76ers vs. Timberwolves Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
Minnesota finds itself slightly further down in the standings out West, but a recent post All-Star break push has provided the Timberwolves with a much needed surge. The Timberwolves now own a 34-32 record after winning three straight games.
Despite this being a non-conference matchup, both Philadelphia and Minnesota still have something to play for as both conferences will be tightly contested down the stretch. Here are the odds and my prediction for the Philadelphia 76ers vs Minnesota Timberwolves.
After a win against the Pacers on Monday the 76ers own a 3-1 record on their current road trip. Philly has played some impressive basketball this month and is in position to make a push up the Eastern Conference standings, but there are still have some flaws.
The main concern lately for Philadelphia has been its play on the defensive end of the floor. Prior to Monday night’s matchup with the Pacers, Philly posted a 124.2 Defensive Rating during the first three games of its road trip, a significant increase from its season rating of 112.2.
That 12.0 point increase in Defensive Rating is mostly because Philadelphia is struggling to guard the perimeter. Opponents have shot 44.1% from behind the arc in the first three games of the 76ers’ road trip, up from 35% on the season.
Those defensive struggles continued against Indiana on Monday, a game in which Philadelphia surrendered 143 points to a Pacers offense that ranks 22nd in the NBA in Offensive Rating. Defending the perimeter remained a tough task as the Pacers shot 40% from deep on 37 attempts in that game.
The Timberwolves’ three-game winning streak could not come at a better time.
The Western Conference is so tightly contested that just three games separates the fifth and 11th seeds. Minnesota’s last three wins propelled it to the sixth seed in the West, giving the Timberwolves 2.5 games of breathing room between them and the No. 11 seed.
Minnesota’s recent surge can be attributed to a spike in shooting efficiency on the offensive end of the floor. According to NBA.com the Timberwolves have shot 51.4% from the floor overall and 43.4% from behind the arc across the last three games. Those numbers are up from Minnesota’s season averages of 49.2% and 36.0%, respectively.
That spike on the offensive end has been complemented with improved defense. The Timberwolves did surrender 134 points in their most recent game against Sacramento, but in the three games prior to that, Minnesota’s opponents had averaged just 104.0 points per game.
Minnesota is starting to put the pieces together on both ends, making it a legitimate threat out West even with Karl-Anthony Towns still out of the lineup.
Both Philadelphia and Minnesota have a lot to play for here. However, this is the second game of a back-to-back for Philadelphia and the defensive struggles are quite worrisome.
Minnesota has been great against the spread in these situations. According to TeamRankings, the Timberwolves are 10-5-1 ATS when they have the rest advantage, and having two days off as opposed to Philly’s zero certainly gives Minnesota an edge here.
Additionally, Minnesota is 10-4 ATS as a home underdog this season, the seventh-best record in the NBA.
I think Minnesota can potentially extend its win streak to four, but I’ll take the Timberwolves with the points for now. I’d play this down to a pick’em.