NBA Betting — T-Wolves Like Their Chances with Towns Back
We’re not sure that the Minnesota Timberwolves are going to ultimately challenge for an NBA playoff spot. It doesn’t look that way at the moment. Right now they are saddled with the league’s worst record (6-20 SU), and one of the reasons for that is because they have been missing their most effective all-around player. But now he’s back, and they look like they have a chance to be a little more competitive.
On Sunday night the T-Wolves will pay a visit to Tampa to play the Toronto Raptors in a game that gets underway at 7 p.m. Eastern time at the Amalie Arena.
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MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES at TORONTO RAPTORS, 7 p.m. Eastern
NBA Betting Odds: Raptors – 8.5, Total 230
You have to accept the fact that there are some things that are going to be crazy about this NBA season. We will see the evidence of two of those things in this game. For one, the Minnesota Timberwolves have seen their best player, and one of the best big men in the NBA, out of action for all but six games. Karl Anthony Towns is one of those players who really was hit with the coronavirus, rather than somebody who just tested positive for it but really wasn’t sick.
So it’s been a difficult process working his way back into game shape. There were some encouraging signs the other night against the Charlotte Hornets, as he scored 25 points and pulled down eight rebounds. He is trying to be philosophical about the time lost to illness, but that’s difficult for him as well.
In his absence some young, developing players, such as Naz Reid, have gotten some valuable playing time. Reid, the second-year player, has greatly improved from one season to the next across-the-board offensively. So now at least Minnesota has a little bench depth up front.
They most definitely have some guards. D’Angelo Russell, who was once the second pick in the draft before shuffling around the league a little, has not played badly; in fact, he is this team’s most prolific three-point shooter. but with a leg injury, he’s going to have to sit this one out, as he did against the Hornets.
BetAnySports patrons should note – that might not be such a terrible thing for this squad, as they are starting to get some very positive things out of Anthony Edwards, the top overall pick in the NBA draft, who has been on a decent nine-game run, averaging over 16 points a game and shooting 40% from three-point range. Minnesota’s management drafted Edwards on his long-range potential; after all, he only played one year of college Ball. But after a slow start, he looks to be coming along nicely.
And for a guy like that, it’s not such a bad thing to have a born distributor like Ricky Rubio beside him. With Edwards and Russell in the same backcourt, you would have two guys who pretty much need the ball at this point to be effective.
The Raptors can’t play any home games this season, because of travel restrictions and difficulties crossing the Canadian border. So they had to pitch their tent on a temporary basis somewhere else, and Tampa got the call. It hasn’t been so bad, as they’ve won six of twelve “home” games and even have some fans coming.
But they got into a hole with their 1-6 start, and they’re lucky the Eastern Conference is weak after the first four spots.
The Raptors will try to impose their will on the Wolves; that is, they will try to get a lot of triples up there. They have shot more than 40 per game, while Minnesota has only allowed its opponents to shoot 30.7 per contest. Something will give, and maybe it will be the Wolves, but when you look at things, Minnesota hasn’t been a horrible team defending inside the arc.
Ryan Saunders has his team playing some up-tempo basketball, as the Timberwolves have taken the second most shots per game in the league. When you have a guy like Towns active again, some of those shots are going to easier baskets, and let’s not forget that he can step back and hit a triple now and then.
What we like about the T-Wolves here is that they have been demonstrating a real difference between their efforts on the road of late.Whereas their first seven road losses were by an average of over 18 points, these last four defeats as the visitor have come by just four points a game. There’s some meaning to that. And they are out-performing the oddsmakers’ expectations, covering six of their last eight.
So we’ll cast our vote for Minny, which is getting too many points here.
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