7:00 p.m. ET A Three-Pack of Picks for Minnesota at Charlotte (-3.5) O/U: 228.5
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||+3½ (-110)||+140||O 228½ (-110)|
|Charlotte Hornets||-3½ (-110)||-165||U 228½ (-110)|
The 6-19 Timberwolves travel to the Spectrum Center in Charlotte to take on the 12-14 Hornets on Friday night. There was good news and bad news for Minnesota in its last game. The bad news was that the Timberwolves lost 119-112 to the Clippers on Wednesday; the good news was that star center Karl Anthony-Towns returned from a 13-game absence after contracting COVID-19 with an underlying condition. Towns did not miss a beat in his return, scoring 18 points and collecting 10 rebounds.
The Timberwolves will be without point guard D’Angelo Russell, which is a potentially devastating loss because he is averaging 19.3 points and 5.1 assists per game. Malik Beasley is Minnesota’s leading scorer with 20.6 points per game and will need a big night if they hope to pull off the short upset. An underlying storyline for this matchup is the first overall pick in the last NBA draft, Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards, going up against the third overall pick and current Rookie of the Year favorite (-450 according to the latest odds on MyBookie), Charlotte point guard LaMelo Ball. Edwards will get more shots with Russell out of the Minnesota lineup, making his player prop of over 15 points a great bet.
Charlotte is led by offseason acquisition Gordon Hayward, who averages 22.6 points while shooting 50 percent from the field and 42.6 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. Ball, meanwhile, will be making his seventh consecutive start and has been terrific since injuries to others (the latest being to point guard Devonte Graham, who remains questionable for tonight with a groin strain) forced Coach James Borrego’s long overdue hand in making that move. In the last six games as a starter, Ball has averaged 21.7 points, 6.4 assists and 5.4 rebounds while shooting more efficiently from the field overall and especially on 3-point attempts. Ball sometimes will commit ugly turnovers in spurts as a result of trying to do too much, but he has been cutting down on those streaks of late as well.
That brings us to the Timberwolves, who cannot stop anyone from scoring and simply attempt to beat opponents solely by outscoring them on the offensive end of the floor.
Minnesota is competent enough on offense, especially with the return of Anthony-Towns, to make the play of the Over 228 points look solid. If you are looking for a Friday night parlay, the Hornets and the Over are as good as it comes.
*Odds courtesy of MyBookie