The Minnesota Timberwolves clash with the Phoenix Suns in the second game of a back-to-back series on Friday. The Timberwolves upset the Suns 123-119 on Thursday. Can they keep their momentum going? Here’s a complete preview, including updated odds and NBA picks.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Phoenix Suns
Friday, March 19, 2021 – 10:00 PM EDT at PHX Arena
The Suns opened as 11-point favorites and over at FiveThirtyEight, they have them at -10.5. This leaves an 0.5-point gap between the projections and the actual NBA odds. We need at least two points between the projections and the lines before we lay any serious wood. Here we are not getting enough. FiveThirtyEight gives the Suns an 84 percent chance to win. The equivalent moneyline is -525.
For support, we turn to USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin’s projections; he has the Suns at -10.98 using his Rating numbers, and at -13.41 using his eigenvector analysis. That leaves little room to grab potential betting value with the Suns -11 at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review). Take advantage of the differences in sportsbook odds with our arbitrage betting calculator.
Towns and Edwards Went Off on Thursday
The Timberwolves are showing signs of life with three wins in their last five games, despite missing key pieces like D’Angelo Russell (plus-2.3 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) and Malik Beasley (plus-2.4 Offensive Box Plus/Minus), who will not come back until late March. Minnesota upset Phoenix 123-119 on Thursday behind a career-high 42 points from Anthony Edwards and 41 points, 10 rebounds
Edwards became the third-youngest player in NBA history with 40 or more points in a game at age 19. The talented rookie has now scored 105 points in his last three games and he's the first teenager in league history with 100 points in a three-game span. Edwards added seven rebounds on 15 of 31 shooting while Towns was 15-for-24 from the field and 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. It took monster games from Edwards and Towns to barely beat the Suns and there might be some regression from them on Friday.
Minnesota trailed by as many as 15 points but they outscored Phoenix 40-28 in the fourth quarter to escape with an impressive victory. Despite the loss, the Suns are 15-4 in their last 19 games and they will come out looking to get back on track. Devin Booker had a team-high 35 points and Chris Paul and Mikal Bridges added 16 points apiece but their reserves combined for just 29 points, led by Langston Galloway with 10 points. No other bench player scored in double figures and that has to change if they want to beat the surging Timberwolves.
The Suns are the better team and they were in control on Thursday until late in the third quarter. I see them coming out fired up after losing a game that they should have won. We can't expect Edwards and Towns to combine for 83 points again but they will play well, the Suns had no answer for them on Thursday and that won't change in this game. The Suns will not lose two straight games against the Timberwolves at home but 11 points are too much against an underrated team. The Timberwolves are better than their record suggests and they will keep the game close enough to cover.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.