Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#2525 Minnesota Timberwolves vs.
#2526 Sacramento Kings
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 10:05pm EDT
Golden 1 Center, Sacramento
Written by Roberto Arguello

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The Kings host the Timberwolves Tuesday night in the second of three meetings between these teams this season. The Timberwolves won the first matchup 116-106 on April fifth in Minneapolis. This is the first of two consecutive games between these two teams in Sacramento on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Timberwolves are coming off of a 124-105 loss to the Clippers on Sunday while the Kings snapped a nine-game losing streak with their 121-107 upset win over the Mavericks Sunday night.

Towns Leads the Timberwolves

If the Timberwolves cover or pull the upset, they will need D’Angelo Russell to step up alongside Karl-Anthony Towns. Jaylen Nowell (lower leg) is doubtful to play Tuesday while Malik Beasley (hamstring) remains out indefinitely.

The Timberwolves have an elite offensive player with Karl-Anthony Towns, but they will need Russell to have a quality performance to cover against the Kings. The Timberwolves rank 26th in offensive efficiency, and they need Russell to step up as the two other shooters, Beasley and Nowell, who are making more than 37% of their threes besides Towns will both likely be out. Russell scored a team-high 25 points in the Timberwolves’ win over the Kings earlier this season.

Emerging scorers Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels should also have room to slash against this historically poor Kings defense that will have its hands full defending Towns. Both players are incredibly athletic and have a great shooting range, but they each rank among the bottom 35th percentile in points per shot attempt this season.

The Timberwolves will also need Naz Reid to take advantage of smaller Kings defenders when Hassan Whiteside isn’t guarding him and punish them inside as he did on Friday in the upset win over the Heat. Reid’s +21 differential in 21 minutes was a game-high in the Timberwolves’ previous win over the Kings.

Fox Force 5 Finishing at the Rim

If the Kings win and cover as home favorites, they will need De’Aaron Fox to continue playing his best basketball while Buddy Hield steps up from beyond the arc. Richaun Holmes (hamstring) and Marvin Bagley III (hand) remain out on Tuesday.

De’Aaron Fox has been incredible lately as he is averaging a team-leading 25.3 points and 7.2 assists per game. Fox has been playing great basketball as he is averaging over 28 points since the start of March as he has become nearly unstoppable using his elite speed to get into the lane and finish at the rim. Fox is attempting 33% of his shots at the rim this season (which ranks in the 67th percentile among point guards), but he is also converting 69% of his shots at the rim into buckets. This ranks in the 98th percentile among point guards, per Cleaning The Glass, and is a big reason why he leads the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring.

The Kings have several consistent players on offense. Rookie Tyrese Haliburton has been efficient as his 120.0 points per 100 shots ranks in the 76th percentile among wings and his 22.8% assist rate ranks in the 96th percentile. Haliburton’s 43% accuracy on threes ranks in the 91st percentile among wings, per Cleaning The Glass. Richaun Holmes ranks in the 92nd percentile among bigs with 134.8 points per 100 shots as he is nearly an automatic bucket when dunking or using his signature push shot in the lane, and the Kings will miss his absence in the paint.

Sacramento will need players like Harrison Barnes, Hassan Whiteside, and Hield to step up with Holmes and Bagley both out in the frontcourt. Barnes has also been consistent as his 123.5 points per 100 shots rank in the 86th percentile among forwards (per Cleaning The Glass). If he and Hield can contribute with efficient nights from beyond the arc, the Kings should have more than enough firepower to cover. Whiteside’s defense will be key against Towns, and he will need to stay out of foul trouble with limited depth in the frontcourt.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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While the Kings just pulled an impressive upset over the Mavericks, they are still the same team that has the worst defensive rating in the history of the NBA and had lost nine straight games before Sunday. While Fox has been balling lately, take the Timberwolves and the points as the Kings won’t have the bodies in the frontcourt with only Whiteside to contain Towns and Reid (before playing replacement-level players). The Kings will have to pick their poison as Towns and Reid will either dominate dow low or slashers and shooters on the wing like Edwards, Russell, and McDaniels will have a plethora of open looks.

Prediction: Timberwolves +4

Full-Game Total Pick

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With such a huge total and significant injuries on both sides with Beasley, Nowell, and Holmes all likely out, the value is on the under. While betting against both teams isn’t possible on the moneyline, betting against both offenses on the under is the better option if you don’t trust either team to win or cover.

Prediction: Under 237.5
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Written By Roberto Arguello , "Roberto Arguello"

Roberto is a college basketball and NBA sports betting analyst. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners he broadcasted for PGA TOUR LIVE and was the voice of Stanford Football on KZSU 90.1 FM. His sports betting articles have been featured on Sporting News, The Action Network, and BetQL. Roberto enjoys long romantic walks through the fairways and fullback handoffs.