Timberwolves vs. Nuggets Odds, Pick, Prediction: Back Denver to Protect Home Court (January 18)

Tyler Schmidt breaks down Wednesday's NBA matchup between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets and shares his best bet.

Timberwolves vs. Nuggets Odds

Timberwolves Odds +7.5
Nuggets Odds -7.5
Over/Under 232.5
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The best team in the Western Conference with arguably the best player in the league looks to continue its winning streak at home tonight. That would be the Denver Nuggets and back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic, who has recorded four triple-doubles in his last five games. He is unstoppable right now.

This is a tough test for the Timberwolves who are dealing with injuries to their best players. They did beat the Nuggets in their only matchup this season, but playing on the road is a different test. The Nuggets are a league-best 20-3 at home this season. The Nuggets have the upper hand and should roll tonight.

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Timberwolves Look to Stay Hot

Winning six of their last eight games, the Timberwolves have climbed the very tight Western Conference standings. Shockingly, their two losses over that span were to the Pistons and Jazz. They have beaten much better teams during this recent win streak, including the Nuggets at home earlier this month by 13 points.

Timberwolves All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns continues to nurse a calf injury and will continue to be out for the foreseeable future. Reserves Naz Reid and Luka Garza have stepped up in Towns’ absence. Reid especially has had a few monster games while shooting a career-high 55.7% from the field this season.

Reid and Garza have the potential to play much more tonight as Rudy Gobert is questionable with a groin injury. He has left the game early in each of the last two games and played a combined 18 minutes. If he is unable to go, Nuggets star Nikola Jokic is going to have field day. Gobert’s status is important for tonight.

In his third year in the league, Anthony Edwards has taken another step in his development. He is averaging career-highs in points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentage and 3-point percentage. Edwards also became the youngest player in NBA history to make 500 3-pointers, passing Mavericks great Luka Doncic.

The Nuggets defense ranks inside the top 10 in 3-point percentage allowed, so they may slow down Edwards a bit. He shot 3-of-11 from behind the arc in their first meeting. Like Gobert, Edwards is questionable to play, but he hasn’t missed a game all season, so expect him to suit up. Gobert is the bigger question mark and more important as he ranks third in rebounding.

The Timberwolves are playing well recently, but this is a completely different test on the road against one of the league’s best teams. They will benefit from the Nuggets being on a back-to-back; however, that’s about the only positive thing working in their favor tonight. This game could get out of hand in Ball Arena.

Nuggets Hitting Their Stride

A 7.5-point spread is large, but it is deserving as the Nuggets have the best record in the Western Conference at 31-13. After a mediocre start, they have won 17 of their last 20 games. The Nuggets have a league-best 20-3 record at home, so even though this is a back-to-back game, they have the upper hand.

This team starts and ends with back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic. Over the last five games, Jokic has been playing a different game than everyone else. He has recorded four triple-doubles during that time while averaging 23.2 points, 13.2 rebounds and 11.8 assists per game and shooting 74.2% from the field.

Jokic leads the league with 13 triple-doubles, and the Nuggets have won all 13 of those games. That two-pick parlay is one of my favorites to target in this game. If Gobert is unable to play, Jokic is going to add to his triple-double totals. No one is going to stop the Joker tonight.

Even though Jokic leads the Nuggets in points, rebounds, assists, and steals, there are other players worth mentioning. For starters, the Nuggets are finally fully healthy, which means Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are back. Both Murray and Porter Jr. have provided an extra boost, especially on offense.

Murray is averaging 18.6 points and a career-high 5.4 assists per game. He ranks second behind Jokic in both categories for the Nuggets. Porter Jr. has been just as good, especially scoring the ball. He is averaging 16.2 points per game while shooting over 40% from behind the arc. Both Murray and Porter Jr. have missed games this season, but both should be playing on this back-to-back.

The Timberwolves are going to push the tempo as they rank seventh in Pace this season (101.7) entering tonight’s games. They also rank middle of the pack by allowing 115.4 points per game. This is a major mismatch, especially if Gobert is unable to play. 7.5 points doesn’t seem like enough for this matchup.

Timberwolves-Nuggets Pick

With 80% of the bets coming in on the Nuggets, we’ll add to that total and take the Nuggets at -7.5. This could move to double digits if Gobert is ruled out, and I would still feel comfortable at that number. This may be a back-to-back for the Nuggets, but they have the distinct advantage in this matchup.

As previously mentioned, I would also love to take Jokic to get a triple-double. Make sure to shop for the best lines on that player prop, but it will more than likely have juice attached despite Jokic having a triple-double in four of his last five games. Take Jokic and the Nuggets to take it to the Timberwolves tonight.