion, he played through this same injury and had a 25 point double-double against the Bucks on Saturday.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Dallas Mavericks
Raheem Palmer: Joe and I are in lockstep on this game tonight.
The Wolves have been downright dominant on offense scoring 121.8 points per 100 possessions and a big part of that is the stellar play of Karl-Anthony Towns who is averaging 26.8 points on 56% shooting along with 10.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. He’ll face a favorable matchup against the Dallas Mavericks who are lacking bigs after trading Kristaps Porzingis at the trade deadline.
The Mavericks have been solid defensively this season, however, they’re just 23rd in opponent field goal percentage at the rim and allowed Joel Embiid to score 32 points on 11-of-20 shooting in their 111-101 loss on Friday night. The Wolves are fifth in Offensive Rating against top-10 defenses, scoring 111.9 points per 100 possessions and with the Mavs lacking size upfront, I’m expecting a dominant performance from Towns.
D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, Malik Beasley and Jaden McDaniels have all been solid for this Wolves team, however the biggest difference for this team has been the improvement of their defense.
Since the break, the Wolves are fifth in Defensive Rating, holding opposing teams to 109 points per 100 possessions and they’ll be playing a Mavericks team with Luka Doncic who has slipped offensively over the past two weeks, scoring just 111.4 points per 100 possessions — 25th among NBA teams.
The Mavericks make their living from behind the arc where they shoot 40.2% of their attempts, however the Wolves attempt even more with 42.5% of their attempts coming from 3 point range and should be able to match point for point in that area as they’re 12th in three point shooting percentage (36.1%) while the Mavericks are 22nd (35%).
My model makes this game a PK and I already grabbed the Wolves as 3.5-point underdogs. But based on my numbers, I’ll happily back the hottest team in the NBA to cover and potentially win this game out right.