Rudy Gobert has looked more at home in Minnesota with Mike Conley feeding him once again. Our NBA picks think he should continue to produce as the Timberwolves take on the Lakers tonight.
“How the West was won,” will be an interesting story at the conclusion of this NBA season. As it stands right now, the Los Angeles Lakers are on the outside looking in of the Western Conference playoff picture sitting in 11th place but are just four games out of fourth.
Can Anthony Davis keep the Lakers afloat long enough while LeBron James continues to recover from a foot injury? Tonight, Davis will be in tough against Rudy Gobert and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The T-wolves are currently in eighth and are still finding their form post-trade deadline, but Gobert has always been a thorn in the side of AD during his career.
I break down this Western Conference matchup and bring you my best bet in NBA picks and predictions Timberwolves vs. Lakers.
Timberwolves vs Lakers best odds
Timberwolves vs Lakers picks and predictions
It’s clear that the Timberwolves have been working to find their footing since swapping out D’Angelo Russell for Mike Conley at the trade deadline. But they are coming off a solid victory in this same building in their last game, defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 108-101.
And even though the overall production for the Timberwolves may be down a bit, their stars are certainly benefiting from Conley’s presence as a floor general and facilitator. No more so than center Rudy Gobert.
Since being reunited with his former Jazz teammate, Gobert has seen his points per game bump up from 13.2 to 15.8 and is taking a little more than two field goal attempts per game. Now, he faces a Lakers team that ranks 23rd in the NBA when it comes to opponent points in the paint per game.
Gobert also averages 11.5 rebounds per game this season and should clean up the glass against the Lakers, who rank 27th in opponent rebounds per game. With that in mind, I’m taking a hard look at the Over on his points + rebounds prop tonight.
Helping out this cause is the additional fact that Gobert has been a handful for Anthony Davis over the course of his career. Gobert and Davis have faced off 16 times and Gobert has averaged 12.7 points and 13.4 rebounds per game.
Plus, Davis will probably have to focus a lot of his effort on the offensive end of the floor with LeBron James still sidelined. I really like Gobert to go Over this number of 24.5 tonight. Something he has done in three of his last four games.
My best bet: Rudy Gobert Over 24.5 points+rebounds (-119)
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Timberwolves vs Lakers spread analysis
With so little separating the majority of teams in the Western Conference, every game has an added importance from here on out to the end of the regular season.
Obviously, things get tougher for the Lakers the longer LeBron’s on the sideline, and it doesn’t help that their former T-Wolves guard is also out with an ankle injury.
That said, L.A. has managed to win four of its last five games straight up and ATS against some tough competition, and ranked sixth in the NBA in net rating over that stretch.
Minnesota, on the other hand, is coming off its best performance post-trade deadline in its win over the Clippers. The Wolves’ defense was solid, but it was the balance on offense that was impressive, with six players in double digits.
This game is basically a pick’em and it’s hard to have a feeling for either side. I like the T-Wolves’ depth a little more, but they’ve been in L.A. for three days. Will that wear on them? Plus, generally, they haven’t been a great bet on the road this season at 13-17 ATS.
And the Lakers have been an OK bet at home, going 15-13-1 ATS. I might have the slightest lean toward the home team considering their current form. But I certainly don’t love either side.
Timberwolves vs Lakers Over/Under analysis
The total for this Western Conference showdown hit the board at 229.5 and the early action has been on the Under moving the number down to 227.5 as of Friday afternoon.
The Timberwolves have cashed the Under in four consecutive games, thanks to a stretch scoring 107.8 points per game and ranking 20th in effective field goal percentage. They face a Lakers team that ranks ninth in defensive rating and seventh in opponent field goal percentage over this 4-1 stretch.
On the other end of the floor, the Wolves rank a respectable 13th in defensive rating post-trade deadline, and they have the guy who is capable of slowing Davis down. If the Lakers’ secondary players don’t hit some shots this could be a low-scoring game. I’d agree with the early money and lean Under.
Timberwolves vs Lakers betting trend to know
The Under is 6-0 in Minnesota’s last six games vs. a team with a losing straight-up record and 4-1 in the Lakers’ last five home games. Find more NBA betting trends for Timberwolves vs. Lakers.
Timberwolves vs Lakers game info
|Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
|Friday, March 3, 2023
|10:30 p.m. ET
|Bally North, Spectrum Sportsnet