The Minnesota Timberwolves (32-28) host the cross-conference rival Philadelphia 76ers (35-23) Friday. Tip-off at Wells Fargo Center is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the 76ers vs. Timberwolves odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
Third-place Philly sits 3 games behind the Chicago Bulls for first place in the East. The Sixers were 6-4 straight up (SU) and 4-6 against the spread (ATS) in their last 10 games before entering the All-Star break. Philly’s most recent outing was a 123-120 victory at the Milwaukee Bucks as a 6.5-point road underdog Feb. 17.
Minnesota kicked off the second half of its season Thursday with a 119-114 win at home versus the Memphis Grizzlies as a 2-point underdog. The T-Wolves are seventh in the West, 2.5 games behind the sixth-place Denver Nuggets for a non-play-in seed.
These teams feature two of the best bigs in the NBA in Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Philly’s Joel Embiid who have a history with one another. KAT and Embiid were ejected from a 76ers-Timberwolves game Oct. 30, 2019, for fighting but have reportedly “squashed the beef”.
Embiid is 6-2 SU versus KAT in their eight career head-to-head meetings but the T-Wolves upset the Sixers 121-120 in overtime Nov. 27 in their first meeting this season.
Also, Philly’s newly acquired SG James Harden is scheduled to make his Sixers debut Friday.
76ers at Timberwolves odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 11:52 a.m. ET.
Money line (ML): 76ers -145 (bet $145 to win $100) | Timberwolves +120 (bet $100 to win $120)
Against the spread (ATS): 76ers -2.5 (-115) | Timberwolves +2.5 (-107)
Over/Under (O/U): 228.5 (O: -108 | U: -112)
76ers at Timberwolves key injuries
Timberwolves (not officially submitted)
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76ers at Timberwolves odds, lines, picks and predictions
Timberwolves 112, 76ers 109
SPRINKLE a tiny wager on the TIMBERWOLVES (+120), if at all, because Minnesota’s spread is a much sharper play and the T-Wolves’ upset win over the Sixers earlier this season snapped Minnesota’s eight-game losing skid to Philly (1-7 ATS).
However, I see value in fading a market that’s hammering the Sixers because of Harden’s debut. I’m not sold on the Harden acquisition and it should take time for Harden and Embiid to gel offensively.
Furthermore, KAT cancels or significantly offsets Embiid’s production and Minnesota is a lot deeper than Philly. The T-Wolves score 35.7 bench points per game (PPG)(ranked 15th) and the Sixers score 27.7 bench PPG (ranked 27th).
My preference is Minnesota’s spread but the TIMBERWOLVES (+120) money line has some value as well.
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Against the spread
Definitely BET the TIMBERWOLVES +2.5 (-107) heavier than or instead of their money line because Philly underperforms versus teams playing the second of a back-to-back.
The Sixers are 7-8 SU in those spots and a minus-2.8 ATS margin (ranked 25th), according to CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG). Philly is an NBA-worst 4-10 ATS when playing with a rest edge (minus-5.0 ATS margin).
The TIMBERWOLVES +2.5 (-107) is my favorite wager in this game.
This total is just too high for me but I cannot get behind the Under 228.5 (-112) because there are a ton of Over-friendly trends.
The T-Wolves are 6-3 O/U in the second of a back-to-back and 22-7 O/U versus teams with a winning record and the Sixers are 9-5-1 O/U as road favorites.
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