The Cleveland Cavaliers (26-13) head to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves (25-16) in what should be a high-scoring game. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 220 points with Cleveland set as a 1-point favorite. Action gets underway at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, January 8, 2018, and it can be seen on Fox Sports – Ohio.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ATS Preview
The Cavaliers defeated the Orlando Magic in their last game, 131-127. LeBron James was the games high scorer with 33 points on 12-for-23 shooting. Cleveland dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a free throw rate of 0.234 (above their season average of 0.225) and a turnover percentage of 13.6 (worse than their season average of 13.0). For those same stats, Orlando was 0.153 and 15.0, respectively.
In the Timberwolves last game, they thoroughly outplayed the New Orleans Pelicans, 116-98. Karl-Anthony Towns played a pivotal role for Minnesota with 21 points and 16 rebounds. Minnesota played a nearly perfect game. They had a solid offensive rebounding percentage of 29.5 (above their season average of 24.5) and a turnover percentage of 8.3 (better than their season average of 11.6). For those same stats, New Orleans was 17.1 and 14.2, respectively.
The high-powered offense of Minnesota will square off against the porous defense of Cleveland. The Timberwolves currently rank fifth in offensive efficiency, while the Cavaliers are 27th in defensive efficiency. The Timberwolves should have the advantage on that end of the court.
Of Cleveland’s 39 games, 20 have finished over the O/U total, while 20 of Minnesota’s 41 games have finished over the O/U total. Both teams have respectable straight up (SU) records (26-13 for Cleveland; 25-16 for Minnesota), but the Timberwolves have the advantage against the spread (ATS). Minnesota is 18-21-2 ATS, while the Cavaliers are 12-26-1.
This is the first time these teams will battle this year. The Cavaliers won both games played against each other last season. In the last game, Cleveland won 116-108. Cleveland had a better offensive rebounding percentage (21.4 vs. 19.0). Minnesota, meanwhile, had a better turnover percentage (8.7 vs. 9.5).
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Odds Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Cavaliers, ATS Winner – Cavaliers, O/U – Under
- The Timberwolves rank second in rebounds allowed per game (41.3) while the Cavaliers rank 16th (43.1).
- Minnesota ranks seventh in second chance points per game (14.0) while Cleveland ranks 16th in second chance points allowed per game (12.4).
- Minnesota averages 47.4 points in the paint per game, which ranks seventh in the league. Cleveland ranks 20th in points allowed in the paint per game (45.5).
- Cleveland averages 10.0 fast break points per game, which ranks 17th in the league. Minnesota ranks 23rd in fast break points allowed per game (13.0).
- Minnesota is 7-12-1 ATS at home, while Cleveland is 9-11 ATS on the road.
- The total has gone under in 11 of the Cavaliers 20 road games, while 10 of the Timberwolves 20 home games have gone under.
- In games where they hold opponents under 100 points, Minnesota is 12-4 and Cleveland is 10-1.
- In games where they reach 100 points, the Cavaliers are 26-8 and the Timberwolves are 23-8.
- The Timberwolves average 18.7 points off turnovers per game, which ranks second in the NBA. The Cavaliers rank 14th in points off turnovers allowed per game (16.1).
- Cleveland ranks third in three pointers attempted per game (32.8) while Minnesota ranks 28th (22.6).
- The Cavaliers average 23.4 assists per game, which ranks seventh in the league. The Timberwolves rank 22nd in assists allowed per game (24.0).
- The Cavaliers rank fourth in blocks allowed per game (4.0) while the Timberwolves rank 10th (4.6).
- Minnesota ranks third in steals per game (9.0) while Cleveland ranks 17th (7.4).
- Minnesota is 3-2 ATS with 5 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Cleveland is 1-4 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
- The Timberwolves average margin of victory in their last five games has been 9.0, up from 2.8 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Cavaliers have scored an average of 108.4 points per game (2.1 below their season average) and allowed an average of 110.4 points per game (2.7 above their season average).