Timberwolves vs Clippers: Take the Under on Mann's Points

Action Network contributor Michael Arinze breaks down his betting picks and prediction for the TNT matchup between the Clippers and Timberwolves on Tuesday.

Timberwolves vs. Clippers Odds

Timberwolves Odds +6.5
Clippers Odds -6.5
Moneyline +205/ -250
Over/Under 215
Time Tuesday, 10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here’s everything you need to know about Timberwolves vs. Clippers on Tuesday, March 12 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.

After losing to the Lakers on Sunday night, the Timberwolves will now try their luck against the Clippers. While Los Angeles can even the series at two games apiece, it’ll hope its two best players can suit up for the game.

Paul George and Kawhi Leonard missed the Clippers’ last home game against the Bucks, but Los Angeles was still competitive in a 124-117 loss. Both players will be a game-time decision.

If we turn to the Timberwolves, they hope to have Rudy Gobert (hamstring) and Kyle Anderson (shoulder) back after both players were inactive against the Lakers. Anthony Edwards did play, but he’s also currently on the injury report with left ankle soreness.

I’m not sure it’s entirely worthwhile to try to predict which players will play based on these reports, so I wouldn’t recommend it. For example, Gobert (hamstring) wasn’t even on the initial injury report against the Lakers but was a late addition, and after being ruled out, we saw the total shoot up five points and close at 226.

We’ll still break down this matchup, but I can tell you I won’t be involved in either the side or the total. Instead, I’ve spotted a player prop that should offer more value in what could be a lower-scoring game.

Let’s get to our Timberwolves vs. Clippers pick and prediction.

>> Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds, track your bets and follow all of our experts’ picks.

Timberwolves vs. Clippers Prediction

Pick: Terance Mann Under 9.5 Points (-115 at FanDuel)

Timberwolves Betting Outlook

I’m fairly confident that, had Gobert played, the Timberwolves game against the Lakers would’ve stayed under the total. Los Angeles outrebounded Minnesota, 56-38, and that wouldn’t happen if the second-leading rebounder, Gobert, were on the floor.

Minnesota also allowed 64 points in the paint during the game — roughly 18 points more than their season average.

Gobert is currently as high as -1000 to win his fourth Defensive Player of the Year award, so it would be foolish to diminish his impact on a game.

The tricky thing for this matchup is trying to determine who will play. We’ve seen the total drop from 218.5 to 214.5, but is that on the suspicion that Gobert will play, or does the move have more to do with which players are available for the Clippers?

One of the more interesting things is that the total has gone under in seven of the last 10 meetings. The under is also on a 4-0 run. In their previous meeting on Mar. 3, neither team reached the 90-point mark, as the Clippers won 89-88 on the road.

Therefore, there’s some history of games staying under in this series, and it’s worth noting that the Timberwolves and Clippers are two of the slower-paced teams in the league. The Timberwolves rank 21st with 101.5 possessions per game, per TeamRankings, while the Clippers rank 23rd with 101.1

If this deliberate playing style is central to the ethos of these teams, then perhaps we’re in the right to expect a low-scoring game even if Gobert doesn’t feature in this contest.

ESPN Bet is now live! Make sure you’re ready for all the action with our exclusive ESPN BET promo code TANBONUS.

Clippers Betting Outlook

In the Clippers’ recent game against the Bucks, 10 players saw action; nine played at least 18 minutes, while seven played 21 or more. Perhaps that shouldn’t be a surprise, considering the Clippers have nine players involved in at least 47 of their 63 games.

I wonder how the minutes would’ve been divided had George and Leonard been able to play.

If we go back to the last game vs. Bulls, when both players were available, the Clippers had nine players who finished with double figures in minutes.

The player prop I’m particularly interested in for this matchup involves Clippers shooting guard Terance Mann. Mann has started 53 of the 57 games he’s played this season, averaging 8.2 points and 1.8 assists in roughly 25 minutes of action.

He ranks seventh in scoring for the Clippers, so he’s clearly not their first option. Moreover, he likely needs others to create shots for him because he’s less likely to have the ball in his hands, with James Harden handling the point guard duties.

Mann’s usage rate is just 13.1% this season, according to StatMuse.

Thus, we have a player who isn’t exactly going to light up the scoreboard facing the team with the best defensive rating in the league. Yet, somehow, Mann’s scoring prop of 9.5 points is even higher than his season average.

Timberwolves vs. Clippers Picks, Odds

The obvious factors working against Mann going over his scoring prop are that he’s facing a quality defensive team and that the Clippers’ two best players could be back on the floor. I tend to think we’d only need one scenario to be in our favor, but two would undoubtedly be a bonus.

However, we can’t ignore the uncertainty of Gobert missing the game in addition to the Clippers’ two stars.

Nonetheless, it’s a risk worth taking. Edwards might have an even bigger effect on Mann’s scoring prop if he guards him on defense, as both players are shooting guards.

I looked at all three games Mann played against the Timberwolves this season, and he’s averaging just 3.3 points in 21 minutes per contest.

I also like the thought of fading Mann off a 16-point effort his last time out against the Bucks. He played 30 minutes in the game, and I think we’ll see his minutes drop should George, Leonard or both play.

Clippers backup shooting guard Norman Powell outscored Mann with 26 points off the bench, so I don’t anticipate a drop in his minutes if the two superstars return.

Considering this game could have plenty of twists and turns, targeting Mann to go under his scoring prop of 9.5 points is one play we can make with a fair degree of confidence.

Pick: Terance Mann Under 9.5 Points (-115 at FanDuel)