Minnesota Tries to Stop Their Skid

The Timberwolves had one of the more surprising starts to the season, going 3-1 behind what looked like a revamped defensive effort. It’s been a dose of reality lately, though, as Minnesota comes into Friday night’s NBA game on a three-game losing streak. 

The meeting with the Clippers is a rematch of L.A.’s dominant 126-115 win on Wednesday. LAC easily covered the -2.5 betting spread, but both Bovada and BetOnline have held firm, keeping that the same line for Friday’s contest. Totals betting in the last game also went well over the 213.5 number, but that’s up just a point to 214.5.

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Clippers Turning Things Around – Or Not?

LAC had a very different start to the season than Minnesota, starting off the year 1-4. Some of those were pretty ugly, too, like a 92-79 home loss to Cleveland with the betting lines favoring L.A by 8 points. 

L.A. looks like they’re turning things around with a two-game win streak, but one of those was a 99-94 victory at home over lowly Oklahoma City when the betting spread favored the Clippers by a whopping -12.5 points. The 11 point win over Minnesota on Wednesday was impressive, but sportsbooks still aren’t convinced while not raising the spread for Friday’s rematch. 

Paul George led the way in Wednesday’s win with 32 points on 11-18 shooting. George has now gone for 32+ in three straight games, numbers which should continue even though Minnesota has improved to a top 10 defensive efficiency team, although it is still very early in the season. 

George also had plenty of help on Wednesday, and it looks like the Clippers are the deeper team even with Kawhi Leonard possibly out for the entire season (knee). Reggie Jackson had 29 points, but it’s tough to expect another 7-9 shooting night from three-point range, while Nicolas Batum also added 20.

Minnesota Needs Better Defense

The Timberwolves pulled within five points late in the third quarter in Wednesday’s loss to the Clippers, impressive considering LAC shot 60% from the floor in that game, including 58% from three (58%) while also hitting 11 of their 12 free throws. 

Minnesota was also playing with D’Angelo Russell (14.9 ppg), who suffered an ankle injury in Monday’s 115-97 loss to Orlando in which the Timberwolves were -8 point home favorites. Russell is questionable for Friday’s rematch with the Clippers. 

Anthony Edwards had a huge game for Minnesota on Wednesday night with 28 points on 11 of 21 shooting. It was the fourth time in the last five games Edwards went over 24 points. Patrick Beverley also had a solid line of 10/10/8 from the P.G. spot. 

If Minnesota wants to cover Friday’s +2.5 betting spread, it’s obvious they need more from big man Karl-Anthony Towns, who had just 18 points and 11 rebounds in Wednesday’s loss. That’s unacceptable production considering the Clippers are without post players Marcus Morris (knee) and Serge Ibaka (back).

Clippers at Timberwolves Pick

It is strange that there’s been no movement in the betting odds even after the Clippers dominated in Wednesday’s performance. LAC has won two in a row, but one of those was also squeaking out a victory over the Thunder. 

One thing to note about Wednesday’s win for L.A. is that they were absolutely on fire, and it’s hard to bank on another 58% shooting from three-point range in Friday’s match. The fact that the betting lines haven’t jumped to LAC -4 or higher means sportsbooks are banking on the public to hammer the Clippers. If you are going to bet online, take the Timberwolves!

Pick: Timberwolves +2.5

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