Minnesota Timberwolves vs Washington Wizards

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The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Washington Wizards take the floor for Saturday night NBA basketball from Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.. The Wizards are favored by 4-points while the total stands at 235.5-points.

The Timberwolves enter this matchup losers of 6-straight as they fell on the road in overtime versus the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night despite getting 20+ point performances from Karl Anthony-Towns, Anthony Edwards, along with Malik Beasley. The defense was horrible yet again allowing 59% shooting as Zack LaVine torched them for 35 points (5-8 3FG) as the Bulls made 10 of 25 treys on the night. Minnesota failed to cover as 4.5-point dogs and are a dismal 0-6 against the number in their last 6 outings.

The Wizards have certainly picked up some momentum as of late picking up wins in 6 of 7 with their last being a huge, 2-point road victory over a solid Denver Nuggets team Thursday night. The Wizards were able to outlast the Nuggets on the strength of their shooting as a team (48%) in addition to another solid performance from Bradley Beal, who posted 30 or more in 7 of his last 10 shots. Russell Westbrook also recorded a triple-double in the contest, his 4th in 6 outings. Washington was also able to cover as 8-point dogs and have been red-hot ATS going 6-1 in their last 7.

The Wizards have also won 2-straight versus the Timberwolves including picking up a 21-point road victory January 1st. The Wizards have also covered in 4 of their last 5 meetings; However, the Timberwolves have covered the number in 3 of 5 at Capital One Arena.

Beasley out due to suspension

Bad enough that Minnesota’s offense is ranked as one of the worst in the league averaging just 108 points on 43% shooting. But, they received some awful news lately concerning guard Beasley, who pleaded guilty to felony counts of threatening violence in a prior incident that occurred last year. In all, the guard, who is averaging over 20 per game this year, will be out for the next 12 games for the Timberwolves. Combine this with D’Angelo Russell also being on the mend with a leg injury and not due back until late-March, one can expect the offense to struggle even more moving forward.

Anthony-Towns has posted 20 or more in 4 of his last 5 while posting 4 double-doubles during this time. He will certainly be relied upon to somehow lift the Timberwolves from an extended losing streak. Edwards along with Ricky Rubio, who have both been shaky on the offensive end all year, must also step up their play as well if the Timberwolves are to arise from their current slump.

Minnesota must also improve on the defensive mishaps as they enter this matchup allowing 130 points or more in 3 of their last 5 outings. In fact, the Wizards have posted an average of 134 points in their last 2 versus the Timberwolves, including 130 in their blowout win on the 1st of the year. On the other hand, Minnesota’s offense has perked up in recent meetings versus the Wizards averaging 125 points in their last 5 outings.

Wizards enter contest with tons of momentum

Of course, Beal makes the offense for Washington go on a nightly basis as he is currently shooting 48% from the floor. And while the guard has some of the worst numbers of his career from long-range (33%), he has found ways to get his teammates involved as of late posting huge numbers in the assists category (33 in last 5 games). Important to note that Beal has recorded 2 double-doubles in his last 5 starts. However, when speaking of double-doubles/triple-doubles, one should look no further than the play of guard Westbrook.

He posted 16, 10, and 10 versus the Nuggets Thursday night for yet another triple-double on the season despite committing 5 turnovers while shooting 6-17 FG. His play as of late has certainly caught the attention of GM Tommy Sheppard, who spoke to Yahoo Sports after the win concerning whether the guard should remain with the team or be traded at some points.

“I’ve been very impressed with everything Russell’s been about since he arrived,” Sheppard said. “I understand fans and the angst with trades go up and down like the stock market where you judge a trade in a day or you judge a trade in two days. Trades usually take two to three years before you can truly judge them, just like draft picks and everything else. In all, it seems that Sheppard will take some time to see how this team pans out over time.

They are certainly making a case that they can indeed be a decent team at this point winning 7 of 10 overall to bring their record to 6 games below .500 (12-18) while being just 2 games behind the Atlanta Hawks for 3rd in the Southeast division standings.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

The Timberwolves have failed to cover the number in 4 of their last 5 road games while the resurgent Wizards have suddenly reeled off 3-straight against the spread at Capital One Arena.  With all that has gone on with the Timberwolves this year combined with the Beasley matter, I will take the home team and the points in this matchup as I see their offense taking control of this contest at some point.

Washington Wizards -4

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Full-Game Total Pick

The over has been the result in 6-straight games amongst these 2 squads.  In addition to this, it has also been the play in 5-straight meetings at Capital One Arena.  Combine this with the fact that the over is 4-2 in the last 6 roadies for the Timberwolves along with being the case in 3 of the last 5 homers for the Wizards.  One should take the over in this contest as I see it as being a high-scoring affair where the home team will prevail.

Over 235.5