Featured Video from Scott Reichel
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
NBA: Saturday, January 12, 2019, Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 8:00 PM ET
The Western Conference showdown between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Minnesota Timberwolves will be one of the most interesting matchups to watch Saturday night. Both teams are fighting to keep the pace in the playoff race and will meet each other for the third time this season with the series tied at 1-1. Minnesota overcame New Orleans 107-100 at home on November 14, 2018, while the Pelicans thrashed off the Timberwolves 123-114 on New Year’s Eve.
The Pelicans are flying high at the moment
The New Orleans Pelicans had a lot of problems with injuries this season, failing to replicate their performance from the last season, but with Elfrid Payton and Nikola Mirotic both back in the lineup, the Pelicans have been improving lately. They are 5-2 straight up and 4-3 ATS in their last seven games overall with Payton averaging 13.8 points and 5.8 assists in his four games in 2019. On the other hand, the Pelicans are terrible 3-11 straight up and 5-9 ATS in their previous 14 outings on the road, still smashing the Cleveland Cavaliers 133-98 in their last showing away from home.
Anthony Davis is leading the way for the Pelicans with 28.9 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. The Brow is averaging 31.8 points and 16.1 rebounds over his last ten apps, looking keen to take his team to the playoffs for the second season in a row. Jrue Holiday is tallying 20.7 points and 8.3 assists per contest, while Julius Randle is averaging 19.8 points and 9.3 rebounds a night. The Pelicans are scoring 117.2 points per game (2nd in the league) on 48.2% shooting from the field (also 2nd) and 35.8% from beyond the arc (9th), allowing 114.8 points in a return (26th) on 46.5% shooting (21st).
The Timberwolves reacted well on Thibodeau’s demission
In their first game with Ryan Saunders on the bench, the Minnesota Timberwolves upset the Thunder in Oklahoma City 119-117 to record their third consecutive win following a couple of home victories to the Los Angeles Lakers 108-86 and the Orlando Magic 120-103. Andrew Wiggins had a monstrous night in Oklahoma, dropping 40 points on the best defense in the league, and the Timberwolves need more of the same from Wiggins if they want to reach the post-season. Minnesota is 5-2 straight up and ATS in its last seven games at home and is 14-6 straight up and 13-7 ATS over its previous 20 outings at Target Center.
A FORTY-PIECE for Maple Jordan 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/wJM7bdtOw0
— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) January 9, 2019
Karl Anthony-Towns is leading the way for the Timberwolves with 22.1 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. KAT is tallying 24.9 points per game over his last ten apps and 26.3 points in four outings this calendar year. Derrick Rose is averaging 18.9 points and 4.8 assists per contest, while Andrew Wiggins is having a poor season so far with just 17.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. The Timberwolves are scoring 111.6 points per game (13th in the league) on 45.1% shooting from the field (21st) and 35.6% from beyond the arc (11th), conceding 111.0 points in a return (18th) on 45.9% shooting (14th).
- 7-3 SU and ATS in the last ten home meetings with the Western Conference
- 4-1 SU and ATS in the last five home meetings with New Orleans
- Over is 11-1 in the last 12 games overall
New Orleans Pelicans:
- 0-8 SU and ATS in the last eight road games versus the Western Conference
- 7-3 SU and 5-5 ATS in the last ten games in January
- Over is 4-1 in the last five games overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Pelicans are really terrible on the road all season long, needing to upheave the momentum as soon as possible. With Elfrid Payton back on the floor, their backcourt looks much better, so I think they stand a chance in Minneapolis although the Timberwolves are a tough opponent on the home court. However, Anthony Davis is playing in a great form at the moment and it means Karl Anthony-Towns will have a huge headache on the defensive end, so I’m backing the Pelicans to win this one straight up.
Prediction: New Orleans Pelicans (-120)
Full-Game Total Pick
The Pelicans have dropped 133 points on the hapless Cavaliers in their previous clash on the road and also bagged 140 points against the Cavs at home last time out. On the other side, the betting trends are clearly suggesting the over when Minnesota is playing, so I won’t overthink on this one even though the chalk will be sky high.
Prediction: Over 234.0 points (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
There is so much at stake on this one, so I expect to see a tight game decided by a single-digit margin. The last two H2H meetings between these two foes were decided by seven and nine points, while three of the Timberwolves’ last five home games were decided by six or fewer points. Hereof, I’m backing a close game down the stretch.
Prediction: Winning Margin: Any team by 1-5 points (+155)
Half-Time Side Pick
The Pelicans were leading at halftime in three of their last five games including a 12-point lead over Minnesota at home. On the other side, the Timberwolves were in front at halftime just once over their previous five outings along with three trails and a tie at Oklahoma City. Against the Mavericks last night, the Timberwolves were down by 11 points after the second quarter, so I’ll take the Pelicans to take the lead on this one.
Prediction: New Orleans Pelicans -0.5 (-110)