Since trading D’Angelo Russell, the Wolves’ offense — still without KAT — is Anthony Edwards and nothing else. That’s slowing Ant down lately, and our NBA picks expect the Clippers to have similar success.
The Los Angeles Clippers host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night and the big question is, will the Clippers remember how to play defense before the ball is tipped off in this Western Conference matchup?
The Clippers have surrendered a combined 310 points in their last two games and while both those games went to overtime, that number is still staggering. Can they get back on track against a Wolves team having trouble getting buckets at the moment?
I break down this West showdown and bring you my best bet in my NBA picks and predictions for the Timberwolves vs. Clippers.
Timberwolves vs Clippers best odds
Timberwolves vs Clippers picks and predictions
Take away the overtimes and they’ve surrendered 120, 153, and 124 points in three of their last four games. They know they’ll have to be better at that end of the floor if they want to be among the contenders in the Western Conference when all is said and done this season.
Despite the struggles, the Clippers should be happy to return home, where they rank 10th in defensive efficiency and fourth in scoring defense. They’ll also be happy to see the Timberwolves.
Karl Anthony-Towns is still injured and outside of Anthony Edwards, it has been really difficult for the Wolves to get buckets on a consistent basis.
Minnesota enters this game as losers of three in a row and four of its last five. The Wolves’ lone win in that stretch came against a defensively impaired Mavericks team. In those four losses, they are averaging 107.5 points per game on 45% shooting and played some more bad defensive teams in that stretch.
Edwards is having a great season, but there might be a little too much on his shoulders at the moment. His point total for this one is set at 28.5 but he’s averaging just 24 points over his last 10 games on 43.3% shooting, including 29.4% from three.
He’s also struggled against the Clippers this season. L.A. held him to 19 points on 6-for-14 shooting on Dec. 14, and while he left the Jan. 6 matchup early, Edwards was just 2-for-7 from the floor for five points in 22 minutes of action.
The Clippers know if you shut down Edwards, you likely win this game. I’m taking the Under on his point total tonight — a number he’s landed below six times in the last 10 games.
My best bet: Anthony Edwards Under 28.5 points (-122)
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Timberwolves vs Clippers spread analysis
Heading into tonight’s matchup, the Clippers sit in fifth place in the West while the Timberwolves are in ninth. Only two games separate the two teams, so every game matters.
That said, oddsmakers are giving the Clippers a moderate edge here. L.A. opened this matchup as 6-point chalk at home and it has seen the early action, moving to Clippers -6.5.
Returning home, the Clippers feel like the right side here despite their recent struggles on defense. As noted, they pick up their play at that end of the floor when at home. And while the defense has been a problem, the offense hasn’t.
Kawhi Leonard is on fire, going for 44 and 33 points in his last two games. Kawhi & Co. should be able to attack the Wolves on the perimeter, where they rank 22nd in opponent 3-point shooting percentage.
My only trepidation here is that the Wolves have been scrappy underdogs this season. Minny is a solid 9-6 ATS when getting between 3 and 7 points this season and is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 overall vs. teams with a winning straight-up record.
That, combined with a leaky Clippers defense, is enough for me to stay away from the spread here.
Timberwolves vs Clippers Over/Under analysis
The total of 233 might seem low, when you consider how many points the Clippers are allowing recently, but I am expecting a bounce back at home tonight when it comes to their defensive effort. That is in part because of the matchup.
Once again, Edwards is a great player but he doesn’t have enough support around him at the moment. Over their last four losses, the Wolves are shooting just 45% from the field. The Clippers will focus on taking away Ant in this matchup and slow down the game on offense. They rank 24th in the NBA in pace of play.
The Under has cashed in each of the Wolves’ last three losses and I think we’re getting a bit of an elevated number here so, I’d lean Under on the total.
Timberwolves vs Clippers betting trend to know
The Under is 22-7 in the Clippers’ last 29 home games. Find more NBA betting trends for Timberwolves vs. Clippers.
Timberwolves vs Clippers game info
|Location:||Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA|
|Date:||Tuesday, February 28, 2023|
|Tip-off:||10:00 p.m. ET|