Lakers Focused on Other Things Besides Slowing Wolves' Attack

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, February 15, 2018 3:56 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018 3:56 PM UTC

After giving up 139 points Wednesday, Los Angeles heads to Minnesota for the NBA's final game before the All-Star break. It could get ugly again, but for bettors it could be an attractive play.

Thursday NBA: Lakers vs. TimberwolvesFree NBA Pick: Over 116½ 1HBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Lakers Already Looking Forward

Recently, and somewhat obviously, the Lakers announced that they suck. They want you to know this officially, but by watching this young team for the first 56 games, you can tell they need some time.

They also realize that the 2018 free-agent pool -- LeBron James included -- is not going to Los Angeles. There is no reason for them to win this season, so instead they wanted you all to know that they are starting to tank.

Since that announcement about their free-agency plans, they have gone into the tank. They are still going to compete every night, but they are also going to find ways to lose, such as giving up in a 22-point loss to New Orleans on Wednesday night.

Not only that, but this is the time of year when teams such as the Lakers are already on vacation. We saw it Wednesday night and, with the Timberwolves coming off an embarrassing loss, we are going to see it again tonight. Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau is going to have his guys focused on getting one more win before the All-Star break, while the Lakers are more worried about catching flights home or to somewhere tropical.

Considering the Lakers are coming off a big loss, they could also have pretty tired legs tonight. For full-game totals, they are only 3-5 cashing the "over" on the second night of a back-to-back. However, they are allowing nearly 59 points per first half in games on no rest. With the Wolves’ offense playing well, the first-half total on the NBA odds board is gleaming with value.

The Sharp Pick

With Los Angeles giving up so many points, the first-half total of 116½ is an excellent value for your NBA picks. The Wolves have averaged 61 points per first half in their last five games, and they are playing faster lately, which has led to them giving up more points early, too.

In their previous meeting, on Jan. 1, the Timberwolves scored 60 points in the first two quarters. Tonight, 65 or more for Minnesota is in the cards. The Wolves have cashed the full-game "over" in five straight games, and in those games the average first-half total combined score was 117.2.

If we can count on 55 or more points from the Lakers tonight, we are definitely getting 60-plus from the Wolves. It might be close, but if both teams are checked out in their final game before the break, we could see a very high-scoring first half.

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