Minnesota Timberwolves (32-32) at Los Angeles Lakers (30-33)
Game Info: Friday, March 3, 2023 at 10:30 p.m. EST (crypto.com Arena)
Betting Odds: Timberwolves (-1.5) / Over/Under (TBD)
Pick: Timberwolves (-1.5)
Let's head out west to check out a Western Conference clash where the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers continue to try and get a foothold on their season as Playoff season comes around.
Minnesota was able to get off the schneid last time out with a statement win against the Los Angeles Clippers. They won't have to travel at all in this one as it will be played in the same arena, so their legs shouldn't be a problem at all even if they have been on the road for a few days now. If you would have told the T-Wolves faithful that 64 games through the season they would be sitting right at the .500 mark, they would surely be massively disappointed... but here they are, putting together another lackluster campaign. Despite this though, there is still all to play for this season as they sit in the 8 hole in the West, only 2.5 games back of the 4-seeded Phoenix Suns. Other than the Denver Nuggets, who have been the surefire best team in the Western Conference for large parts of the season, it is genuinely anyone's for the taking as we gear up for the finish line. Looking at their roster, they sadly do miss Karl-Anthony Towns in a big way. Without him, I fear that they lack the star power to go up against the big dogs around the league. This can surely be proven wrong to me nevertheless, and that can start tonight in L.A. with a crucial win over the Lakers.
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The Lakers have been on a rollercoaster all season long. For every three games that they are healthy, it seems as though the next ten are spent with their superstars on the sideline. This holds in Friday's game, where Lebron James, D'Angelo Russell, and Anthony Davis will all be out. Despite the available roster being a bit different come tipoff here, the Lakers have been on a good run of late, winning 4 out of their last 5 games SU and ATS, with wins over the Mavericks and Thunder on the road in that stretch of games. Looking on the bright side for L.A., if there is one positive to take away regarding James and Davis consistently being out of the lineup, I would say that it allows their role players to see extended minutes on the court, which allows them to gain confidence and grow into their place on the team better. As we were able to see a few nights ago in Oklahoma City, the likes of Dennis Schroder, Austin Reaves, and Troy Brown Jr. were greatly able to showcase their talent in the win, putting in 64 points combined on a stellar shooting percentage.
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- The Timberwolves are 9-5 ATS on the season playing with a rest advantage
- Los Angeles is 15-23-1 ATS on the year when playing on a 1-day rest
- The over has only hit in 13 of 30 games that the Lakers have played at home
This is a tricky game to look at but I see the Timberwolves coming in with a substantial edge in the scoring category. Anthony Edwards rarely has a few bad games in a row, and coming off of a poor 6-18 shooting night last time out against the Clippers, I fully expect him to right the ship here in the same arena. It is highly unlikely to see all of the Lakers' role players ball out as they did against the Thunder in this one. Their shooting percentages will level out and the T-Wolves will leave crypto.com Arena with two wins against both L.A. teams.
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