Timberwolves vs. Warriors: Expect Points Early and Often

Action Network contributor Andrew O'Connor-Watts previews Sunday's NBA game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Golden State Warriors.

Timberwolves vs. Warriors Odds

Timberwolves Odds +3
Warriors Odds -3
Over/Under 232.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Minnesota Timberwolves face the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco on Sunday night.

The last time these two teams played was at the beginning of the month in a game the Timberwolves won in overtime. The season series is split at one game apiece, but both were in Minneapolis.

Let’s breakdown tonight’s matchup and I’ll give my prediction for the Minnesota Timberwolves vs. the Golden State Warriors.

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Minnesota Timberwolves

In my last article, I wrote about the positive impact D’Angelo Russell could have on the new-look Lakers roster. The same can be said for Mike Conley in Minnesota.

Conley’s value stems from his playmaking and experience with running countless pick-and-rolls in Utah with Rudy Gobert.

The result has been great for the offense, especially to start games, when the starters play most of their minutes together.

In the four games with Conley, the Wolves have a 130.4 Offensive Rating, which is second in the NBA, according to NBA Advanced Stats.

With Conley, Minnesota is 3-1 to the over in the first quarter, but even before he joined, the Wolves had been scoring early. In Wolves first quarters, the over is 35-27 ATS (7.96% ROI), according to EV Analytics. Additionally, they’re 7-3 to the over in their past 10 games.

The Wolves also trend to the over in the first half as they play fast and sloppy before halftime. Over their past 10 games, Minnesota ranks 25th in first-half Turnover Percentage (14.5) and is playing at the fastest pace (106.5) in the league.

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors have also been a reliable team to the over this season and for similar reasons — they play with pace and give up a high volume of turnovers.

This isn’t a new issue for Golden State. Even during the peak dynasty years, the Warriors played fast and loose.

Because the Warriors tend to slow things down in the second half, full-game overs haven’t been as profitable. However, we can gain a significant edge with totals early in games.

The Warriors rank sixth in first quarter Pace (104.33), fourth in Offensive Rating (117.9), 20th in Defensive Rating (115.3) and 25th in Turnover Percentage (15).

That combination is something the books haven’t been able to catch up with all season as Golden State is the second-most profitable team to the over in the first quarter (37-22-1 ATS, 19.11% ROI), according to EV Analytics.

The first half has also been profitable to over bettors. The over is 32-26-2 (4.99% ROI) and 6-4 (15.07% ROI) in Golden State’s past 10 games.

Timberwolves-Warriors Pick

These teams played at the beginning of the month and the Warriors lost in overtime. I expect them to start fat, but they could be without their two best defenders in Draymond Green (knee), who’s been tagged as questionable, and Andrew Wiggins (personal), who is doubtful and without a timetable to return.

Additionally, there are some compelling trends that push me toward some early overs.

The Wolves have been one of the worst teams at protecting the 3-point line, ranking just 22nd in Defensive 3-point Accuracy (37.2%) on the season and 18th in 3-Point Frequency (35.6%), per Cleaning the Glass.

The Warriors shoot an insanely high volume of 3-pointers, even without Stephen Curry in the lineup. In the past seven games without Curry, the Warriors have taken less than 40% of their shots from beyond the arc in just one game.

I like both teams to get out and run. I’ll take the first quarter over up to 59 and the first half over up to 119.

Pick: First Quarter Over Up To 59/First Half Over Up To 119