Expect Wolves to Halt the Recent Winning Ways of the Visiting Trailblazers

Minnesota Timberwolves player

Charles Stark

Monday, April 3, 2017 2:57 PM GMT

Monday, Apr. 3, 2017 2:57 PM GMT

Portland currently remains in the eighth slot in the Western Conference and I will be hard-pressed to see them get bumped out by Denver. Still, oddsmakers have made them a small underdog today, can the young Timberwolves pull out a win?

Portland Trail Blazers

Portland is currently on a six-game winning streak which makes them being the underdog in this spot a little bit surprising. They have also been one of the hotter teams in the NBA winning nine of their last 10 games but I actually don’t like how they matchup with Minnesota in this spot. They haven't had the type of season that they expected coming in but are starting to pick things up which could be a good sign going towards the playoffs, however defensively they’ve been poor for the most part and I think that will catch up with them tonight. 

Currently, Portland ranks 22nd in the NBA defensively in opponent shooting efficiency and 26th in allowing opponents to shoot 37% from beyond the arc. They have been decent in defending from the interior extended but are a far cry from being one of the better defensive teams in the league. Offensively we know what we’re going to get from Portland as they shoot the three extremely well but for the most part they just rank in about the middle of the league in most offensive categories. A big blow to them though is the fact that upstart Jusuf Nurkic is out.

 Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota has a bright future but has struggled at times this year with their young squad. Surprisingly it is been on the defensive side where they have struggled as they rank in the bottom part of the league in most categories. However, they do defend from beyond the arc decently well ranking just outside the top half of the league allowing opponents to shoot 36.4% from distance. This will be the point of contention tonight but with them being at home, and with this a playoff-like a game for them, I expect them to play well on the defensive side. Offensively they have been good across the board and rank either in the middle league or better in most categories highlighted by shooting 46.7% from the field which ranks eighth in the NBA. 

For me, it really comes down to the number and that odds makers have made Minnesota the favorite despite the fact Portland is arguably the hottest team in the NBA. I think the odds makers have this right and I like for the Timberwolves to win this game by more than five.

 

Portland Trail Blazers vs Minnesota Timberwolves 

Oddsmakers have made Minnesota a small -2 favorite in this spot and for my NBA pick, I will take the Timberwolves to get the win. This should be a playoff-like atmosphere, and although most of the focus will be on NCAA championship look for this to be an entertaining game in which Minnesota wins.

 Free NBA Pick: Minnesota -116Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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