Minnesota Timberwolves - Dallas Mavericks
Time was when Dirk Nowitzki was the NBA’s undisputed premier power forward not named Tim Duncan. The German is still impressing at the age of 35 by averaging 21.5 points per game, just a shade below his career mark. But he’ll face the man who’s surely now the best at the position on Monday when the Dallas Mavericks visit the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Kevin Love has been a walking double-double of late, compiling six successive games of at least 25 points and 11 rebounds. The Timberwolves have gone 3-3 in that spell and with a 15-15 record this season, they are really in danger of wasting their superstar’s prime unless they can add one or two more key pieces to surround him with.
Minnesota is averaging 106.4 points per game, just above the Mavericks 103.9, behind the second-quickest pace in the NBA at just over 100 possessions per game. If Ricky Rubio could shoot at better than his mediocre 34% clip, his side would likely be surpassing Portland and Houston for the league’s most prolific offense.
They have, however, averaged 114 in their two victories over Dallas to date this term with the Mavs notching 107. The total points line tonight is 214.5 and there’s nothing to suggest this won’t be another high-scoring duel. But Dallas have had quality road wins over Chicago and Houston in recent days and they’re great value at 2.60 for the win or +4.5 on the handicap.
Utah Jazz - Charlotte Bobcats
After the worst start of any NBA team, the Utah Jazz have recovered marginally with five wins from their last ten. And they’ll go for a second successive home victory when the Charlotte Bobcats come to down.
The soon-to-be-Hornets have lost three out of four and although they’re pushing opponents close, the familiar futility is returning. But take them at +2.5 on the handicap at 1.85 with Al Jefferson out to impressive against his former club.
Bet of the day: Take Dallas on the handicap of +4.5 against Minnesota at 1.90.
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