The Denver Nuggets (16-14) will try to lengthen an eight-game home winning streak when they clash with the Minnesota Timberwolves (18-13) at Pepsi Center. The games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 216 points with Denver opening as a 2.5-point favorite. Action gets underway at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 20, 2017, and it can be seen on Altitude Sports & Entertainmnt.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Denver Nuggets Free Preview
The Timberwolves edged the Portland Trail Blazers in their last game, 108-107. Jimmy Butler was the games high scorer with 37 points on 12-for-21 shooting. The Timberwolves made 17 of their 21 free throws (81.0 percent), while the Trail Blazers had a turnover percentage of 16.5 (above their season average of 13.1).
The last time the Nuggets played, they were topped by the Oklahoma City Thunder, 95-94. With 15 points and nine rebounds, Denver’s Trey Lyles played well. Oklahoma City had a better free throw rate (0.123 vs. 0.093). Denver, on the other hand, held the Thunder to an offensive rebounding percentage of 14.0 (below their season average of 27.3).
It could be a sloppy game for the Denver offense. Denver ranks 23rd in the NBA in ball protection (turnover percentage of 15.2 percent), while the pesky defense of Minnesota forces the fourth-most turnovers in the league (15.8 percent). Moreover, the Timberwolves rank fifth in offensive efficiency (109.6), while the Nuggets rank 22nd in defensive efficiency (107.8).
Of Minnesota’s 31 games, 16 have finished over the O/U total, while 16 of Denver’s 30 games have finished under the projected point total. Both teams have respectable straight up (SU) records (18-13 for Minnesota; 16-14 for Denver), but the Nuggets have the advantage against the spread (ATS). Denver is 13-16-1 ATS, while the Timberwolves are 12-17-2.
Both teams have had a player trending in the right direction over their last five games. For the Timberwolves, it’s been Karl-Anthony Towns, who has averaged 25.2 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.6 blocks and 2.4 steals, while the Nuggets have received solid contributions from Gary Harris (19.6 points, 4.6 assists and 1.6 steals).
This is the first time these teams will clash this year, after splitting four games last season. The Timberwolves won the most recent game 112-99. The Timberwolves dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a great free throw rate of 0.279 and a ridiculously low turnover percentage of 6.6. For those same stats, the Nuggets were 0.128 and 12.1, respectively.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Denver Nuggets Betting Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Timberwolves, ATS Winner – Timberwolves, O/U – Over
- The Timberwolves rank first in steals allowed per game (6.6) while the Nuggets rank 19th (8.1).
- Denver ranks first in second chance points per game (15.6) while Minnesota ranks 14th in second chance points allowed per game (12.2).
- Denver ranks fifth in fast break points per game (14.8) while Minnesota ranks 23rd (9.2).
- Denver ranks fifth in rebounds allowed per game (41.3) while Minnesota ranks sixth (41.3).
- Denver is 8-5 ATS at home, while Minnesota is 7-6-1 ATS on the road.
- The total has gone under in 7 of the Nuggets’ 13 home games, while 8 of the Timberwolves’ 14 road games have gone over.
- When allowing below 100 points, Minnesota is 9-2 and Denver is 7-2.
- The Timberwolves are 16-8 when they score over 100 points, while the Nuggets are 14-8.
- The Nuggets rank seventh in assists per game (23.4) while the Timberwolves rank 25th in assists allowed per game (24.5).
- Minnesota ranks sixth in points off turnovers per game (18.5) while Denver ranks 29th in points off turnovers allowed per game (20.1).
- The Nuggets rank ninth in three pointers attempted per game (30.6) while the Timberwolves rank 28th (22.8).
- The Nuggets rank 19th in blocks per game (4.5) while the Timberwolves rank 25th (3.9).
- Minnesota ranks fifth in points in the paint per game (47.3) while Denver ranks 24th in points allowed in the paint per game (46.7).
- Denver is 3-1-1 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Minnesota is 1-4 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
- The Nuggets average margin of victory in their last five games has been 1.6, up from 0.3 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Timberwolves have scored an average of 108.4 points per game (0.8 above their season average) and allowed an average of 104.2 points per game (2.2 below their season average).