The Thunder and Timberwolves headline the NBA's night after-Christmas slate in a battle of two of the up-and-coming teams in the Western Conference.
Oklahoma City is looking up at Minnesota in the standings as of now with the Timberwolves sitting first in the West heading into this matchup, but OKC is less than four games behind, can the team cut down the T'Wolves lead on Tuesday?
Rookie of the Year front-runner and MVP candidate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will look to take care of business as home favorites, should we bet on them? Here's how I'm looking to bet OKC-Minnesota.
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Timberwolves vs. Thunder odds, spread and total
Timberwolves vs. Thunder how to watch
- Date: Tuesday, December 25th
- Game Time: 8:00 PM EST
- Venue: Paycom Center
- How to Watch (TV): Bally Sports Oklahoma
- Timberwolves Record: 22-6
- Thunder Record: 18-9
Timberwolves vs. Thunder injury reports
Karl-Anthony Towns - Calf - Questionable
Josh Giddey - Ankle - Questionable
Timberwolves vs. Thunder key players to watch
Rudy Gobert: The Defensive Player of the Year favorite was huge in the team's win against the Thunder earlier this season, blocking four shots while grabbing 16 rebounds with 17 points to boot. With Towns a game-time decision, Gobert will potentially have even more responsibility against the Thunder's elite offense.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: The MVP candidate is averaging over 30 points per game with over five rebounds and six assists. Even against the Timberwolves top-ranked defense, SGA had a monster game against them in a losing effort in the first meeting, scoring 32 points on 13-of-22 shooting.
Timberwolves vs. Thunder Prediction and Pick
This is a battle between two of the best defenses in the league, and I see a similar script to the first meeting between the two teams, a 106-103 win for the Timberwolves.
This total has been adjusted down three points from that matchup that went way below the 228.5 close, and I envision we see another defensive struggle.
Minnesota has the best defense in the league by more than two points, leaning on its length to challenge team's shots from all over the floor. Minnesota does a great job of contesting three-point shots and running teams off the line, top third in three-point rate while also allowing the third-lowest three-point percentage this season.
OKC will oblige, likely going into the teeth of the Minnesota defense and Gobert, the Thunder are 18th in three-point attempts per game.
On the other side of the floor, OKC is an elite defensive unit, sixth in points allowed per 100 possessions while generating the most turnovers in the league per game. OKC prefers to play an up-tempo style, but against the Minnesota defense, this game will likely become a grind.
I'm going to avoid playing a side in this one and instead target the under as my favorite bet on Tuesday night.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!