Timberwolves vs. Knicks NBA Preview and Best Bet

Anthony Edwards #1 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. David Berding/Getty Images/AFP

The Minnesota Timberwolves have all hands on deck for Tuesday’s game with the New York Knicks. Is that enough to beat the NBA odds?

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. New York Knicks

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 – 07:30 PM EST at Madison Square Garden

The Minnesota Timberwolves were missing a few good men the last time they took on the New York Knicks. It was December 28 in Minneapolis; Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, D’Angelo Russell and Jarred Vanderbilt were among the inactive players for the Wolves, and they still put up a game fight before losing 96-88 as 5.5-point home dogs on the NBA odds board.

Things are a bit different for Tuesday’s rematch. The Timberwolves have all four of those players back in the lineup, while the Knicks might be without Kemba Walker (sore left knee) and several others. The NBA odds for this contest are on hold at press time, but given the roster situation for both sides, this looks like a good spot for Minnesota to take advantage of their battle-weary hosts.

KAT People

Having that extra day of rest should help the Wolves, too. New York (22-22 SU, 21-23 ATS) spent the Martin Luther King holiday losing 97-87 to the Charlotte Hornets as 2.5-point home favorites; the only good news for Knicks fans is that nine different players saw meaningful minutes, so they might not be too burned out for Tuesday’s game – aside from RJ Barrett, who played 39 minutes.

The last game Minnesota (21-22 SU, 22-20-1 ATS) played was Sunday’s tilt with the Golden State Warriors, which they took 119-99 as 5-point home faves. The Wolves are now 4-2 SU and 3-3 ATS since Towns made his latest return from the COVID-19 list, with the Over also going 4-2. Towns is easily the best player on this team, but they’ve also gotten quality play from Edwards in his sophomore year; Russell’s offense and Vanderbilt’s defense have also kept Minnesota in playoff contention for the first time since 2018.

Mr. Thibs

It just so happens that their coach at the time is New York’s coach now. Tom Thibodeau guided the 2017-18 Timberwolves to a 47-35 record and an opening-round exit, which doesn’t seem like much, but it was the best season for the franchise since the first Flip Saunders regime ended in 2005. Thibodeau was one of nine head coaches the Wolves have burned through since then, including a second Flip Saunders reign, and two years under his son Ryan.

Thibodeau is known for his defensive genius – and for riding his veterans too hard – and it shows on this Knicks team, which has the Under at 26-18 on the season and 6-3 since Walker last played. Derrick Rose is also hurt for New York, leaving them with zero “true” point guards in the lineup. It’s tempting to recommend the Under for your NBA picks again, but given the way Minnesota have played since Towns came back, we’re going with the so-called revenge angle instead. Bet accordingly.

NBA Pick: Timberwolves -2 (-110) at DraftKings