Offense meets defense when the Minnesota Timberwolves (38-27) travel to Utah to take on the Jazz (31-30). The game’s Over/Under (O/U) opened at 210 points with Utah set as a 5.5-point favorite. Action starts at 10:30 p.m. ET on Friday, March 2, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Utah Jazz Free Preview
The Timberwolves were beaten by the Portland Trail Blazers in their last contest, 108-99. Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns had a good game, leading the team in scoring with 34 points on 11-for-19 shooting. Portland had a turnover percentage of 6.9 (better than their season average of 12.2). Minnesota, on the other hand, held the Trail Blazers to an effective field goal percentage of 0.440 (below their season average of 0.512).
In the Jazz’s last game, they were defeated by the Houston Rockets, 96-85. Rudy Gobert led Utah in scoring with 17 points on 7-for-8 shooting. Houston’s turnover percentage was their biggest strength over Utah. The Rockets had a rate of 14.3 (worse than their season average of 12.3), while the Jazz posted a mark of 21.4 (above their season average of 13.0).
Half-court execution will be critical when a pair of the league’s slowest-paced teams battle. Utah ranks 28th in possessions per game (97.1) and Minnesota is 23rd (98.0). Moreover, the Timberwolves rank third in offensive efficiency (112.0), while the Jazz rank fifth in defensive efficiency (104.0).
Of Minnesota’s 64 games with betting action, 35 have finished over the O/U total, while 32 of Utah’s 61 games have finished under the projected point total. The Timberwolves have the superior straight up (SU) record (38-27 vs. 31-30), but the Jazz have the superior against the spread (ATS) record (31-30 vs. 30-31-3).
Jeff Teague has really been playing well over the last five games for Minnesota, averaging 21.6 points, 6.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
These two teams have already met twice this year, with the Timberwolves winning both. In the most recent matchup, Towns recorded 24 points and 13 rebounds and the Timberwolves beat the Jazz 109-98, covering as 3-point favorites. The two teams combined for 207 points, which was just 3 points below the projected point total of 210 points. Minnesota made good use of their 29 trips to the free throw line, making 25 of them (86.2 percent). Utah, on the other hand, was 10-11 (90.9 percent).
Minnesota Timberwolves at Utah Jazz ATS Prediction
Free NBA Tip: SU Winner – Timberwolves, ATS Winner – Timberwolves, O/U – Over
- The Jazz rank second in assists allowed per game (20.3) while the Timberwolves rank 20th (23.8).
- Minnesota averages 18.0 points off turnovers per game, which ranks fourth in the league. Utah ranks 16th in points off turnovers allowed per game (16.3).
- Utah ranks fifth in points allowed in the paint per game (42.2) while Minnesota ranks 20th (45.6).
- Minnesota is 14-16-2 ATS on the road with 17 overs and 15 unders.
- At home, Utah is 16-14 ATS with 19 unders and 11 overs.
- Utah is 20-5 when they hold opponents below 100 points, while Minnesota is 16-4.
- In games where they reach the century mark, the Jazz are 25-11 and the Timberwolves are 36-17.
- The Jazz rank 15th in three pointers attempted per game (29.2) while the Timberwolves rank 29th (22.3).
- Minnesota ranks first in steals allowed per game (6.3) while Utah ranks 24th (8.3).
- The Timberwolves rank third in second chance points per game (14.2) while the Jazz rank 26th (10.6).
- The Timberwolves rank fourth in rebounds allowed per game (41.5) while the Jazz rank seventh (42.2).
- Utah ranks third in fast break points allowed per game (9.5) while Minnesota ranks 23rd (13.0).
- Utah is 0-5 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Minnesota is 2-3 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
- The Jazz have been outscored by an average of 2.2 points in their last five games. For the season, Utah has defeated opponents by an average of 1.3 points.
- During their last five games, the Timberwolves have scored an average of 112.0 points per game (2.2 above their season average) and allowed an average of 108.6 points per game (1.7 above their season average).