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It’s a battle of Western Conference teams looking to climb back into the playoff picture in the Twin Cities. The New Orleans Pelicans are on the road as they travel to face the Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday night. New Orleans comes in off a 140-124 home win over Cleveland Wednesday night in their last contest. Minnesota was in action at home against the Mavericks Friday night. The Pelicans own a 30-26 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the teams but the Timberwolves have won five of the last six matchups. This season, the teams split two meetings with the Pelicans taking a 123-114 home win in the last matchup on December 31, 2018.
New Orleans Pelicans Looking to Earn Fourth Straight Win
New Orleans won their third game in a row as they beat Cleveland for the second time in four days. The Pelicans entered Friday 12th in the Western Conference, three games behind the Lakers for the final playoff spot. New Orleans trailed 38-25 after the opening quarter of play but piled up 115 points in the final three quarters to get the win. The Pelicans shot 54.8 percent from the field, including 12 of 29 from three point range, and drained 36 of 39 free throw attempts. Anthony Davis led the team with 38 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and four blocks in the win. New Orleans is 12-9 ATS on the road this season while the under is 13-8 in those games.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) January 10, 2019
The Pelicans are 2nd in the league in scoring offense with 117.2 points per game. The Pelicans are 7th in rebounding with 46.8 boards per game while ranking 4th with 27 assists per contest. New Orleans is 26th in scoring defense as they give up 114.8 points per contest. Nikola Mirotic is fourth on the team with 17.3 points plus nine rebounds per contest this season. Anthony Davis contributes a team high 28.9 points, 13.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.68 blocks and 1.78 steals per contest. Julius Randle puts up 19.8 points plus 9.3 rebounds and E’Twaun Moore adds 13.1 points per game. Jrue Holiday (20.7 points, 8.3 assists, 1.71 steals) and Elfrid Payton (11.1 points, 5.5 assists) are also solid scoring options. Darius Miller, Solomon Hill, Ian Clark, Jahlil Okafor and Tim Frazier each are important role players for the Pelicans’ rotation. New Orleans is 2nd in field goal percentage shooting 48.2 percent from the floor. The Pelicans are tied for 21st with 10.1 made threes per game and stand 9th in the league by converting 35.8 percent from long range this season.
Minnesota Timberwolves Shooting to Return to .500
Minnesota was in action at home as they hosted the Mavericks Friday night. The Timberwolves entered Friday 10th in the Western Conference, 2.5 games behind the Lakers for the final playoff spot. Minnesota is 1-3 in the second game of back to back situations this season. The Timberwolves average 117.5 points per game in those situations, which is better than their season average of 111.6 points a night. Minnesota struggles on the defensive end of the floor in those games, allowing 119.8 points a game, which is far worse than their season mark of 111 points per contest.
a former MVP and currently 46% three-point shooter left unguarded…
You hate to see it. 🌹 pic.twitter.com/GBUvFQ97Ko
— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) January 12, 2019
The Timberwolves come into this game 14th in scoring with 111.6 points a game. Minnesota is 20th in rebounding with 44.4 boards a night and 13th in assists by dishing out 24.6 dimes per contest. The Timberwolves are 18th in scoring defense as they allow 111 points per game. Karl-Anthony Towns puts up a team leading 22.1 points plus 12.3 rebounds per game, Jeff Teague adds 12 points along with 8.4 assists per contest and Andrew Wiggins chips in 17.9 points per night. Derrick Rose (18.9 points, 4.8 assists) and Taj Gibson (10.5 points, 6.8 boards) are off to strong starts for Minnesota. Robert Covington (13.3 points, 5.5 boards), Gorgui Dieng, Dario Saric (10.7 points, 5.8 rebounds), Josh Okogie, Tyus Jones and Anthony Tolliver are going to be looked to for crucial minutes for Minnesota to have success. The Timberwolves are tied for 21st in the league in field goal percentage as the team shoots 45.1 percent from the floor. Minnesota is 20th in the league in threes with 10.2 per game and is 11th in the league in three point shooting as they’ve hit 35.6 percent of their attempts from downtown. Covington is out for an extended period with a bone bruise in his ankle while Rose is questionable after missing time with an ankle sprain.
- Timberwolves are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
- Timberwolves are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games
- Pelicans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games
- Pelicans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Sure, the Timberwolves are playing the second game of a back to back here while the Pelicans have had a couple days off to recover. With that in mind, you have to remember how much New Orleans has struggled on the road this season and the fact that they are deficient on the defensive end of the floor. Minnesota is missing key pieces like Covington but playing at home works in their favor. Look for Towns and Wiggins to carry the load and lead the Timberwolves to victory here.
Prediction: Minnesota Timberwolves -2
Full-Game Total Pick
We have a couple of teams with plenty of offensive capability on the floor here. New Orleans has to prove that they can beat semi-decent teams on the road if they want to push back into the playoff picture in a crowded Western Conference race. Minnesota is in a similar situation as they need to leapfrog some teams to get back into playoff position. The problem for both teams is there are 14 teams vying for eight spots in the West. Can either of these teams find a way to make a move back up the standings?
The over is 4-0 in the Pelicans’ last 4 road games, 8-1 in their last 9 vs. a team with a losing straight up record, 4-1 in their last 5 games playing on 2 days rest and 4-1 in their last five overall. Minnesota has seen the over go 4-0 in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400, 11-1 in their last 12 overall and 6-1 in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. The teams have gone over the total in 10 of the last 13 meetings: look for this one to follow suit in a game where defense seems optional.
Prediction: Over 234.5