The Minnesota Timberwolves (34-22) head to Cleveland to play the Cavaliers (30-22) in what should be a high-scoring game. Minnesota opened as a 2-point favorite, while the games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 221 points. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Odds Preview
The Timberwolves beat the New Orleans Pelicans in their last contest, 118-107. Jimmy Butler was Minnesota’s leading scorer with 30 points on 11-for-21 shooting. The Timberwolves held the Pelicans to an effective field goal percentage of 0.455 (below their season average of 0.549) and had a better turnover percentage (10.5 vs. 10.7).
In the Cavaliers last game, they were defeated by the Orlando Magic, 116-98. LeBron James was Cleveland’s high scorer with 25 points on 10-for-17 shooting. Orlando’s 31.6 offensive rebounding percentage was their biggest advantage over Cleveland, who had a mark of 19.1. The Magic’s mark was above their season average of 20.5, while the Cavaliers was below the 25.1 mark opponents have averaged against Orlando this season.
The high-powered offense of Cleveland will battle against the porous defense of Minnesota. The Cavaliers rank fifth in offensive efficiency, while the Timberwolves are 24th in defensive efficiency. The Cavaliers should have the advantage on that end of the court. Ball protection should be an advantage for the Timberwolves. They rank 1st at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 12.1 percent), while the Cavaliers force the fifth-fewest turnovers in the NBA (opponents turnover percentage of 13.2 percent).
Of Minnesota’s 56 games, 28 have finished over the projected point total, while 26 of Cleveland’s 51 games have finished over the O/U total. Both teams have solid straight up (SU) records (34-22 for Minnesota; 30-22 for Cleveland), but the Timberwolves have the advantage against the spread (ATS). Minnesota is 28-25-3 ATS, while the Cavaliers are 14-36-1.
Isaiah Thomas has been playing at a high level over the last five games for Cleveland, averaging 14.0 points and 5.2 assists per game.
These teams have already met once this season. In that game, the two teams combined for 226 points, just over the projected point total of 223. The Timberwolves won 127-99, covering as 1-point favorites. The Timberwolves dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a phenomenally low turnover percentage of 4.4 and an absurd offensive rebounding percentage of 34.1. The Cavaliers had marks of 12.5 and 16.3, respectively, for those same stats. Karl-Anthony Towns recorded a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction
Free NBA Tip: SU Winner – Timberwolves, ATS Winner – Timberwolves, O/U – Under
- The Timberwolves rank third in steals per game (8.9) while the Cavaliers rank 22nd (7.1).
- Minnesota averages 18.5 points off turnovers per game, which ranks fourth in the NBA. Cleveland ranks 18th in points off turnovers allowed per game (16.9).
- Minnesota ranks fourth in rebounds allowed per game (41.4) while Cleveland ranks 22nd (44.5).
- Cleveland ranks fifth in blocks allowed per game (4.2) while Minnesota ranks 11th (4.7).
- Minnesota is 13-13-2 ATS on the road, while Cleveland is 5-20-1 ATS at home.
- The Timberwolves have 14 overs and 14 unders in 28 road games.
- In 26 home games, the Cavaliers have 13 overs, 12 unders and 1 push.
- When allowing below 100 points, Minnesota is 16-4 and Cleveland is 11-2.
- The Cavaliers are 29-12 when they score above 100 points, while the Timberwolves are 32-13.
- The Timberwolves rank 14th in assists per game (22.7) while the Cavaliers rank last in assists allowed per game (26.0).
- Cleveland ranks third in three pointers attempted per game (32.7) while Minnesota ranks 29th (21.9).
- The Timberwolves average 48.3 points in the paint per game, which ranks fourth in the league. The Cavaliers rank 28th in points allowed in the paint per game (47.7).
- The Cavaliers average 11.4 fast break points per game, which ranks 14th in the league. The Timberwolves rank 23rd in fast break points allowed per game (13.2).
- Minnesota ranks second in second chance points per game (14.5) while Cleveland ranks 22nd (11.3).
- Cleveland is 2-3 ATS with 2 overs, 2 unders and 1 push in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Minnesota is 4-1 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over.
- The Cavaliers average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 8.4, up from 0.7 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Timberwolves have scored an average of 108.2 points per game (0.8 below their season average) and allowed an average of 101.4 points per game (4.3 below their season average).