Young Stars Shining
Oklahoma City’s young stars are shining bright as the Thunder look to cause an upset against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference Play-In Tournament on Friday.
NBA betting markets have the Timberwolves at -5½ to force their way into the playoffs, so a close contest is expected.
There is more momentum and energy with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but inexperience could play its part, which has been noted in the sportsbook.
Thunder Powering to Playoffs
Credit goes to the Thunder, who are just one win away from making the playoffs.
It was meant to be a rebuilding year, but the second-youngest team in the NBA has played much better than expected.
Just look at the comparison to the Houston Rockets, who are the youngest. They developed a losing culture to get their young stars, but the Thunder have always kept their positivity and it’s paying off.
NBA odds have the Thunder at +5½, which is a fair line on the road. It was the same line they faced when beating the New Orleans Pelicans 123-118 on Wednesday, so they’re used to it.
The sportsbook has been hammered by the Thunder, who are 45-34-3 against the spread (ATS). They have been one of the best bets in the NBA, and they might keep bettors happy.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continues to fire after dropping 32 points.
“To start the game, I wasn’t expecting a huge outburst offensively,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “I wanted to kind of set the table to make sure my teammates were ready to go, confident and attacking. And I knew once I did that, the defense would have to worry about them as well and my offensive game would open up.”
Wolves Needing Bounce Back
The Timberwolves featured in our NBA picks to beat the Los Angeles Lakers, and they should have.
They gave up a big lead in the second half before losing 108-102 in overtime on Tuesday, so bouncing back from that could be a tough mental ask, especially for a team that isn’t used to winning big games.
There isn’t much heart in the Wolves, who can’t seem to get over the hump. That’s a big concern for bettors, who want to trust them with home-court advantage, but they don’t even have an impressive home record.
They are 22-19 at Target Center, which doesn’t give us much confidence. However, they have had solid recent success against the Thunder, including winning the most recent game on the road.
It’s usually a close contest, which makes the sports betting line of -5½ tough to take.
Thunder vs Timberwolves Game Injuries
Thunder vs Timberwolves Head-to-Head
It’s a 5-4-1 ATS advantage to the Timberwolves, reinforcing the idea that this is always a close matchup.
The Thunder won the most recent meeting at Target Center 135-128 in December, and they are 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings in Minnesota.
Thunder vs Timberwolves Game Information
- Game: Thunder (41-42) vs Timberwolves (42-41)
- Day/Time: Friday, April 14, 9:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
- Thunder vs Timberwolves Live stream: NBA Game Pass
Thunder vs Timberwolves Betting Lines
Thunder vs Timberwolves Picks and Prediction
Teams getting points have played well during the Play-In Tournament, so we’re sticking with the Thunder and their young guns.
Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey combine better than many players in the NBA, so they’re good enough to lead the Thunder to victory.
We’re also including the over, in what should be a high-scoring contest.
Oklahoma City is listed at +180 in our Vegas NBA lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Thunder, there’s a chance to win $180. Minnesota is -220, offering a chance to win $45 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Oklahoma City a 35.71% chance to win, with the Timberwolves at 68.75%.