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The Minnesota Timberwolves (36-16) and Los Angeles Clippers (35-16) will battle for the top spot in the Western Conference when they meet in LA on Monday night.
The T’Wolves have been atop the west for the majority of the season but are just 6-5 over their last 11 games, which allowed a few teams to come within striking distance. The Clippers, on the other hand, have the best record in the league since the middle of November and are 10-2 over their last 12.
Here, we will review the betting odds and share our favorite picks for the Timberwolves vs. Clippers matchup.
The Clippers are favored by 4.5 points at home against the Timberwolves. They’re 20-5 at home, while the Wolves are 17-11 on the road but already beat the Clippers 109-105 at home on Jan. 14.
|Over 222.5 (-110)
|Los Angeles Clippers
|Under 222.5 (-110)
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The Timberwolves are the no-doubt best defensive team in basketball. They allow the fewest points per 100 possessions, the fewest points per game, and hold opponents to the lowest field goal percentage. They have great rim protection with Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns and play airtight perimeter defense thanks to Jaden McDaniels and Anthony Edwards.
Largely thanks to their two seven-footers on the inside, the Wolves also rank sixth in rebound percentage (though they average the fourth-fewest offensive rebounds per game).
If there is a weak point of this Minnesota squad, it's their half-court offense. Edwards has made strides as a playmaker off the bounce but still isn’t a real distributor, and Mike Conley is a great connector but isn’t a huge threat at this stage of his career.
The counterpoint to this is the T’Wolves shoot the second-best three-point percentage (39.4%) in the league, which can bail them out of poor half-court possessions. They also have an all-NBA level player in Edwards who can get hot and go for 40 points in the blink of an eye.
While the Wolves outscore opponents by the third-largest margin per 100 possessions (+6.1), they drop to 10th on the road (+2.7). They’re also 8-8 in their last 16 games against teams above .500 dating back to Dec. 20.
One of the general positives of this team is its consistency. Defense travels and translates, and they’re second in defensive rating and third in net rating (+8.5) over the last 10 games.
The Clippers’ turnaround started after James Harden’s initial ingratiation period. They’re 32-9 and have the third-best net rating (+7.4) since November 17, ahead of the Wolves in sixth.
Tyronn Lue already won a championship with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers, but this might be his best work yet. The Clippers found a way to seamlessly blend the talents of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and James Harden into a cohesive offensive unit that also has a strong defense and cleans the glass effectively.
True to his persona, Kawhi is quietly having one of the best shooting seasons ever. The 32-year-old averages 24.2 points per night on 52.8/45.5/89.1% shooting splits and averaged 27.5 points while making at least 50% of his shots in eight straight games.
The Clippers are only 11th in turnover percentage despite playing with two turnover-prone players in Harden and Russell Westbrook, whereas the Wolves are third-worst in this department.
LA also won’t be outmatched from the three-point line since they currently lead the league in percentage (39.7%) from deep. They’re also 11th in three-point percentage allowed (35.7%), just behind Minnesota’s 35.3%.
The Clips have the fifth-best home net rating (+7.9) in the league and are 8-4 in their last 12 games against teams above .500. It’s also worth noting that Ivicz Zubac did not play in their previous loss to the Wolves.
The Clippers are 28-23 against the spread (54.9%) and 14-11 (56%) at home. The Timberwolves are 26-24-2 (52%) and 13-15 (46.4%) ATS on the road.
The Wolves have been more consistent overall but are facing the hottest team in the league in a building inside of which they’ve been totally dominant. The Clippers also have the offensive firepower Minnesota lacks and can defend the three even if they aren’t as solid as their opponent on the interior.
This game is extremely tough to call because of the level of both teams. We ultimately like the Clippers because of how hot they’ve been recently and because the Wolves have struggled to beat winning teams over the last month and change.
Timberwolves vs. Clippers pick: Clippers -4.5 at BetMGM
When: Monday, Feb. 12, 7:30/10:30 p.m. PT/ET
Where: crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
TV: NBA TV
Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.
In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.More info on Grant Mitchell
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