Minnesota Timberwolves (42-40) at Los Angeles Lakers (43-39)
Game Info: Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at 10:00 p.m. EST (crypto.com Arena)
Betting Odds: Lakers (-8) / Over/Under (231.5)
Pick: Timberwolves (+8)
The Playoffs are finally here and we will dive right into one of the first matchups between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers inside of crypto.com Arena.
Minnesota will be shorthanded heading into Tuesday night's game, but they will still have their big guns to contest with the Lakers. After the scuffle on the bench between Rudy Gobert and Kyle Anderson a few nights ago, the Timberwolves had no other option but to suspend Gobert. Although I am sure they may have been hesitant to do so, it would have looked horrible on them as an organization if they allowed him to step foot back into the lineup the next game. The Timberwolves will look to Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns to keep them above water come tipoff. Last time out, they were able to combine for 56 points and 21 rebounds against the New Orleans Pelicans in their final regular season game. If the star-studded duo can replicate that in Los Angeles, this game may end up being closer than the books are expecting it to be.
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Although at the beginning of the season, the Lakers would not have been satisfied with having to play in a Play-In game to punch their ticket into the Playoffs, having seen their horrid start to the season, they will be thrilled to have a chance at anything involving Postseason play. Finally playing with a roster that is healthier than they have been all year long, Los Angeles will love their chances in handing the Timberwolves a loss. For sure, LeBron James and Anthony Davis will handle the bulk of the work down the stretch in crunch time for the Lakers, but the fact that they can rely on Austin Reaves and D'Angelo Russell nowadays to pour in consistent buckets will play a huge role in whether they can go on a run in the Playoffs. In a matchup against a familiar foe inside the Western Conference, we shall see if the Lakers can take advantage of the short-handed Timberwolves roster.
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- The Lakers are 1-3 ATS in their last 4 games
- Los Angeles is 22-30-1 ATS when playing on 1 day of rest
- Minnesota is 24-19 ATS when playing as the underdog
Rudy Gobert is a force inside and will be missed a bit in this game...but I believe this line is an overreaction to the announcement that he will be out. Yes, Minnesota did trade an enormous package for him over the offseason, but in my eyes, he is not as dominant of a player as people make him to be. Covering an 8-point spread against a squad that has two players that can put in 30+ points in any game is a lot to ask and I expect the Lakers to not be able to do that. Give me Edwards and Towns to make enough baskets down the stretch to keep this number within range!
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