The Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns tip off a two-game series at PHX Arena in Phoenix on Thursday night, so here’s my best betting pick for their Western Conference showdown along with the latest odds update on BetMGM Sportsbook.
The T-Wolves and Suns already met once on the last day of February, and Phoenix thrashed off Minnesota 118-99 as a 10.5-point road fave. This time, the Suns open as 10.5-point home favorites with a total of 228.0 points.
Phoenix misses Cameron Johnson (10.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG) due to the medical protocols. Minnesota is without D’Angelo Russell (19.3 PPG, 5.1 APG), Malik Beasley (20.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG), and Jordan McLaughlin (5.4 PPG, 4.7 APG), while Jarrett Culver (7.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG) is listed as questionable.
The Timberwolves returned to the losing path in LA
The Minnesota Timberwolves (9-31; 17-22-1 ATS) are coming off a 137-121 defeat at the Los Angeles Lakers this past Tuesday, failing to record their second straight win after outlasting the Portland Trail Blazers 114-112 on Sunday.
The shorthanded T-Wolves battled bravely in LA and scored 70 first-half points, but they lacked fuel in the second half and couldn’t cope with the Lakers down the stretch. Karl-Anthony Towns led the way with 29 points, six rebounds, and seven assists, while rookie Anthony Edwards also had 29 points along with four rebounds.
The Timberwolves continue to struggle on the defensive end. They allowed the Lakers to make 57.5% of their field goals and 50.0% of their treys. Minnesota yields 114.6 points per 100 possessions (26th in the NBA) on 47.9% shooting from the field (27th) while scoring only 106.9 points in a return (26th) on 44.3% shooting from the field (27th).
The Suns dismantled Memphis for their sixth win in seven outings
The Phoenix Suns (26-12; 26-12 ATS) had an easy job last Monday, thrashing off the Memphis Grizzlies 122-99 as 7.5-point home favorites. They are 6-1 straight up and ATS over the last seven games at any location, and the Suns hold the No. 2 seed in the West at the moment.
After a tight first half, the Suns dominated the Grizzlies in the third quarter and built a double-digit lead. They shot 56.6% from the field and 40.0% from downtown, while Devin Booker accounted for 27 points and five dimes in just 30 minutes on the floor.
The Suns are playing very well on both sides of the ball, scoring 116.1 points per 100 possessions (8th in the NBA) and yielding 109.5 in a return (6th). They rank second in field goal percentage (48.9%) and seventh in 3-point percentage (38.3%).
- 3-10 ATS in the last 13 games overall
- 1-5 ATS in the last six games on the road
- 1-7 ATS in the last eight tilts against the Pacific Division
- 15-3 ATS in the last 18 games overall
- 10-3 ATS in the last 13 home contests
- 5-1 ATS in the last six games against Minnesota
The Suns have been terrific against the spread lately. They’ve covered in 15 of their last 18 outings including six of the previous seven. Therefore, I’m backing the hosts here even though a double-digit spread is something I always look to avoid.
Simply put, the Suns are a way better team than the injury-depleted Timberwolves. Minnesota certainly possesses a few dangerous weapons offensively, but the T-Wolves’ leaky defense will struggle all night long in Phoenix.
Pick: Take Phoenix Suns -10.5 at -110
Minnesota’s last five games went in the over, producing 240 or more points in total each. On the other side, the over is 3-2 in Phoenix’s last five outings, and three of those five tilts produced fewer than 228 points in total.
This is a tricky wager, as the Timberwolves are pretty unpredictable. Over their last five showings, the T-Wolves have improved, scoring 121 or more points on three occasions, so I’m betting on the over. The Suns shouldn’t have any problems surpassing a 115-point mark in this one, while I’m expecting them to score 120-plus points.
Pick: Go over 228.0 points at -110