The Minnesota Timberwolves (17-13) welcome the Portland Trail Blazers (16-13) in a matchup that pits outstanding offense against tremendous defense. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on Monday, December 18, 2017.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Free Preview
The Trail Blazers edged the Charlotte Hornets in their last outing, 93-91. With 18 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds, Portland’s Damian Lillard had a solid outing. Portland’s effective field goal percentage was their largest advantage over Charlotte. The Trail Blazers had a rate of 0.525 (above their season average of 0.497), while the Hornets posted a mark of 0.380 (below their season average of 0.489).
In the Timberwolves last game, they were topped by the Phoenix Suns, 108-106. Karl-Anthony Towns was the top scorer from either team with 28 points on 7-for-17 shooting. Phoenix did a fantastic job of converting from the free throw line (31-35; 88.6 percent). Minnesota, meanwhile, had a turnover percentage of 5.4 (better than their season average of 12.1).
The game should be a showdown of strength against strength as the high-octane offense of Minnesota takes on the stingy defense of Portland. The Timberwolves rank fifth in offensive efficiency, while the Trail Blazers are second in defensive efficiency.
Of Portland’s 29 games, 21 have finished under the O/U total, while 15 of Minnesota’s 30 games have finished over the O/U total. Both teams have respectable straight up (SU) records (16-13 for Portland; 17-13 for Minnesota), but the Trail Blazers have the advantage against the spread (ATS). Portland is 13-13-3 ATS, while the Timberwolves are 12-16-2.
Towns has taken his game to another level recently for Minnesota, averaging 21.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.6 blocks and 2.0 steals over the last five games.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. The Trail Blazers won three out of four games played against each other last season. In the last contest, Portland won 105-98. The Trail Blazers played a nearly perfect game. They had a superb free throw rate of 0.259 and an effective field goal percentage of 0.519. For those same stats, the Timberwolves were 0.207 and 0.460, respectively.
Portland Trail Blazers at Minnesota Timberwolves Odds Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Trail Blazers, ATS Winner – Trail Blazers, O/U – Under
- The Trail Blazers rank seventh in fast break points allowed per game (9.4) while the Timberwolves rank 25th (13.0).
- Minnesota ranks third in second chance points per game (14.8) while Portland ranks 16th (12.0).
- Portland ranks second in three pointers allowed per game (25.4) while Minnesota ranks 17th (29.3).
- Minnesota ranks sixth in points in the paint per game (47.3) while Portland ranks 10th in points allowed in the paint per game (42.1).
- Minnesota is 5-10-1 ATS at home, while Portland is 9-4-1 ATS on the road.
- The total has gone under in 8 of the Timberwolves 16 home games, while 10 of the Trail Blazers 14 road games have gone under.
- Portland is 12-3 when they hold opponents below 100 points, while Minnesota is 9-2.
- When reaching the century mark, the Timberwolves are 15-8 and the Trail Blazers are 12-6.
- The Trail Blazers rank fifth in rebounds per game (45.6) while the Timberwolves rank 20th (42.0).
- Portland ranks first in assists allowed per game (18.2) while Minnesota ranks 26th (24.4).
- The Timberwolves rank fourth in steals per game (9.1) while the Trail Blazers rank 28th (6.4).
- The Timberwolves rank 15th in blocks allowed per game (4.8) while the Trail Blazers rank 25th (5.4).
- Minnesota ranks sixth in points off turnovers per game (18.7) while Portland ranks 27th (14.6).
- Minnesota is 2-3 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Portland is 5-0 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over.
- The Timberwolves average margin of victory in their last five games has been 5.2, up from 1.2 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Trail Blazers have scored an average of 102.2 points per game (0.5 below their season average) and allowed an average of 101.8 points per game (1.3 above their season average).