The surging Minnesota Timberwolves face a tough test when they visit the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night. Here’s a complete preview, including betting odds and free NBA picks.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Golden State Warriors
Thursday, January 27, 2022 – 10:00 PM EST at Chase Center
The Warriors opened at -5.5 at FanDuel and FiveThirtyEight have them at -5, giving them a 69 percent chance to win. For support, we turn to USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin’s projections; he has the Warriors at -7.69 using his Rating numbers and at -8.68 using his eigenvector analysis. DraftKings set the total at 229.5 in their NBA odds board and Sagarin projects these two teams to combine for 214.28 points. Should we hammer the 229.5-point total?
Is Curry Worth So Many Points?
The Warriors (35-13 SU, 26-19-3 ATS) emphasize defensive play and as a result, the Under is a profitable 29-18-1 in their 48 games this season. The bad news is that their best defender, Draymond Green (Defensive Box Plus/Minus) is out calf and back issues. The Over is 5-4 since Green’s last game.
The Over is 8-2 in Minnesota’s last 10 games, with Anthony Edwards playing at a high level as of late, giving his team a talented Big 3 with Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell. These three players combined for just 42 points when these two teams met on January 16. The Timberwolves won that game 119-99 as 5-point home faves. (The Over was set at 215 and it cashed).
There’s a big difference in totals between that January 16 game and this one. Minnesota had almost all their players available for that previous meeting while Stephen Curry didn’t play for Golden State. This is a very high total. Based on Curry’s plus-6.4 Box Plus/Minus Basketball-Reference, he’s not worth 13 points to the final score. The Warriors were also without Gary Payton II (plus-3.7 Defensive Box Plus/Minus) and the Under is 3-2 in five games since his return.
Anthony Edwards vs. Otto Porter Jr.
Anthony Edwards dropped 40 points against the Trail Blazers on Tuesday, he’s averaging 23.8 points in 33.2 minutes over his last 10 games and 28.5 points on 54.3 percent shooting and 52.9 percent from beyond the arc in two games against the Warriors this season. With Draymond Green out, Otto Porter Jr. will have to at least contain him. Green (plus-4.7 Defensive Box Plus/Minus) produces about 2.0 more defensive points per 100 possessions than Porter (plus-2.7 Defensive Box Plus/Minus) but he’s still a very competent defender and Edwards is due for some regression.
The recent trends for the Timberwolves (24-23 SU, 23-23-1 ATS) suggest that the Over is the play but the NBA lines underestimate Payton’s impact on defense. Also, Patrick Beverley (ankle) is questionable for Minnesota and his replacement in the starting lineup, Jaden McDaniels (minus-4.2 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) is not a decent scorer. Not good news for a Timberwolves team that ranks just 20th in the league in Offensive Efficiency with 107.2 points per 100 possessions. I’ll sprinkle some money on the Under and enjoy this great Western Conference game on a Thursday night.
NBA Pick: Under 229.5 (–115) at DraftKings