Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves both scored 40+ points in a thrilling 123-119 victory over the Phoenix Suns last night. Now, the two teams will do it all over again tonight.
However, the two stars had to log over 36 minutes to get the win; they might be a bit gassed for the second part of this back-to-back set. For some perspective, no member of the Suns played that many minutes last night. Here are the key trends and my predictions to help you find an NBA betting edge for tonight’s action.
NBA Betting Picks and Odds | Timberwolves vs. Suns
Minnesota Timberwolves (10-31) at Phoenix Suns (26-13)
Date: Friday, Mar. 19, 2021
Start Time: 10 p.m. EST
Venue: Phoenix Suns Arena — Phoenix
The Timberwolves will be hard-pressed to repeat their upset win from last night. And the sportsbooks agree since the Suns are double-digit favorites once again. Both of these teams are relatively healthy, and the biggest absence for Minnesota, D’Angelo Russell, should be healthy enough to play again soon, although I suspect that he will get dealt before the deadline.
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Timberwolves vs. Suns Spread Trends and Prediction: Suns -10.5
Despite last night’s loss, the Suns remain the NBA’s best team against the spread at 26-13 on the year, including a 13-8 record at home and a 7-1 record when playing without rest.
In contrast, the Timberwolves have struggled against the spread. Their 18-22 record ranks ninth worst, and they have gone only 9-12-1 against the spread on the road. Edwards’ breakout and Towns’ return from injury may have the on the up-and-up, but the Suns will probably overwhelm them in the second leg of this back-to-back.
That said, my NBA betting model disagrees. It favors Phoenix by only a 5.9-point margin, far below this spread, because of Minnesota’s strong recent play. They rank sixth best in offensive efficiency over the last three games.
I will side with the trends and play Phoenix here. I just don’t think that the Timberwolves are deep enough to cover tonight without rest.
Timberwolves vs. Suns Total Trends and Prediction: Under 232.5
The Suns and Timberwolves may have combined for a whopping 242 points last night, but they totaled only 217 in their first meeting — and that was with both Towns and Edwards on the court.
The trends point to value on the under here. While both of these teams have over percentages above 50%, Phoenix (51.3%) and Minnesota (53.7%) are right around the league average. Minnesota’s rate falls to 45.8% when they play opponents on equal rest. Phoenix’s rate slides in those situations too, although not by quite as much (50%).
Ultimately. it’s the fact that the Suns clamp down after losses that sells me on the under. Their over percentage crashes to just 33.3% following a loss, the fourth-lowest such rate in the league.
My NBA betting model projects these teams to combine for only 220.6 points, too, so I will side with that and the trends and buy the under.
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Timberwolves vs. Suns NBA Betting Spread + Odds Shopping
I like the Suns tonight, and you can buy them as 10.5-point favorites with the best juice at BetMGM. Should you disagree, most books have the Timberwolves as 11-point underdogs at the same juice (-110). Make sure to keep track of changes as tip-off approaches through OddsShopper.
Timberwolves vs. Suns NBA Betting Total + Odds Shopping
The Suns and Timberwolves should stay under this lofty total tonight, and if you agree, you can find the highest-set total at BetMGM and William Hill. It might be worth it to burn a half point for better juice at PointsBet (+100). Should you disagree and favor the over, you can find the lowest-set total at DraftKings Sportsbook.
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