The Los Angeles Lakers (11-24), who are currently riding a six-game losing streak, look to get back in the win column when they travel to Target Center to challenge the Minnesota Timberwolves (23-14). Action gets underway at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, January 1, 2018, and it can be seen on Fox Sports – North.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Odds Preview
The Lakers were beaten by the Houston Rockets in their last outing, 148-142. Julius Randle put together a good performance for Los Angeles, leading the team in scoring with 29 points on 13-for-19 shooting. Houston had a turnover percentage of 8.2 (better than their season average of 13.5). Los Angeles, on the other hand, had an offensive rebounding percentage of 34.1 (above their season average of 24.1).
In the Timberwolves last matchup, they beat the Indiana Pacers, 107-90. Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns played a pivotal role with 18 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks. Minnesota dominated every facet of the game. They had a ridiculously low turnover percentage of 6.7 (better than their season average of 11.7) and a free throw rate of 0.244 (above their season average of 0.228). Indiana put up marks of 14.7 and 0.165, respectively, for those same stats.
Minnesota figures to have the edge on the offensive side of the ball. The Timberwolves rank fourth in offensive efficiency, while the Lakers rank 15th in defensive efficiency. This game should be a matchup of contrasting paces. The fast-paced Lakers rank first in possessions per game, while the more half-court oriented Timberwolves rank 21st.
Both of these teams have a tendency to finish over the O/U total. Games featuring Los Angeles have gone over 55.9 percent of the time, while 55.6 percent of Minnesota games have gone over. The Timberwolves have the better straight up (SU) record (23-14 vs. 11-24), but the Lakers hold the substantial advantage against the spread (ATS) (16-18 vs. 15-19-2).
Jimmy Butler has been solid over the last five games for Minnesota, averaging 27.8 points, 5.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
These teams have already met once this season. The two teams combined for 225 points in that game, which was over the projected point total of 216. The Timberwolves won 121-104, covering as 6.5-point favorites. Minnesota had a much better effective field goal percentage (0.649 vs. 0.489). Los Angeles, meanwhile, had a better turnover percentage (10.6 vs. 14.3). Kyle Kuzma was the top overall scorer in the game with 31 points.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Timberwolves, ATS Winner – Timberwolves, O/U – Over
- The Timberwolves rank fourth in rebounds allowed per game (41.2) while the Lakers rank 27th (45.7).
- Los Angeles ranks ninth in assists per game (23.2) while Minnesota ranks 26th in assists allowed per game (24.3).
- Minnesota averages 14.1 second chance points per game, which ranks seventh in the NBA. Los Angeles ranks 29th in second chance points allowed per game (14.3).
- Los Angeles ranks 19th in three pointers attempted per game (26.9) while Minnesota ranks 27th (23.1).
- Minnesota is 5-12-1 ATS at home, while Los Angeles is 8-8 ATS on the road.
- The Lakers have 8 overs and 8 unders in 16 road games.
- The Timberwolves have 9 overs, 8 unders and 1 push in 18 home games.
- When holding opponents under 100 points, Minnesota is 10-2 and Los Angeles is 5-3.
- When scoring more than 100 points, the Lakers are 11-15 and the Timberwolves are 21-8.
- The Lakers rank fifth in blocks per game (5.3) while the Timberwolves rank 23rd (4.1).
- Minnesota averages 47.8 points in the paint per game, which ranks fourth in the league. Los Angeles ranks 29th in points allowed in the paint per game (50.2).
- The Timberwolves rank fourth in points off turnovers per game (18.6) while the Lakers rank 28th in points off turnovers allowed per game (18.9).
- The Timberwolves rank first in steals allowed per game (6.5) while the Lakers rank 17th (8.0).
- Los Angeles ranks second in fast break points per game (16.1) while Minnesota ranks 25th in fast break points allowed per game (13.3).
- Minnesota is 3-2 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Los Angeles is 1-4 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
- The Timberwolves average margin of victory in their last five games has been 8.0, up from 2.3 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Lakers have scored an average of 108.6 points per game (1.3 above their season average) and allowed an average of 118.8 points per game (7.6 above their season average).