Minnesota vs. LA Lakers Odds & Predictions 1/2/22

by | Last updated Jan 2, 2022 | nba

Minnesota Timberwolves (16-19 SU, 18-17-0 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (18-19 SU, 15-22-0 ATS)
When: Sunday January 02 2022, 09:30 PM (ET)
Where: Staples Center: Los Angeles, California
TV: Spectrum SportsNet

Point Spread: MIN 7.5/LAL -7.5 (Opened at LAL -8 at SportsBetting.ag)
Total: 223.5 (Opened at 223.5)
Money Line: Minnesota 275/Los Angeles -350)
Power Rating: LAL -8

Key Injuries

Timberwolves Taurean Prince: conditioning (QUESTIONABLE) D’Angelo Russell: illness (OUT) Karl-Anthony Towns: illness (OUT) McKinley Wright IV: illness (OUT)

Lakers Trevor Ariza: ankle (OUT) Anthony Davis: knee (QUESTIONABLE) Kendrick Nunn: ankle (QUESTIONABLE) Rajon Rondo: illness (OUT) Russell Westbrook: illness (OUT)

Recent Form

The Minnesota Timberwolves enter today’s game, having lost two straight games. As of late, the Timberwolves have struggled to pick up wins, having won just five of their past ten games. As the road team, the Timberwolves travel to Los Angeles with a negative plus-minus of rating -3.2 points. Overall the Timberwolves are ranked 21st among NBA teams in point differential (-5.6). Among NBA teams, they have played the 14th toughest schedule.

For bettors, taking the Minnesota Timberwolves to cover the spread has been a winning bet as they have covered the spread in 51.40%% of their games. Their season-long plus-minus against the spread is 0.8.

On offense, the team’s leading scorer is C Karl-Anthony Towns. So far, Towns is averaging 24.47 points per game. This output places him 3rd among centers. To go along with his importance in overall scoring, Towns is also the team’s leading rebounder. Anthony Edwards has been Minnesota’s top three-point shooter at 3.14 shots per game.

The Los Angeles Lakers enter today’s game, winning four of their past ten games. When playing at Staples Center, the Lakers are an above .500 team, having gone 11-10. As they take on the Timberwolves at home, the Lakers have a negative home plus-minus of -0.9 points. Overall, the Lakers are ranked 22nd among NBA teams in point differential (2.1). So far, they have played the easiest schedule in the NBA.

For bettors, taking the Los Angeles Lakers to cover the spread has been a losing bet as they have covered in 40.50% of their games. Their season-long plus-minus against the spread is -3.1.

On offense, the team’s leading scorer is SF LeBron James. So far, James is averaging 28.56 points per game while knocking down 2.96 shots from downtown per game. Russell Westbrook has been in charge of cleaning up the glass, hauling in 8.22 boards per game.

An Eye On Pace

Heading into their game vs. Minnesota, the Lakers are the league’s top-ranked team in possessions per game. So far, LA has done an excellent job attacking the basket as they rank 6th in two-point field goal attempts. This style of play has also led to being rated 5th in free-throw attempts. On the other side, Minnesota is more likely to rely on the three-point shot, ranking 1st three-point attempts per contest.

Key Matchups

Even though Minnesota is ranked 14th at 108 points per game, they are not efficient in reaching this output. Through 35 games, the Timberwolves are ranked 27th in field goal percentage. As for the Lakers, their defense has performed better than their average of 112.2 points per game allowed would indicate. When removing their increased number of possessions, the team ranks 11th in defensive efficiency, giving up 108.8 points per 100 possessions.

Key Matchups

In a matchup between two of the league’s best teams, look for defense to be the deciding factor in what should be an exciting game. Through 34 games, Golden State is the top-ranked scoring defense, giving up just 100.9 points per game. Even though Utah is not far behind, ranking 3rd, they give up seven more points per contest.

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The Historicals

Heading into tonight’s game, the Lakers and Timberwolves have met up for two games, with Minnesota going 2-0 thus far.

How the Public is Betting the Lakers vs. Timberwolves

65% are betting the Lakers against the spread.
55% are wagering on the game to go Under the posted total of 224.5

Betting Trends Worth Noting

  • The total has gone OVER in five of Minnesota’s last five games on the road
  • Minnesota is 5-1 ATS in its last six games on the road
  • Minnesota is 5-1 ATS in its last six games on the road

Joe’s Pick To Cover The Spread

Heading into the game, the Minnesota Timberwolves will be without their best player Karl-Anthony Towns, who is in the Health And Safety Protocols. Even though the Lakers will be missing Anthony Davis for an extended period of time, look for Lebron James and Russell Westbrook to take care of business vs. a young Timberwolves roster.

Prop Bets Worth Wagering

Even though I see the Wolves losing this game, look for Anthony Edwards to have a big night scoring the ball. The team will be relying on Edwards as they will be without Karl Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell.