The Minnesota Timberwolves (24-15) will have their hands full against the NBA’s top scoring defense when they go head-to-head with the Boston Celtics (31-10) at TD Garden. Boston opened as a 4-point favorite, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 206 points. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET on Friday, January 5, 2018.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Boston Celtics ATS Preview
The Timberwolves lost a tough one against the Brooklyn Nets in their last contest, 98-97. Jimmy Butler put together a solid game for Minnesota, leading both teams in scoring with 30 points on 7-for-17 shooting. Brooklyn was lights out from beyond the arc (14-30; 46.7 percent). Minnesota, meanwhile, forced the Nets into a turnover percentage of 19.8 (above their season average of 13.1).
In the Celtics last game, they beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 102-88. Jaylen Brown had a solid performance for Boston, contributing 14 points and eight rebounds. The Celtics held the Cavaliers to an effective field goal percentage of 0.393 (below their season average of 0.554) and had a better offensive rebounding percentage (18.8 vs. 17.3).
Half-court execution will be at a premium when two of the leagues slowest-paced teams square off. Boston currently ranks 23rd in possessions per game (97.3) and Minnesota is 21st (98.0). Additionally, the Timberwolves rank fifth in offensive efficiency (110.6), while the Celtics rank first in defensive efficiency (101.0).
Of Minnesota’s 39 games, 20 have finished over the projected point total, while 21 of Boston’s 41 games have finished under the O/U total. The Celtics come into this game with a clear advantage in both straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records. They are 31-10 SU and 25-14-2 ATS, while the Timberwolves are 24-15 SU and 17-20-2 ATS.
Both teams have had a player trending in the right direction over their last five games. For the Timberwolves, it’s been Butler, who has averaged 27.2 points, 6.8 assists and 2.2 steals, while the Celtics have received solid contributions from Terry Rozier (13.2 points and 5.2 rebounds).
This is the first time these teams will go head-to-head this year. The Celtics won both matchups played against each other last season. In the most recent game, Boston won 117-104. Boston had a much better effective field goal percentage (0.627 vs. 0.484). Minnesota, meanwhile, had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (31.9 vs. 15.6).
Minnesota Timberwolves at Boston Celtics Betting Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Timberwolves, ATS Winner – Timberwolves, O/U – Under
- The Celtics rank third in assists allowed per game (20.1) while the Timberwolves rank 24th (24.1).
- Minnesota ranks third in steals per game (9.0) while Boston ranks 15th (7.6).
- Boston ranks seventh in three pointers attempted per game (31.2) while Minnesota ranks 27th (22.7).
- Boston ranks fifth in second chance points allowed per game (10.8) while Minnesota ranks 10th (11.9).
- Minnesota is 11-8-1 ATS on the road with 11 overs and 9 unders.
- Boston is 12-8-2 ATS at home with 12 overs and 10 unders.
- Boston is 22-1 when they allow under 100 points, while Minnesota is 11-3.
- The Timberwolves are 22-8 when they reach 100 points, while the Celtics are 23-4.
- The Celtics rank fifth in fast break points allowed per game (9.4) while the Timberwolves rank 24th (13.3).
- Minnesota ranks second in points off turnovers per game (19.0) while Boston ranks 28th (14.2).
- The Timberwolves rank fifth in points in the paint per game (47.7) while the Celtics rank 28th (39.4).
- The Celtics rank fourth in blocks allowed per game (4.0) while the Timberwolves rank 10th (4.5).
- Minnesota ranks second in rebounds allowed per game (41.0) while Boston ranks 23rd (43.8).
- Boston is 3-2 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Minnesota is 2-3 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over.
- The Celtics average margin of victory in their last five games has been 4.2, down from 5.2 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Timberwolves have scored an average of 108.4 points per game (0.0 above their season average) and allowed an average of 102.2 points per game (3.5 below their season average).