The Minnesota Timberwolves (16-12) will be at home in Target Center when they challenge the Sacramento Kings (9-18). Minnesota opened as a 10-point favorite, while the games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 203 points. Action starts at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 14, 2017, and it can be seen on NBC Sports – California.
Sacramento Kings at Minnesota Timberwolves Free Preview
The last time the Kings played, they defeated the Phoenix Suns, 99-92. With 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists, Sacramento’s Zach Randolph put together a solid game. Sacramento dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a free throw rate of 0.180 (above their season average of 0.147) and a turnover percentage of 8.4 (better than their season average of 13.5). Phoenix was 0.122 and 11.1, respectively, for those same stats.
The Timberwolves are hoping for a better outcome after their 118-112 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in their last outing. With 19 points and 16 rebounds, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns played well. Philadelphia did an excellent job of getting to and converting from the free throw line (27-32; 84.4 percent). Minnesota, meanwhile, forced the 76ers into a turnover percentage of 20.3 (above their season average of 14.7).
The prolific offense of Minnesota (fifth in the league with an offensive efficiency of 109.1) will face off against the bottom-tier defense of Sacramento (28th in the league with a defensive efficiency of 109.2). The Timberwolves should have the edge on that side of the ball. Also, the Kings rank 29th in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.149), while the Timberwolves rank third in opponents FTA rate (0.169).
Of Sacramento’s 27 games, 13 have finished over the O/U total, while 14 of Minnesota’s 28 games have finished over the projected point total. The Timberwolves have the superior straight up (SU) record (16-12 vs. 9-18), but the Kings hold the sizable advantage against the spread (ATS) (12-12-3 vs. 11-15-2).
Both teams have had a player trending in the right direction over their last five games. For the Kings, it’s been Randolph, who has averaged 23.8 points and 10.8 rebounds, while the Timberwolves have received great contributions from Jimmy Butler (25.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.0 steals).
This is the first time these teams will clash this year. The Kings won three out of four games played against each other last season. In the last contest, Sacramento won 123-117. Sacramento’s effective field goal percentage was its biggest advantage over Minnesota. The Kings had a rate of 0.635 while the Timberwolves posted a mark of 0.500.
Sacramento Kings vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Betting Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Timberwolves, ATS Winner – Timberwolves, O/U – Under
- The Kings rank fourth in blocks allowed per game (4.0) while the Timberwolves rank 17th (5.0).
- Minnesota ranks 17th in three pointers allowed per game (29.3) while Sacramento ranks 25th (31.5).
- Sacramento ranks 13th in fast break points allowed per game (10.9) while Minnesota ranks 25th (13.4).
- Sacramento is 5-7-3 ATS on the road, while Minnesota is 4-9-1 ATS at home.
- The total has gone under in 7 of the Timberwolves 14 home games, while 8 of the Kings 15 road games have gone over.
- Sacramento is 4-2 when they allow under 100 points, while Minnesota is 8-2.
- The Timberwolves are 14-7 when they reach the century mark, while the Kings are 5-4.
- The Timberwolves rank 15th in assists per game (22.6) while the Kings rank 27th (20.4).
- Minnesota ranks third in rebounds allowed per game (41.0) while Sacramento ranks 20th (43.8).
- The Timberwolves rank third in steals allowed per game (6.8) while the Kings rank 19th (8.1).
- The Timberwolves average 47.1 points in the paint per game, which ranks seventh in the NBA. The Kings rank 13th in points allowed in the paint per game (42.8).
- Minnesota ranks fifth in second chance points per game (14.6) while Sacramento ranks 20th (11.4).
- Minnesota is 1-4 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Sacramento is 4-1 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
- The Timberwolves’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 1.6, up from 0.6 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Kings have scored an average of 100.2 points per game (4.0 above their season average) and allowed an average of 102.6 points per game (2.4 below their season average).