Minnesota Timberwolves (4-2) at Memphis Grizzlies (1-5)
NBA: Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 at 8:00 pm ET (FedEx Forum)
Line and Odds: Minnesota Timberwolves -4.5 Over/Under: 226
Free ESPN NBA Picks Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves have performed well in the 2019-2020 season, so far. The Timberwolves are 4-2 in their first 6 games, good enough to place them 6th in the Western Conference. Their only two losses have come against the two teams with the best preseason odds to win the Eastern Conference this year, the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks. Their strongest win of the young season was a 116-109 win over the Miami Heat. The Heat are 5-2, but they were playing without Jimmy Butler when they faced the Timberwolves. They have also beaten the Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, and the Washington Wizards. It remains to be seen how the T’Wolves will do against high-quality teams at full strength as the season goes on, but I’m sure Minnesota fans are happy with their season’s start.
Despite their 4-2 record, their statistical profile indicates that they’ve performed like an average NBA team. Minnesota ranks 17th in both point differential and net rating. They’ve beaten teams by an average 0.33 points per game and outplayed opponents by +0.3 points per 100 possessions. They rank 21st in offensive rating, scoring 105.4 points per 100 possessions. The T’Wolves are 20th in true shooting percentage (54.5%) and 19th in effective field goal percentage (50.5%). Minnesota ranks 14th in defensive rating, giving up 105.1 points per 100 possessions. They rank 6th in defensive turnover percentage, getting takeaways on 15.7% of their opponents’ offensive plays. This mitigates their shaky shooting defense that ranks 22nd in defensive effective field goal percentage. Stylistically, the Timberwolves like to push the tempo. They rank 2nd in pace factor, averaging 108.2 possessions per 48 minutes.
After missing the last two games, Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns will be back in the lineup. The NBA suspended Towns for getting into a scuffle with Joel Embiid in Philadelphia a few games ago. Seeing Towns run out on the floor will be a welcome sight to T’Wolves fans, because he has been phenomenal this season. Karl-Anthony Towns ranks 1st in Player Efficiency Rating, Win Shares Per 48 Minutes, and Box Plus/Minus. He is also in the top 10 in 3-point percentage and steal percentage. Towns leads the team with 27.3 points per game, and 11.5 rebounds per game. The only other member of the T’Wolves averaging 20 points per game is Andrew Wiggins (21.2 points per game).
The Memphis Grizzlies are a young team that will need time to develop and grow. The average age of the players on the Memphis Grizzlies is 24.3, which is the 3rd youngest average age in the league. Based on the franchise’s actions in recent times (trading away Marc Gasol, letting go of Mike Conley, Jr., firing JB Bickerstaff, etc.) it’s clear that they wanted to go young and rebuild. Memphis has certainly played like a young team through 6 games. The Grizzlies have a 1-5 record, currently placing 14th in the Western Conference. The only win that Memphis has been able to get is a 134-133 home victory against the Brooklyn Nets. They’ve lost to the Heat, Bulls, Lakers, Suns, and Rockets. It has been a very tough schedule for an inexperienced team, and they haven’t been able to get many wins out of it.
Through the first 6 games of the season, it is hard to argue that the Grizzlies have performed like one of the worst teams in the NBA. They rank 30th out of 30 teams in both point differential and net rating. Memphis gets outscored by an average of 11.8 points per game and they get outscored by 10.9 points per 100 possessions. The Grizzlies rank 29th in offensive rating, scoring 97.5 points per 100 possessions. They are one of just two teams (along with the Orlando Magic) with an offensive rating of less than 100. Memphis also ranks 29th in both true shooting percentage (50.9%) and effective field goal percentage (47.1%). Their defense is much better than their offense, ranking 17th in defensive rating. Memphis gives up 108.4 points per 100 possessions. They rank near the middle of the league in terms of defensive effective field goal percentage, defensive turnover percentage, and defensive rebounding percentage. Like Minnesota, Memphis is a team that likes to push the pace. They average 106.4 possessions per 48 minutes, ranking 5th in the NBA in tempo.
While the Grizzlies have been poor as a whole, rookie Ja Morant has turned heads. Morant already leads the team in both points and rebounds. He has averaged 19.5 points and 5.5 assists per game, this season. He has hit 50.0% of his 3 point attempts and has an effective field goal percentage of 56.8%. Morant has also made some impact on the defensive end in his young pro career. Ja Morant was able to block Kyrie Irving’s final regulation shot in their lone victory against the Nets, to send the game into overtime. Memphis should be excited that they have a point guard like Morant that they can build the team around.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Minnesota’s last 6 games.
Minnesota is 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games against Memphis.
Minnesota is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games on the road.
Memphis is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games.
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Memphis’ last 7 games against Minnesota.
Memphis is 15-3 SU in their last 18 games when playing at home against Minnesota.
ESPN NBA Scores Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Memphis Grizzlies
I’m taking the Memphis Grizzlies +4.5 in this matchup. At first glance, it looks like the T’Wolves would be able to cover this one fairly easily. They’re a 4-2 team playing a 1-5 team. However, the records don’t tell the whole story in this one. Minnesota hasn’t actually played like a top-tier team, yet. Their metrics indicate that they have been quite average in their first 6 games. Memphis has the defensive ability to limit Minnesota on the offensive end. Karl-Anthony Towns returns, but it’s going to take about a quarter and a half to get into the flow of the basketball game. Minnesota’s solid point guard, Jeff Teague, is listed as questionable with an illness. If he misses the game, Memphis will have the point guard advantage. Overall, I simply think this is too many points for Minnesota to be laying on the road against anyone. It’s going to be a fast-paced game that Minnesota may win, but not by more than 4 points. Take the Grizzlies and the points here.