The Timberwolves host the Bulls Sunday night in the second and final meeting between these teams this season. The Bulls won the previous matchup 133-126 in overtime on February 24th in Chicago.
The bulls are looking to bounce back after they lost to the Hawks 120-108 on Friday despite 50 points from Zach LaVine. The Timberwolves are also looking for some momentum as they have lost four of their last five after Friday’s 145-136 overtime loss to the Celtics.
LaVine and Vucevic Need HelpIf the Bulls win and cover as road favorites, they need their role players to step up alongside Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic. Garrett Temple (hamstring) is doubtful to play on Sunday.
The Bulls have gotten consistent play from their best players Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic lately, but they need their secondary scorers to step up for them to win and cover. The Bulls will need players like Thaddeus Young, Coby White, and Tomas Satoransky to be efficient from the field and play better than they did on Friday when the Bulls blew a 13-point halftime lead to the Hawks.
Zach LaVine tonight:— StatMuse (@statmuse) April 10, 2021
50 PTS (career-high)
He joins Jimmy Butler (2x) and Jamal Crawford as the only Bulls players to put up 50 since the Jordan era. pic.twitter.com/H56p41pZfw
The Bulls will also need to limit their turnovers and end their possessions in shots against the poor Timberwolves’ defense that ranks 27th in defensive efficiency (116.4). The Bulls offense ranks seventh in effective field goal percentage, but they are 15th in offensive efficiency because they rank 26th in the NBA with a 15.4% turnover rate. If the Bulls can take care of the basketball, they should have a great shot of winning and covering.
Beasley and Russell Must Step Up for the WolvesIf the Timberwolves cover or pull the upset, they will need at least one of Malik Beasley and/or D’Angelo Russell to step up alongside Karl-Anthony Towns. Jaylen Nowell (tibia contusion) is questionable to play.
The Timberwolves have an elite offensive player with Karl-Anthony Towns, but they will need at least one of Beasley and Russell to have a quality performance to cover against the Bulls. The Timberwolves rank 26th in offensive efficiency and they need one of these two players to step up to provide more spacing for Towns and put more pressure on the Bulls’ defense.
Per Cleaning The Glass, the Timberwolves rank among the five least-accurate teams when shooting at the rim, in the midrange, and from beyond the arc. If Beasley and/or Russell can get hot shooting from the perimeter, the Timberwolves will have a great chance of keeping up with Zach LaVine and the Bulls.
Look at this pass from Karl-Anthony Towns. Sheesh. pic.twitter.com/te3A6issNd— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) April 10, 2021
Beasley and Russell will be important for the Timberwolves, but talented rookies Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels will also give the Timberwolves a big boost if they can shoot efficiently. Both players are incredibly athletic and have a great shooting range, but they each rank among the bottom 38th percentile in points per shot attempt this season.
- Bulls are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games as a favorite.
- Bulls are 24-9 ATS in their last 33 games playing on 1 day’s rest.
- Bulls are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following a straight-up loss.
- Timberwolves are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight-up loss.
- Timberwolves are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog.
- Timberwolves are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a home underdog.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Bulls are the better team, but their poor defense and turnover-prone offense lend value to the home underdogs in this matchup. The Timberwolves are as healthy as they have been with all three of Towns, Beasley, and Russell available, and they have two other scorers who can get hot and score more than 20 points with rookies Edwards and McDaniels. The Bulls simply aren’t good enough to lay this many points on the road, and the Timberwolves should keep this one close enough to cover as they have a great chance of pulling the upset.
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the under as neither team plays much quality defense, but both teams’ offenses are too inefficient to be trusted to carry the final score over the total. The under has hit in six of the last seven Bulls games as favorites while the total has also gone under in four of the last five Timberwolves games against losing teams. Expect these trends to continue on Sunday.