The Minnesota Timberwolves (24-16) will be at home in Target Center when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans (19-18). Minnesota is a 2-point favorite on the opening line, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 218 points. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 6, 2018, and it can be seen on Fox Sports – New Orleans.
New Orleans Pelicans at Minnesota Timberwolves ATS Preview
In the Pelicans last matchup, they defeated the Utah Jazz, 108-98. Anthony Davis was the games leading scorer with 29 points on 11-for-26 shooting. The Pelicans held the Jazz to an offensive rebounding percentage of 14.6 (below the 22.8 mark opponents have averaged against New Orleans this season) and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.585 (above their season average of 0.556).
The Timberwolves are trying to rebound after their 91-84 loss to the Boston Celtics in their last contest. Karl-Anthony Towns was the games high scorer with 25 points on 9-for-16 shooting. Boston had an offensive rebounding percentage of 33.3 (above their season average of 20.6). Minnesota, meanwhile, did an excellent job of getting and making free throws (21-28; 75.0 percent).
Minnesota could have their way on the offensive side of the ball as their high-octane offense faces off against one of the worst defenses in the NBA. The Timberwolves currently rank fifth in offensive efficiency, while New Orleans ranks 23rd in defensive efficiency. Ball protection could be troublesome for the Pelicans. They rank 26th at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 15.2 percent), while the Timberwolves force the third-most turnovers in the NBA (opponents turnover percentage of 15.9 percent).
Of New Orleans 37 games, 22 have finished over the O/U total, while 20 of Minnesota’s 39 games have finished over the O/U total. The Timberwolves hold the clear advantage straight up (SU) (24-16 vs. 19-18), but the Pelicans have the superior against the spread (ATS) record (21-16 vs. 17-20-2).
These two teams have met twice already this season, with the Timberwolves winning both. In the most recent game, Andrew Wiggins scored a game-high 28 points and the Timberwolves defeated the Pelicans 120-102, covering as 6-point underdogs. He also had eight rebounds and five assists. The two teams combined to put up 222 points, which was 7.5 points above the projected point total of 214.5 points. The Timberwolves played a nearly flawless game. They had a free throw rate of 0.210 and an absurd offensive rebounding percentage of 33.3. The Pelicans recorded marks of 0.119 and 19.0, respectively, for those same stats.
New Orleans Pelicans at Minnesota Timberwolves Odds Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Pelicans, ATS Winner – Pelicans, O/U – Under
- The Pelicans rank second in points in the paint per game (50.4) while the Timberwolves rank 21st in points allowed in the paint per game (45.5).
- New Orleans ranks ninth in fast break points per game (13.0) while Minnesota ranks 23rd in fast break points allowed per game (13.1).
- Minnesota averages 14.1 second chance points per game, which ranks seventh in the league. New Orleans ranks 22nd in second chance points allowed per game (13.1).
- Minnesota is 6-12-1 ATS at home, while New Orleans is 12-7 ATS on the road.
- The total has gone over in 10 of the Pelicans 19 road games, while 9 of the Timberwolves 19 home games have gone over.
- New Orleans is 7-0 when they allow under 100 points, while Minnesota is 11-4.
- The Timberwolves are 22-8 when they reach the century mark, while the Pelicans are 17-13.
- The Pelicans rank 14th in three pointers attempted per game (29.6) while the Timberwolves rank 28th (22.7).
- Minnesota ranks first in steals allowed per game (6.6) while New Orleans ranks 25th (8.8).
- The Timberwolves average 18.7 points off turnovers per game, which ranks second in the NBA. The Pelicans rank 24th in points off turnovers allowed per game (18.4).
- The Timberwolves rank fourth in rebounds allowed per game (41.4) while the Pelicans rank 16th (43.3).
- New Orleans ranks second in assists per game (26.6) while Minnesota ranks 23rd in assists allowed per game (24.1).
- Minnesota is 2-3 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, New Orleans is 3-2 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
- The Timberwolves average margin of victory in their last five games has been 4.2, up from 2.4 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Pelicans have scored an average of 113.6 points per game (2.5 above their season average) and allowed an average of 107.6 points per game (3.3 below their season average).