Knicks vs. Timberwolves Betting Preview: New York a Live Underdog?

The New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves meet for an NBA game in Minneapolis on Monday, November 7, 2022.

Knicks vs. Timberwolves Odds

Knicks Odds +3.5
Timberwolves Odds -3.5
Over/Under 234
Time 9:15 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Knicks and Timberwolves are both teams which have had a few highlights this season, but which have really struggled of late. New York has now dropped four out of five and Minnesota three out of four, though the Timberwolves did pick up a win their last time out.

The quest for some positive momentum continues on Monday when these two meet in Minneapolis. How should we bet it? Let’s take a look.

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Knicks Continue Familiar Brand

Friday’s loss to the Celtics certainly didn’t look good on the Knicks. They did some excellent work throughout, at least on the offensive side of the ball, leading for parts of the game and trailing by just one going to the half. It was a very competitive game until the fourth, when the shots stopped falling for the Knicks.

It should also be said that the shots simply never stopped falling for the Celtics. They hit a franchise-record 27 threes, shooting 52.9% from three when it was all said and done.

The good news is that the Knicks, a team in the bottom-seven of the NBA in three-point shooting, were 40.7% from beyond the arc, though they did take just 27 shots. The bad news is that the Knicks had been one of the league’s better teams against threes and let their guard down in that area.

The Knicks’ offense continues to play a very straightforward brand of basketball. They’re first in points in the paint per game and 13th in rebounding rate, bruising opponents down low and scoring on the break, ranking 11th in that area. They’ve continued to push the tempo but also continue to rely on scoring around the rim given their lack of shooting.

We should also point out here that Mitchell Robinson will miss a second straight game, which will force Isaiah Hartenstein into the starting lineup once again. More on that later.

Timberwolves’ Weakness Shouldn’t Hurt Against Knicks

The Timberwolves are a very similar team. They’re seventh in points in the paint and 17th in rebounding, and one spot behind the Knicks with 15.1 points per game on the break. Minnesota ranks fourth in pace, which should be to the Knicks’ liking considering they’re in 15th in that area.

It’s a good thing for Minnesota that New York can’t really shoot the ball, given it is rocking a 36.3% defended field goal percentage beyond the arc, which checks in 10th-worst in the NBA.

Things should set up well for the Wolves defensively as well given they’re the fourth-best defense inside of 10 feet, giving up just 53.2% of guarded looks.

Overall, it simply hasn’t been a very exciting start for the Timberwolves. They’re playing some strong defense but rank just 19th in offensive efficiency. Anthony Edwards has once again seen his shooting and scoring numbers increase in year three, but Karl-Anthony Towns’ production has taken a big hit. The Timberwolves are a -3.7 per 100 possessions with Towns on the floor, and without his strong play to anchor them it’s hard to fear Minnesota.

Knicks-Timberwolves Pick

I think the Knicks are live for an upset here. Hartenstein brings so much to this Knicks team; only one other teammate, Cam Reddish, has a higher Net Rating when on the floor this season. New York is a +3.3 per 100 possessions with him on, and a +0.9 per 100 with Robinson off.

It should really help kick this offense into full gear against a struggling defense, and on the other side of things I’m even more concerned about Minnesota scoring inside given New York has actually been better defensively with Hartenstein and considering Towns has really struggled to convert looks and stretch the floor.

I’ll take the Knicks outright here, and I’d recommend looking at the Knicks second quarter moneyline as well given their dominance in the second quarters of games all year. They’re currently first in scoring offense in that session.