LA Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Moneyline Pick
Los Angeles Lakers (16-13 SU, 11-18-0 ATS) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (13-15 SU, 13-15-0 ATS)
When: Friday, Dec. 17th, 2021, 10:00 pm (ET)
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Point Spread: LAL +1/MIN -1 (Opened at 1 at Bovada - Deposit $500 and get $250 FREE!)
Total: 223.5 (Opened at 223.5)
Money Line: LAL -105/MIN -115
Power Rating: PK
Probable Starting Lineups
Los Angeles Lakers: PG Rajon Rondo, SG Austin Reaves, SF Wayne Ellington, PF Lebron James, C Anthony Davis
Minnesota Timberwolves: PG Patrick Beverley, SG D’Angelo Russell, SF Antony Edwards, PF Jarred Vanderbilt, C Karl-Anthony Towns
Los Angeles Lakers: F Anthony Davis *Probable* (Knee), G Avery Bradley *Out* (Covid), F Lebron James *Probable* (Abdominal), G Russell Westbrook *Out* (Covid), G Malik Monk *Out* (Covid), C Dwight Howard *Out* (Covid), G Talen Horton-Tucker *Out* (Covid), G Kendrick Nunn *Out* (Knee), F Trevor Ariza *Out* (Ankle)
Minnesota Timberwolves: No injuries to report.
The Los Angeles Lakers enter Friday with some new life as they are winners of three straight. While overall having an inconsistent season, the Lakers sit 6th in the western conference and have ground to make up if they have hopes of avoiding the play-in tournament. Last time on the floor, the Lakers were saved by an unlikely hero as rookie Austin Reaves hit a three-pointer in overtime with less than one second on the clock to steal a road win in Dallas. As Covid-19 continues to sweep across all major sports, the team will be without major contributors like Russell Westbrook and Dwight Howard in Friday’s game. The Lakers are led offensively by Lebron James, who off an injury, has had multiple 30+ point games over the past few weeks and is averaging 26.1 PPG. As a team, the Lakers score 111.1 PPG, which is tied for 5th best with the Kings and Grizzlies. Defensively, the team allows 111.2 PPG, making them near dead even on both sides of the ball with a -0.1-point differential.
The Timberwolves started the month of December with five straight losses. Last Sunday, the team got their first win in almost three weeks and on Wednesday improved to a two-win streak, beating the Nuggets 124-107. At 13-15, the Timberwolves are in the midst of another subpar season, but as they currently sit in the west, they would have a spot in the play-in tournament if the season ended today. The Timberwolves are led by Karl-Anthony Towns, who is averaging 24.3 PPG and leads the team in assists with 9.0 per game. Minnesota finds themselves in the middle of the pack with the 12th best offense, scoring 108.6 PPG. On defense, the team is in the bottom half of the league, giving up 109.3 PPG.
Pace of Play
This matchup has the makings to be a fast-paced and high-scoring affair, as both teams sit in the top 5 for fastest-paced teams. The Lakers still claim the top spot as the fastest team, averaging 106.5 possessions per game. Minnesota sits 5th for pace, averaging 104.1 possessions a game, and has been the second fastest team over their last three games. A major reason that they are fast-paced is due to their high turnover rates this season. The Lakers and Timberwolves average over 15 turnovers per game, which has them in the bottom five teams as far as taking care of the ball. In most cases, I would give the nod to any team playing the Lakers as Russell Westbrook is among the top guards in the league that commits turnovers, but without him in the lineup in this game, we may witness one of the cleanest games for turnovers in the Lakers’ end. With Lebron James likely running the point often in this game over Westbrook, I expect better looks for the Lakers offense as he is one of the top passers in the league.
No Westbrook, No Problem
As mentioned above, part of the Lakers’ issues this season has been turnovers at the hands of Russell Westbrook. With him out of the lineup, we may see another vintage night from Lebron, and even the potential for Anthony Davis to break out of his shell as he has been having a below-average year by his standards. Davis and James have built a strong connection since teaming up in LA and will be a strong test for the Minnesota defense who has allowed 48.0 points in the paint in recent games, which is where both players thrive on the court.
Timberwolves Struggle at Home
Part of Minnesota’s struggles recently has been their inability to protect home court. The Timberwolves are 0-3 in their last three home games, and 0-4 ATS in their last four home games. The reason for their home slump has been their lack of defense, allowing 126.7 PPG in at home in December. Also worth noting is that Minnesota is 8-22 ATS as home favorites in their last 30 games dating back to last season. Needless to say, their home basketball play has been a downfall for some time. With the Lakers coming to town riding the hot streak of Lebron, I see the Timberwolves defensive struggles continuing, despite being favored in this one at Target Center.
Friday marks the second contest between these teams, where just over a month ago, the Timberwolves got the best of a Lebron-less Lakers in a 107-83 final. Looking back at the last few seasons, though, the Lakers have won four of the last five matchups.
How the Public is Betting the Lakers vs. Timberwolves
68% are betting the Lakers against the spread.
61% are wagering on the game to go under the posted total of 223.5.
Betting Trends Worth Noting
- The Los Angeles Lakers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss.
- The Minnesota Timberwolves are 0-4 ATS in their last four home games.
- The Minnesota Timberwolves are 8-22 ATS in their last 30 games as home favorites.
- Under is 5-0 in the Lakers’ last five games.
- Over is 5-0 in the Timberwolves last five games.
- Under is 6-2 in the last eight games between these teams.
- The Los Angeles Lakers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games vs. Minnesota.
Collin’s Pick for Lakers/Timberwolves
The Lakers enter Friday riding a three-game winning streak, while the Timberwolves have a two-game win streak of their own. With a few key Lakers players out with Covid, the line is in favor of the home team Timberwolves. With a turnover ridden Westbrook out in this one and the Timberwolves not playing well at home, I see the Lakers covering the 1-point spread and stealing a road win. Take the Lakers money line. Bet your NBA predictions for FREE this week by taking advantage of a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $1000 at Betnow Sportsbook!
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