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Why the Timberwolves, Thunder Will Win West Play-In Berths

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Value with West Underdogs

The Minnesota Timberwolves vs Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder vs New Orleans Pelicans series should be terrific this week.

Our NBA predictions expect a tight contest over the three games, but it’s the underdogs who could carry that advantage to the main round of the NBA playoffs.

Mike Conley #10 of the Minnesota Timberwolves
Mike Conley #10 of the Minnesota Timberwolves - David Berding/Getty Images/AFP

Bettors get excellent odds at the sportsbook, so the play-in tournament is worth a play.

Wolves to Silence Lakers

There is every chance of the Lakers being defeated by the Timberwolves, despite what many NBA expert predictions are saying.

Most outlets have the Lakers winning their play-in series based on the fact they have LeBron James, but he has been below his best since returning from injury and we’re not sure he’s close to being healthy.

He was rushed back into the team once they realized they had a chance of making the playoffs, but that doesn’t cut the mustard for us. We look at the Lakers as a broken team that doesn’t deserve such respect.

Winning an away game is the biggest test for the Wolves, but they are a respectable 20-21 on the road. They also have an excellent record at covering spreads against the Lakers, covering six of their last seven games.

Winning the play-in series has little to do with covering spreads, but the Wolves are a good bet to score an upset.

Online gambling markets have them at +7 in the opening game on Tuesday. That’s an excellent line, and we recommend bettors entertain their series odds to beat the Lakers and progress.

Minnesota will be without center Rudy Gobert, who was suspended for the play-in game for throwing punches at his teammate.

“Emotions got the best of me today. I should not have reacted the way i did regardless of what was said. I wanna apologize to the fans, the organization and particularly to Kyle (Anderson), who is someone that I truly love and respect as a teammate,” Gobert said.

 LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball while Jaden McDaniels #3 of the Minnesota Timberwolves defends in the first quarter of the game
LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball while McDaniels #3 of the Minnesota Timberwolves – David Berding/Getty Images/AFP

Thunder Ready to Hammer Pelicans

Our NBA picks have the Thunder scoring an upset win over the Pelicans, who are without Zion Williamson for the play-in tournament.

There has been nothing wrong with how the Thunder have been playing, especially after recording consecutive wins over Utah and Memphis to improve to 40-42.

It’s a losing record, but they have enough young talent to test the Pelicans, who have a history of letting down their fans in the big moments.

Oklahoma State’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander made a case for MVP after posting 31.4 points per game, and Australian Josh Giddey made opposing defenses look giddy at times.

Giddey averages 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists, so he’s a great addition to the scoring power of Gilgeous-Alexander.

The pairing is good enough to handle CJ McCollum and the Pelicans, who are talented, but hard to trust.

The Thunder won the most recent meeting 110-96, so sport betting markets need to keep that in mind. They might have lost the regular-season series 3-1, but momentum is on their side.

Bettors get value odds for the Thunder to pull off a mighty upset.

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