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The Minnesota Timberwolves will remain at the PHX Arena on Friday night to take on the Phoenix Suns in a Western Conference matchup. This will be the second game of a back-to-back as these teams faced off on Thursday night as well. This will also be the final time that these teams will play against one another this season. The Minnesota Timberwolves are 15th in the Western Conference with a 9-31 record and are coming off a 137-121 road loss on Tuesday to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Phoenix Suns are second in the Western Conference with a 26-12 record. They are coming off a Monday win over the Memphis Grizzlies 122-99.
These teams are comparable on the offensive side of the floor so it will be interesting to see which defense will be able to step up. Let’s take a deeper dive into the matchup to decide where we should be placing our wagers. PUBLISHED BEFORE FIRST GAME
KAT Needs to Dominate
The Timberwolves have been depending on center Karl-Anthony Towns to carry the offensive load this season. He is averaging 22.2 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.7 blocks, and 0.9 steals in 33.1 minutes per game. He is continuing to improve his shooting as he is 49.5 percent from the floor, 34.9 percent from beyond the arc, and 87 percent from the free-throw line. In the game against the Lakers, Towns played 35 minutes and finished with 29 points, six rebounds, seven assists, and a pair of blocks, a steal, and four turnovers. Towns needs to be more effective than he did in this game if the Timberwolves want to win here.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have been one of the worst defensive teams this season as they are the 28th-ranked defense by giving up 117.3 points per game. In their last game against the Los Angeles Lakers, they allowed 137 points on 50-of-87 (57.5 percent) from the floor, 13-of-26 (50 percent) from deep, and 28 free-throw attempts. They need to limit the number of open shots against them, they will be in a better spot.
D-Book Isn’t Fully Written Yet
The Phoenix Suns have had a big start to the regular season and shooting guard Devin Booker has been leading the scoring. He is averaging 25.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 0.8 steals in 33.9 minutes of action. He is shooting pretty well as he is 49.8 percent from the floor, 36.3 percent from deep, and 84.6 percent from the charity stripe. In his last game against the Grizzlies, Booker played 30 minutes and finished with 27 points, four rebounds, and five assists. If he can replicate this performance, the Suns will be thrilled.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) March 19, 2021
The Phoenix Suns have been a good defense to begin the year as they are the fourth-ranked team by giving up 107.6 points per game. In their last game against the Memphis Grizzlies, they gave up 99 points on 38-of-87 (43.7 percent) from the field, 5-of-23 (21.7 percent) from beyond the arc, and 26 opportunities at the free-throw line. If they can defend the three as well as they did here, not many teams will beat them.
- Phoenix: 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 0 days rest
- Phoenix: 36-15 ATS in their last 51 games
- Minnesota: 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games
- Minnesota: 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
There is a bit of a difference between these two teams on the offensive side of the ball. The Timberwolves are 23rd in the NBA with 109.4 points per game while the Suns are 11th in the NBA with 114.1 points per game. Effective field goal against is another great stat to look at. Minnesota is 21st with 54.4 percent while Phoenix is sixth with 52.4 percent. The Timberwolves are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games while the Suns are 8-2 ATS in the same stretch of games. The numbers and trends are all pointing towards the Phoenix Suns covering the spread in this game.
Want another opinion on this pick?
Full-Game Total Pick
Looking at the totals in the last handful of games can tell us a lot about where we should be leaning. The Timberwolves are averaging 241.4 total points per game in their last five games and the Suns are averaging 227.6 total points in the same stretch. The over has hit in the last five Timberwolves road games while the Suns had the over hit in 11 of their last 16 games. All in all, go with the OVER in this matchup.