The Minnesota Timberwolves (17-42) and the New Orleans Pelicans (26-34), who both like to play fast, will face off at Smoothie King Center. The game will air on Fox Sports – North at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.
The Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 247.5 points with New Orleans set as an 11.5-point favorite over at Pointsbet Sportsbook.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. New Orleans Pelicans Betting Prediction
In the Timberwolves’ last contest, they were thoroughly outplayed by the Dallas Mavericks, 111-91, and failed to cover as 6-point underdogs. The game’s combined points (202) were well under the projected point total of 243.5. Dallas’ 0.128 free throw rate was their biggest strength over Minnesota, who had a mark of 0.061. The Mavericks’ mark was below their season average of 0.204, while the Timberwolves’ was below their season average of 0.212. Minnesota’s Juancho Hernangomez put together a good game, putting up 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The Pelicans were beaten by the Los Angeles Lakers in their last outing, 122-114, despite being 2-point favorites. The total points for the game (236) were just under the O/U total of 236.5. Los Angeles’ effective field goal percentage was their biggest advantage over New Orleans. The Lakers had a rate of 0.582 (above their season average of 0.548), while the Pelicans posted a mark of 0.458 (below their season average of 0.540). With 19 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, Lonzo Ball had a good game for New Orleans.
This will be the second game of the season between these two teams. In the first, Brandon Ingram scored a game-high 34 points and the Pelicans, who were 3-point underdogs, defeated the Timberwolves 107-99. He also put up six rebounds and five assists. The game finished with a total of 206 points, which was 24 points below the projected point total of 230 points. The Pelicans had a better offensive rebounding percentage (26.2 vs. 21.4) and had a better effective field goal percentage (0.523 vs. 0.432).
Minnesota comes into the contest with records of 17-42 straight up (SU) and 20-37-2 against the spread (ATS). Vegas tends to place the total low when the Timberwolves are involved, as 57.6 percent of their games have finished over the total.
Meanwhile, New Orleans is 26-34 SU and 28-28-4 ATS. Games involving the Pelicans also tend to go over the total (55.0 percent).
There should be a fair amount of transition action in this showdown that showcases a pair of the NBA’s more up-tempo teams. New Orleans currently ranks fourth in possessions per game (106.4) and Minnesota is first (107.0).
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. New Orleans Pelicans Odds Pick
Free Pick: ATS Winner – Pelicans, O/U – Over
Minnesota is 14-15-1 ATS on the road with 19 overs and 11 unders.
New Orleans is 14-16 ATS at home with 16 overs and 14 unders.
New Orleans is 3-0 when they allow below 100 points, while Minnesota is 2-1.
In games where they score above 100 points, the Timberwolves are 16-34 and the Pelicans are 26-31.
New Orleans ranks fifth in rebounds per game (46.8) while Minnesota ranks 28th in rebounds allowed per game (47.7).
The Timberwolves average 8.6 steals per game, which ranks third in the NBA. The Pelicans rank 25th in steals allowed per game (8.4).
New Orleans ranks fifth in fast break points per game (17.1) while Minnesota ranks 25th (11.0).
The Pelicans rank third in assists per game (26.8) while the Timberwolves rank 21st (23.7).
New Orleans ranks fifth in second chance points per game (14.2) while Minnesota ranks 22nd in second chance points allowed per game (13.6).
The Pelicans rank 11th in blocks allowed per game (4.7) while the Timberwolves rank 26th (5.6).
Minnesota averages 48.5 points in the paint per game, which ranks 12th in the league. New Orleans ranks 27th in points allowed in the paint per game (53.0).
The Timberwolves average 40.0 three pointers per game, which ranks third in the NBA. The Pelicans rank 15th in three pointers allowed per game (33.7).
Minnesota averages 16.3 points off turnovers per game, which ranks 20th in the league. New Orleans ranks 28th in points off turnovers allowed per game (19.1).
Over its last five games, Minnesota is 2-3 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
New Orleans is 2-3 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over over its last five games.
The Timberwolves’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 11.2, up from 4.3 for the season.
During their last five games, the Pelicans have scored an average of 116.4 points per game (0.6 above their season average) and allowed an average of 112.0 points per game (4.9 below their season average).