Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) drives past Atlanta Hawks forward Onyeka Okongwu (17) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)


Kyle Barrette

The Blazers have won four of their last five and look to be turning a corner. Tonight, they match up with another up-and-coming team, the Timberwolves. The Blazers have slowly been getting pieces back and are showing they still have a lot of fight left. The Timberwolves have been outscoring everyone on their way to wins over big-name teams. So who has the edge here? Let’s break it down and find out.

If you are a Blazers fan, you have been waiting months for this team to finally get somewhat healthy and it’s happening just as you thought. Portland ranks right in the middle on offense with 108 points scored per game, and that is with Dame still out. Defensively is where the trouble starts. Portland currently ranks 26th in opponent points allowed with 112. With the addition of some of their starters, we could see this number start to improve because looking at their last five games, they have not allowed more than 110. The true test starts tonight and will continue over the next week as the Blazers have games with the Mavericks and Bulls coming up. It’s been so far so good for this Blazers team, but with new pieces continuing to change the puzzle, can they continue to win at a high rate?


Talking about scoring, these guys are surprisingly only ninth in the league in points per game with 111. So far this month, the Timberwolves have gone over the 120 mark in six of their 12 games. Defense has also not been their strongest attribute, as they rank 21st in opponents’ points allowed with 110. This team is deep, and they honestly remind me of a junior version of the Suns. There are a lot of long guys that can score and be effective off the bench. Another reason for the surge in offense for the Twolves is their ability to dominate the offensive boards and get second chance points. The Timberwolves average 12 offensive rebounds per game, which is good for third in the league. 

Timberwolves vs. Portland the Pick: Timberwolves ML
Portland has been hot, but they haven’t faced a scoring threat like this yet, so I’m not ready to accept their defense as an improved unit, especially with what we have seen. In years past, with the same guys coming back, this will be their biggest task yet and it will be too much for them. Take the Timberwolves ML.

Same Game Parlay:
Minnesota Timberwolves ML, Jusuf Nurkic First Basket, Karl-Anthony Towns Over 23.5 Pts, Timberwolves to win by 1-10 Pts and Karl-Anthony Towns to record 10+ Rebounds.

SGP Odds +6159

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