Timberwolves vs 76ers – NBA Pick for March 24th

Minnesota Timberwolves (+250)
Philadelphia 76ers (-300)
Total: 223
All odds referenced in this article were taken from Bovada at 11:30 on March 24, 2018. Odds may have changed since the time of this writing.

There are 6 games on Saturday’s NBA schedule, 4 of which feature at least one tanking team. The Mavs, Bulls and Grizzlies are all in action, while the Suns will take on the Magic in what should be a tank-fest of epic proportions. The 2 games featuring teams that are actually trying to win are Rockets-Pelicans and 76ers-Timberwolves. Considering we have a general idea of how those teams want to play, those games are generally easier to predict.

The Wolves come into tonight’s game fresh off a 108-104 victory at Madison Square Garden last night. That win combined with Utah’s loss to San Antonio pushed the Wolves into the No. 7 seed in the West. They have a little bit of breathing room, though they’re still only 2 games up on the 9th-place Denver Nuggets, so they can’t let up now.

Minnesota has been up-and-down since Jimmy Butler got hurt. Butler is expected to return sometime around when the playoffs begin, though there is still no defined timetable. Without their best 2-way player, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague have had to step into more prominent roles offensively.

Towns led the charge last night, finishing with a team-high 24 points along with 13 rebounds and 3 blocked shots in 41 minutes of action. If the Wolves are to lose some steam moving forward, it’ll probably because their stars are exhausted. Last night’s game was the second straight in which Towns has logged exactly 41 minutes, and it’s the third time he’s gotten there in the last 5 overall.

As for the Sixers, it’s fair to say they’re currently playing their best basketball of the season. Philly enters tonight’s game as winners of 5 straight, though it’s also fair to say their schedule hasn’t exactly been full of league giants. The 76ers’ 5 straight wins have come against the Knicks, Nets, Hornets, Grizzlies and Magic.

Still, wins are wins. Philadelphia’s surge has quickly pushed them up to fourth in the East, just a game and a half back of Cleveland for third. Catching the Cavaliers won’t be easy, and the 76ers are just percentage points ahead of the Pacers for fifth. Washington is also looming, just 1.5 back of the Sixers.

Joel Embiid is the Sixer that draws the majority of the headlines, but let’s not overlook just how phenomenal Ben Simmons has been as a rookie. Simmons scored just 6 points in the last game against Orlando, but he also contributed 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the victory.

Simmons now has 9 triple-doubles as a rookie, including 2 in his last 5 games. If anything, he seems to be getting stronger as the season wears on. On the year, he’s averaging 16 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game. Philly is a young team, but you can bet nobody will want to see the Simmons-Embiid combo come playoff time.

Minnesota comes into this game with the disadvantage of having to play a second game in 2 nights. Still, they’re being undervalued in this matchup at +250 on the moneyline. You won’t often see a legitimate playoff team like the Wolves with a price like that.

The Timberwolves also make for a solid play to keep the game close with a spread of 7 points. These 2 teams played an overtime game in Minneapolis back in December. I’d take the Wolves to cover the spread here, and you can even pick them outright on the moneyline if you’re a little more risk tolerant.

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, but he’s willing to take one for the team on that front every now and then.

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