It’s the Hunger Games as the Portland Trail Blazers welcome the Minnesota Timberwolves. These teams have yet to win a game this month and have combined to lose nine straight. Portland (11-15) is without several of its best players while Minnesota (11-15) has had a rough schedule. NBA odds have this as close to a pick’em.
But between these desperate teams with identical records, we can have ourselves a nice shootout. Minnesota has a streaky offense on the road while Portland has been generous in allowing points. As reflected by their total, the highest for the evening, this one will have plenty of scoring.
NBA Odds Preview
Minnesota Timberwolves at Portland Trail Blazers (7 p.m. ET, RTNW)
- Point Spread: Minnesota +1½ (-110), Portland -1½ (-110)
- Moneyline: N/A
- Total: Over 222 (-110), Under 222 (-110)
Timberwolves: Newest Disgruntled Star
Philadelphia has Ben Simmons. Portland has Damian Lillard. And now Minnesota appears to have a disgruntled superstar in Karl-Anthony Towns. Following the team’s loss to Cleveland, Towns vented his frustrations. He’s right to be pissed as Minnesota is now four games under .500 and on a five-game losing skid.
Karl-Anthony Towns over his last 5 games:
74.4% FT pic.twitter.com/jxCHWpZ46Z
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) December 8, 2021
To Minnesota’s credit, it has seen some improvements. Under coach Chris Finch, the Wolves have started playing better defense and are a solid bet online when playing losing teams. Minnesota is 6-2 against teams below .500 and 7-4 as a favorite.
But the team has played one of the toughest schedules in the league so far, with 18 games against teams at .500 or better (tied for most). It beat Philadelphia and Miami and gave Brooklyn a fight, but the recent string of blowouts indicate that the team has run out of gas and their franchise player is not having any of it.
Trail Blazers: Falling Off
The Blazers have not been the same since star player Damian Lillard went down. The team is 1-5 without him and now they’ll have to do without their second-best scorer in CJ McCollum (lung) and big man Cody Zeller (quad). Anfernee Simons and Nassir Little are also banged up.
In the team’s losing streak, the Blazers’ offensive rating has plummeted to 96.7, the worst in the league. They’re the only team with a rating under 100 and their defense is still terrible thus their second-worst net rating of -20.1.
The return of Simons will give the team a much-needed offensive boost. But it would still be tough to trust this team from an online gambling perspective, especially when they are just 4-4 against losing teams and 10-16 against the spread (ATS).
We’ve got a recipe for a fun one here: Desperate teams with a high-octane style and questionable defenses. Even with a steep total, betting online on the over at 221 is still the play. Two of their last three meetings have gone over with an average total of over 241.
Towns put up 23.5 points with a true shooting percentage of 65% in his two games against Portland last season while the Blazers dropped 135 points in their only home game. With a losing streak coming to an end, bank on at least one of these teams to put up a lot of points.
Pick: Over 222 (-110)
This will be a fast-starting contest with both Minnesota and Portland sporting potent offenses. Minnesota is putting up the most first quarter points as a road team at 30 but also gives up 28.7 points. The Blazers aren’t quite as hot but have allowed 30.8 points in the opening quarter from their last four GAMES.