The Minnesota Timberwolves (16-19), 3.5-point underdogs, will travel to AmericanAirlines Arena to challenge the Miami Heat (17-17). The game’s Over/Under (O/U) opened at 211 points and it can be seen on Fox Sports – Seattle at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 30, 2018.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Miami Heat Betting Odds
The Heat will look to keep it rolling after easily covering the 10.5-point spread against the Cleveland Cavaliers in their last outing, 118-94. The Timberwolves, on the other hand, were beat by the Atlanta Hawks, 123-120, and were not able to cover as 10-point underdogs. Both games went over their projected point totals. The Miami game finished 9 points over the projected point total of 203, while the Minnesota game finished 13.5 points over the projected point total of 229.5.
Miami played a nearly perfect game. They had an extraordinarily low turnover percentage of 6.7 (better than their season average of 12.7) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.582 (above their season average of 0.502). Cleveland put up marks of 13.4 and 0.463, respectively, for those same stats. Minnesota, meanwhile, had a free throw rate of 0.214 (above their season average of 0.213). Miami received a boost from Justise Winslow, who finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Karl-Anthony Towns, meanwhile was a key piece for Minnesota with 31 points, 19 rebounds and five assists.
This series was highly competitive last year. Each won one of the two games played against each other last season. The Heat won the last contest 109-97. Miami made 19 of its 39 three pointers (48.7 percent). Minnesota, meanwhile, had a better turnover percentage (9.5 vs. 13.0). This is the first time these teams will battle this year.
Vegas has typically been fairly accurate when setting the total of Timberwolves games, with 19 unders compared to 16 overs. Minnesota comes into the contest with records of 16-19 straight up (SU) and 18-17 against the spread (ATS).
Of the Heat’s 34 games, 18 have finished over the total. Additionally, Miami owns records of 17-17 SU and 19-14-1 ATS.
Robert Covington has been playing at a high level as of late for Minnesota, averaging 14 points,6.4 rebounds,2.2 steals over the last five games.
Looking at effective field goal percentage, Miami should have a noteworthy edge. The Heat defense ranks fourth in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.503), while the Minnesota offense is ranked 24th in effective field goal percentage (0.507).
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Miami Heat Pick
Prediction: SU Winner – Heat, ATS Winner – Heat, O/U – Over
- The Heat rank 4 in points allowed in the paint per game (42.411764705882355) while the Timberwolves rank 10 (46.74285714285714).
- Miami averages 15.3 second chance points per game, which ranks second in the league. Minnesota ranks 27th in second chance points allowed per game (14.6).
- The Heat average 47.5 rebounds per game, which ranks fifth in the league. The Timberwolves rank 26th in rebounds allowed per game (46.5).
- Minnesota blocks 5.5 opponent shots per game, which ranks ninth in the NBA. Miami ranks 23rd in blocks allowed per game (5.6).
- Minnesota averages 17.37142857142857 points off turnovers per game, which ranks 13 in the NBA. Miami ranks 21 in points off turnovers allowed per game (17.735294117647058).
- The Heat rank second in assists allowed per game (21.6) while the Timberwolves rank 27th (25.7).
- The Timberwolves rank 2 in steals per game (9.17142857142857) while the Heat rank 15 (7.735294117647059).
- Miami ranks seventh in three pointers attempted per game (33.7) while Minnesota ranks 29th in three pointers allowed per game (34.0).
- In games where they hold opponents under 100 points, Miami is 11-1 and Minnesota is 7-0.
- The Timberwolves are 16-13 when they score over 100 points, while the Heat are 15-12.
- Minnesota is 7-10 ATS on the road, while Miami is 8-9-1 ATS at home.
- In 17 road games, the Timberwolves have 11 unders and 6 overs.
- The Heat have 9 overs and 9 unders in 18 home games.
- The Heat are 4-0-1 ATS over their last five games, while the Timberwolves are 2-3.
- In their last five games, Miami has 3 overs and 2 unders, while Minnesota has 5 overs.
- During their last five games, the Heat have scored an average of 106.4 points per game (0.3 below their season average) and allowed an average of 95.4 points per game (10.5 below their season average).
- The Timberwolves’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 1.6, up from 0.1 for the season.