An all-Western showdown between the fourth and eighth best teams of the conference takes place tonight, when the Minnesota Timberwolves (24-16), looking to end a mini losing streak, are hosting the New Orleans Pelicans (19-18), who want to continue in the winning ways.
Date/Time: 01-06-2018, 19:00 EDT
Spread: Minnesota Timberwolves -1
Timberwolves have a 24-16 record (17-21-2 against the spread) so far this season and currently sit on the 4th place of the West. They have back-to-back losses and in their last game they lost on the road against the Celtics with an 84-91 score, not beating the odds. They are led in scoring by Jimmy Butler with 21.3 ppg, adding 5.3 rpg and 4.9 assists. He is followed by Karl-Anthony Towns with 20.1 ppg and a team high 11.5 rebounds per game, while Andrew Wiggins adds 17.7 ppg.
Pelicans have a 19-18 record (20-16-1 against the spread) so far this season and currently sit on the 8th place of the West. In their last game they snapped a two-game losing streak by winning on the road against the Jazz with a 108-98 score, beating the odds. They are led in scoring by DeMarcus Cousins with 26.2 ppg, adding 5.1 assists and a team high 12.2 rebounds per game. He is followed by Anthony Davis with 25.2 ppg and 10.6 rebounds.
Timberwolves won both previous matchups against the Pelicans this season, both on the road by an average of 13 points. Timberwolves are 13-6 at home so far this season, while Pelicans are 10-9 on the road. Pelicans are better offensively, scoring 111.1 ppg to Wolves’ 107.8, while Wolves are better defensively, allowing 105.4 ppg to Pelicans’ 110.9 ppg. Pelicans have better percentages both in field goals, shooting with a second-best 49% to Wolves’ 47.3% and in 3-pointers, shooting with a second-best 38.3% to Wolves’ third-worse of 34.9%. Pelicans are also better in rebounding, grabbing 42.8 to Wolves’ 41.4 and in assists made, with a second-best 26.7 to Wolves’ 22.4, while Wolves are better in turnovers committed (13.2 to 15.9). Wolves have found Pelicans’ button this season and Vegas odds give them a -1 spread which they are expected to beat for the home victory tonight.
New Orleans Pelicans vs Minnesota Timberwolves Prediction: Minnesota Timberwolves -1 (-110)
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