The Phoenix Suns (12-22) will be at home in Talking Stick Resort Arena when they challenge the Minnesota Timberwolves (19-13). The Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 216 points with Minnesota opening as a 7.5-point favorite. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 23, 2017, and it can be seen on Fox Sports – Arizona.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Phoenix Suns Betting Preview
In the Timberwolves last contest, they defeated the Denver Nuggets, 112-104. Karl-Anthony Towns was Minnesota’s high scorer with 25 points on 11-for-16 shooting. Minnesota’s turnover percentage was their largest advantage over Denver. The Timberwolves had a rate of 7.7 (better than their season average of 11.8), while the Nuggets posted a mark of 20.3 (above their season average of 13.6).
The Suns come in on a high note after narrowly defeating the Memphis Grizzlies in their last contest, 97-95. Phoenix received a boost from T.J. Warren, who was the top scorer from either team with 27 points on 9-for-15 shooting. The Suns knocked down 21 of their 27 free throws (77.8 percent) and held the Grizzlies to an effective field goal percentage of 0.461 (below the 0.521 mark opponents have averaged against Phoenix this season).
Contrasting tempos will be on display in this showdown. Phoenix prefers an up-and-down style of play (third in possessions per game), while Minnesota is more half-court-oriented (21st in possessions per game). Additionally, the fifth-ranked offense of the Timberwolves (offensive efficiency of 109.8) will face off against the 27th-ranked defense of the Suns (defensive efficiency of 109.0).
Of Minnesota’s 32 games, 17 have finished over the O/U total, while 17 of Phoenix’s 34 games have finished over the projected point total. The Timberwolves have the superior straight up (SU) record (19-13 vs. 12-22), but the Suns hold the significant advantage against the spread (ATS) (17-16-1 vs. 13-17-2).
Towns has been playing at a high level over the last five games for Minnesota, averaging 24.2 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.8 blocks per game.
These two teams have already met three times this year, with the Suns leading the series two games to one. In the most recent contest, the Timberwolves lost 108-106, unable to cover as 12-point favorites. Towns scored a game-high 28 points and also had 11 rebounds. The two teams combined to put up 214 points, which was just 3.5 points below the projected point total of 217.5 points. The Suns dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had an absurd free throw rate of 0.431 and a ridiculous offensive rebounding percentage of 38.2. For those same stats, the Timberwolves had marks of 0.179 and 20.4, respectively.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Timberwolves, ATS Winner – Suns, O/U – Under
- The Timberwolves rank sixth in rebounds allowed per game (41.3) while the Suns rank 27th (45.7).
- Phoenix averages 13.3 fast break points per game, which ranks eighth in the league. Minnesota ranks 25th in fast break points allowed per game (13.0).
- Minnesota averages 18.6 points off turnovers per game, which ranks fifth in the league. Phoenix ranks 25th in points off turnovers allowed per Phoenix ranks 21st in three pointers attempted per game (25.9) while Minnesota ranks 27th (22.8).
- On the road, Minnesota is 8-6-1 ATS with 9 overs and 6 unders.
- At home, Phoenix is 7-10 ATS with 8 overs, 8 unders and 1 push.
- In games where they hold opponents under 100 points, Phoenix is 4-2 and Minnesota is 9-2.
- The Suns are 9-13 when they reach the century mark, while the Timberwolves are 17-8.
- The Timberwolves rank 11th in assists per game (22.8) while the Suns rank 29th (20.1).
- Minnesota ranks first in steals allowed per game (6.6) while Phoenix ranks 27th (8.6).
- The Timberwolves average 14.5 second chance points per game, which ranks fourth in the league. The Suns rank 28th in second chance points allowed per game (14.1).
- The Suns rank 11th in blocks per game (4.9) while the Timberwolves rank 25th (3.8).
- Minnesota ranks sixth in points in the paint per game (47.4) while Phoenix ranks 27th in points allowed in the paint per game (48.8).
- Phoenix is 4-1 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Minnesota is 2-3 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
- The Suns average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 1.8, down from 7.0 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Timberwolves have scored an average of 111.4 points per game (3.6 above their season average) and allowed an average of 106.6 points per game (0.3 above their season average).