Cavaliers vs Timberwolves Odds, Picks, Predictions | NBA Betting Preview (Friday, March 22)

Cavaliers vs Timberwolves Odds, Picks, Predictions | NBA Betting Preview (Friday, March 22) article feature image

Jarrett Allen #31 of the Cleveland Cavaliers guards Anthony Edwards #5 of the Minnesota Timberwolves d4q at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Cavaliers vs. Timberwolves Odds

Friday, Mar. 22
8 p.m. ET
Cavaliers Odds
Timberwolves Odds
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about Cavaliers vs. Timberwolves on Friday, Mar. 22 — our expert prediction and betting picks for tonight's game.

The Cleveland Cavaliers travel to Minneapolis to face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night in a battle between top-five defenses dealing with injuries to key players.

The Cavaliers have been without Dean Wade (knee) for the past six games, Evan Mobley (ankle) the past eight games and Max Strus (knee) the past nine games. Meanwhile, Donovan Mitchell has missed 11 of the past 15 and will miss another week after undergoing a procedure to address a nasal fracture.

Meanwhile, the Wolves have lost Karl-Anthony Towns to a meniscus injury that caused him to get surgery. He’ll likely be out until the playoffs, but Minnesota also has three of its key players on the injury report ahead of Friday’s matchup. Rudy Gobert (ribs), Naz Reid (head) and Anthony Edwards (finger) are all at risk of sitting out against Cleveland, and their status’ are crucial to monitor in handicapping this game.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland has done its best to weather the storm in the wake of so many injuries, but it hasn’t be easy. Coming out of the All-Star break, the Cavaliers were 3-4 straight up, but just 1-6 ATS including five-straight games without a cover.

Since then, they’ve gone 5-4 ATS, but only grabbed four wins. It should be noted that all four wins came against quality opponents. They beat the Celtics and Wolves in Cleveland, and the Pelicans and Pacers on the road. The losses have been slightly more concerning, coming against the Hawks, Nets, Suns, Rockets and Heat. Guys like Isaac Okoro and Caris Levert have had to step up and have done a respectable job.

Levert has taken on more of a facilitator role with Mitchell in and out of the lineup and has raised his assists average from 5.3 to 8.0 in 14 games since the the All-Star break. Okoro has done a bit more scoring in that time, going from 9.7 to 11.6 points per game in that same timeframe.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Offense has been an issue for the Wolves, who have based their identity around toughness and defense. They’re right around league average on the season at 18th in Offensive Rating (114.6), per NBA Advanced Stats, but since Towns went down on March 4, the offense has stood pat (114.5) in a small seven-game sample size. Without Towns in the lineup (and Gobert for a few games), Minnesota has opted for fewer paint touches and more mid-range shots, going from a 34.5% Rim Rate to 28.1% since Towns’ injury. For the full season, the Wolves take 31% of their shots from the mid-range, compared to 36.1% since after Towns’ injury.

Cleveland’s defense without Mobley has limited shots from that region, but opponents shoot 47.5% in that range. That’s good for guys like Kyle Anderson and Jaden McDaniels, who get a lot of their looks from that area — especially Anderson, who takes the more shots from there than any forward in the league (58%) and would benefit if Edwards or Reid sit.

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Cavaliers vs. Timberwolves

Betting Pick & Prediction

I lean to the over, but with so many question marks surrounding who will play, I’ll take a few player props that I like regardless of who’s in, but could benefit if Gobert or Edwards sit.

First, I’ll look to Levert to clear his assists line. His line was set at 6.5 last game and he sailed over it with 12 against Miami. I imagine it will be higher for tonight's game, but I’ll like it up to 7.5.

Next I’ll take Anderson to go over his points line. I’ll like this one more if Edwards sits, but Anderson still takes the most shots in the league from short mid-range and the Cavaliers have been very susceptible in that area.

Follow me in the Action app (@nbaWatts) to see how I play the side and total post-injury news.

Pick: Caris Levert Over Assists | Kyle Anderson Over Points

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