Teams at opposite ends of the Western Conference clash in Tinsel Town when the Minnesota Timberwolves visit the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center Sunday night.
The Clippers are back home briefly after having their seven-game winning streak snapped in Philadelphia Friday. This home stand versus Minnesota is quick layover in L.A. before playing in Portland Tuesday. The Timberwolves tip off a four-game road trip Sunday, coming off a stunning home win over Miami as 7-point NBA betting underdogs Friday—just their third win this month.
Check out our free NBA picks and predictions for Timberwolves vs. Clippers on April 18.
Timberwolves vs Clippers odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
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FanDuel opened Los Angeles -8.5 Saturday night and jumped to -10 this morning, then dialed back to -9 early this evening and is at -9.5 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Clippers are taking 60 percent of bets and 68 percent of money on the point spread. The total moved from 231 to 232.5, with 59 percent of bets on the Under and 52 percent of money on the Over.
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Timberwolves at Clippers betting preview
Timberwolves: Malik Beasley G (Out), Jaylen Nowell G (Questionable).
Clippers: Kawhi Leonard F (Questionable), Patrick Beverley G (Out), Serge Ibaka F (Out)
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Betting trend to know
The Over is 9-3 in Timberwolves’ last 12 road games. Find more NBA betting trends for Timberwolves vs. Clippers.
Against the spread (ATS) pick
Friday’s loss to Philadelphia may have snuffed out Los Angeles’ winning streak but the Clippers reaffirmed their place in the Western Conference pecking order during that span. Now, with a quick return home and some rest before playing four of their next five games on the road, Sunday’s contest could be a down spot for the Clippers.
Kawhi Leonard is questionable for this matchup with Minnesota having last played on April 9 due to a foot injury. Even if he is returning to action, Leonard will likely be on minutes limit against the lowly T-Wolves as getting him healthy for the stretch run is priority No. 1 for L.A.
Minnesota may be wading into letdown waters too after a shocking home win over the Heat but hitting the road to face the Clippers will keep the Timberwolves sharp. Friday’s victory was one of the best all-around efforts from the T-Wolves, who returned Karl-Anthony Towns to the lineup after a two-game hiatus and got 10 or more points from seven different players.
The biggest boost came from Minnesota’s reserves, who chipped in with 52 points off the pine to beat the Heat. The T-Wolves bench has been one of the better scoring reserve units in the NBA this season and is upping that production to almost 46 points per game in April. Those bonus buckets when the starters get a blow are key to covering these big underdog spreads.
While some worry about bad teams tanking at this point in the season, Minnesota has shown signs of life despite sitting second-last in the West. The Timberwolves are tops in many unique “hustle” metrics this month, such as loose balls recovered and contested shots, and have also been battling for extra buckets with an average of 14.3 second-chance points and 18.8 points off turnovers this month.
That’s made for a 4-4-1 ATS mark in April and a 7-5-1 ATS count in the last 13 games. What’s more, Minnesota comes to play as a visitor against the NBA elite — at least as far as oddsmakers are concerned — going 6-2-1 ATS in its last nine road games versus teams with a winning percentage of .600 or better.
PREDICTION: Minnesota +8.5 (-110)
Covers NBA betting analysis
The Timberwolves have enjoyed an uptick in offensive production this month, averaging almost 117 points per outing compared to a scoring average of just 109.2 in the first four months of the schedule, which sat 23rd in the NBA.
That boost in buckets, as well as Minnesota’s leaky defense, has helped bettors top the total in five of Minnesota’s last six contests heading into Sunday. The T-Wolves allow 121.1 points against per road outing — which is six points more than in Minny — and have played Over the number in nine of their last dozen away games.
Los Angeles prides itself in being among the NBA’s defensive elite but with Leonard on the fence this weekend, as well as Patrick Beverley and Serge Ibaka out of commission, L.A. is down three of its top defenders for this game.
Look for L.A. to play passive defense in a down spot and put the scoring load on Paul George, who has collected 174 total points over his last five efforts—an average of 34.8 points per showing.
PREDICTION: Over 234.5 (-110)
Player prop pick
In his short pro career, Minnesota rookie guard Anthony Edwards has shown a willingness to go after big teams.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft scored 27 points versus Brooklyn and 24 points versus Milwaukee with Towns away for personal reasons last week. And while KAT is back and taking away some offensive touches, Edwards doesn’t have to worry about being hounded by Beverley (and possibly Leonard) on Sunday night.
He’s averaging just under 22 points on 44 percent shooting this month and has drastically improved his production from distance. After shooting less than 31 percent from deep through the first four months of the season, Edwards has adapted to the pro arc and has knocked down 23 of 64 from 3-point range this month—almost 36 percent makes from outside.
He mustered point totals of just 11 and 12 points in his previous two meetings with the Clippers but has matured quickly in his rookie campaign and won’t get L.A.’s best on the defensive end Sunday night.
PREDICTION: Anthony Edwards Over 20.5 points (-104)
Timberwolves vs Clippers betting card
- Minnesota +8.5 (-110)
- Over 234.5 (-110)
- Anthony Edwards Over 20.5 points (-104)
Picks made on 4/18/2021 at 9:57 a.m. ET
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