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Timberwolves vs Thunder Predictions: Thunder Force More Turnovers Than Any Team in the League

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published April 14, 2023
11 min read

The Minnesota Timberwolves Oklahoma City Thunder will lock horns Friday night for the chance to secure the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoffs and set up a date with the one-seed Denver Nuggets.

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Timberwolves vs Thunder Predictions

Thunder Team Preview

The Thunder are at least one year, if not more, ahead of schedule. They were supposed to be one of the worst teams in the league and continue to stockpile young assets like Chet Holmgren, who took second in the most recent NBA draft but lost to injury before his regular-season debut. 

The Thunder have a lineup with an average age of 23.1 years, which makes them the youngest team in the league. While that youthfulness leads them to make questionable decisions in certain moments and leave their postseason futures completely up in the air, they have demonstrated a willingness to hustle and play scrappy against every team they come across.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is their out-and-out star and has a chance to make the all-NBA first team in what would be the 24-year-old’s first all-NBA selection. He scored at least 32 points in all three meetings against the Timberwolves this season, though his team only won one time. 

Thunder Key Players & Key Stats

Gilgeous-Alexander, or SGA, is the league’s fourth-leading scorer at 31.4 points per night. Josh Giddey averaged 16.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.2 assists but came up with an enormous 31, nine, and 10 in the 9/10 play-in matchup.

The Thunder are fifth in scoring and force more turnovers than any team in the league. They can also play at a variety of tempos, though they are not that deep and often run into trouble when the second unit is in. 

Thunder Play-In Tournament Path

The Thunder beat the New Orleans Pelicans on the road 123-118 Wednesday night behind 90 points from SGA, Giddey, and Luguentz Dort.

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Timberwolves Team Preview

The Timberwolves could potentially welcome back former three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert for the Thunder matchup now that his suspension, awarded for punching teammate Kyle Anderson during a game, has finished. However, Gobert is suffering from back spasms and is still at risk of missing the game. 

Jaden McDaniels, another key piece in the Timberwolves’ starting five, will be out with a fractured hand that he suffered during the regular-season finale. Taurean Prince filled in admirably in the T’Wolves’ first play-in game against the Los Angele Lakers but could not provide enough of a boost to win outright.

Karl-Anthony Towns was on fire to start the Lakers game but fell into foul trouble and quickly lost his rhythm in the fourth quarter and overtime. Anthony Edwards also had a historically bad shooting night, going just 3-17 from the field and 0-9 from three to finish with just nine points, eight rebounds, and five assists.

Timberwolves Key Players & Key Stats

Town and Edwards average a combined 45.4 points, 13.9 rebounds, and 9.2 assists, and veteran point guard Mike Conley gives them 14.0 points and 5.0 assists. Naz Reid, an important bench contributor, is out for the year with an injury of his own, which means that three of their top contributors (and double-digit scorers) could miss the game. 

Minnesota is a team of what-ifs. They can go through 10-15-minute stretches where they look like an incredible team but then break down into a team that misses defensive assignments, plays lazy offense, and makes ill-advised decisions. Those inconsistencies mean that they are always tough to analyze heading into any matchup. 

Timberwolves Play-In Tournament Path

The T’Wolves lost to the Lakers in overtime 108-102 in Los Angeles in the 7/8 matchup. They only scored 16 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. 

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Odds, Previews, Picks, Best Bets for Timberwolves vs Thunder

The Timberwolves had a better regular-season record, have a better one-two punch, and are favored, but this is a great spot for the Thunder. They are coming off of one of their best performances from their core three as a unit and are facing a Timberwolves team that is depleted and just choked a big lead in overtime.

Minnesota is also only three games over .500 at home. The Thunder have struggled on the road, but they are not walking into a hostile environment, nor one that the home team has dominated. Taking OKC on the spread is the safest bet, but there is reason to believe they can win this game and sneak into the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. 

  • Timberwolves ATS Record: 41-42
  • Thunder ATS Record: 46-34-3

Timberwolves vs Thunder Odds

Odds taken from BetMGM 

TeamSpreadMoneylineTotal

Timberwolves

+5.5 (-110)
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+180
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Over 228.5 (-110)
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Thunder

-5.5 (-110)
BET HERE 

-225
BET HERE 

Under 228.5 (-110)
BET HERE 

Timberwolves vs Thunder Game Pick 

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How to Watch Timberwolves vs Thunder

  • Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
  • Game Time & Date: 9:30 p.m. ET, Friday, April 14
  • TV Network: ESPN
  • Streaming: YouTube TV, Hulu, Sling, etc.
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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

538 Articles

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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