Timberwolves vs Lakers Picks, Prediction Today | NBA Odds for Sunday, March 10

Timberwolves vs Lakers Picks, Prediction Today | NBA Odds for Sunday, March 10 article feature image
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Action Network Design. Pictured: Anthony Edwards and LeBron James as we break down the NBA odds for Wolves vs Lakers and our picks and prediction for the best bet for this primetime game.

Timberwolves vs. Lakers Picks, Prediction Today | NBA Odds

Sunday, Mar 10
9:30pm ET
ESPN
Timberwolves Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+1
-110
221.5
-110o / -110u
-105
Lakers Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-1
-110
221.5
-110o / -110u
-115
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Minnesota Timberwolves without Karl-Anthony Towns take on the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday night on ESPN, with tipoff scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET.

Wolves vs Lakers is basically a coin flip tonight, as the Lakers are 1-point favorites (-1) at bet365. The total is set at over/under 221.5 points scored after coming down from the opening line of 223.

Let's get to my Timberwolves vs Lakers prediction and Timberwolves vs Lakers pick as we break down tonight's NBA odds for Wolves-Lakers.


Timberwolves vs Lakers Prediction

Sunday, March 10
9:30 p.m.
ESPN
Pick: Under 221.5 (-110)

The Minnesota Timberwolves are having to adjust to life without Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee, which could keep him out of action for four weeks.

According to StatMuse.com, his usage rate (27.4%) on the team is only second to that of Anthony Edwards (35%). Thus, it's fair to say that Towns' injury was a massive blow for the Timberwolves.

Minnesota's recent 113-104 overtime loss to the Cavaliers was its first defeat in four games without Towns this season. Next up for Minnesota is a visit to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers.

The good news is that Minnesota's success this season has largely been due to its defense. But with Towns currently sidelined, picking off the total in these Timberwolves' games might've gotten a bit easier for under-bettors.

Timberwolves Betting Outlook

Per TeamRankings, Minnesota boasts the best defensive rating in the league, averaging 105.1 points allowed per 100 possessions. Its efficiency is more than two points better than the second-ranked Cavaliers (107.7).

What Minnesota has been able to do defensively in this era of basketball is truly remarkable, especially considering how the analytics have weaponized the 3-point shot.

Teams are shooting 3-pointers at an alarming rate, yet the Timberwolves are consistently able to guard the perimeter.

The most significant stat I always look at when it comes to perimeter defense isn't the opponents' 3-point field goals but their attempts. In this category, Minnesota ranks fourth in opponent attempts with 32.7 per game.

This means the Timberwolves do an excellent job of chasing opposing teams off the 3-point line and forcing them to take less-than-advantageous shots.

I particularly like the thought of Minnesota funneling opposing players into the paint where Rudy Gobert patiently waits to alter the shot attempt. The Timberwolves also rank second in points allowed in the paint with 46.1.


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Lakers Betting Outlook

Evaluating the Lakers' defensive efficiency can be tricky if you're not observing them from multiple viewpoints. For example, on the road, they rank 20th, allowing 114.5 points allowed per 100 possessions, but at home, they have a 110.1 rating, putting them 14th in that category.

Thus, if you look at their record on totals, the under is 17-15-1 when the Lakers are at home, while the over is 20-11 when they're on the road.

Although the Lakers have the oldest player in the league, LeBron James (39 years), the average age on their roster is 26.1 years, according to Spotrac, making them the 15th-youngest team.

Thanks to their younger players, the Lakers can get up and down the court, ranking fifth in tempo with an average of 104.7 possessions.

The Lakers use their pace to score easy baskets, given that they're also third in fast break points with 17.2 per game.

Minnesota is a team that can slow the Lakers down in transition. The Timberwolves rank fifth in opponent fast break points (13.1).


Timberwolves vs. Lakers Picks, Odds

Sunday, Mar 10
9:30pm ET
ESPN
Timberwolves Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+1
-110
221.5
-110o / -110u
-105
Lakers Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-1
-110
221.5
-110o / -110u
-115
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

One thing we might not have to worry about too much in this matchup is either team's perimeter shooting. Los Angeles ranks 28th in 3-point field goals (11.4), while the loss of Towns is a big miss for the Timberwolves on the perimeter.

Let's not forget that the 7-footer is also a 3-Point Contest champion. He ranks second on the Timberwolves in 3-point attempts (5.3) while shooting 42.3% from the perimeter.

In the four games without Towns this season, the Timberwolves have averaged less than 10 3-pointers, almost three fewer field goals than their season average (12.3). Moreover, in its last two games, Minnesota averaged 7.5 3-pointers.

Lastly, the total is 3-1 to the under this season when Towns doesn't play, and had its last game against Cleveland not gone into overtime, the under would be a perfect 4-0 in his absence.

The Timberwolves just went from a total of 206.5 against the Cavaliers to currently 223 against the Lakers. That's too aggressive of a move, given how I expect these teams to match up.

After shopping around, you can grab the total under 221.5 at bet365, which is down slightly from our recommendation of under 223. Consider a smaller unit at the current line.

Pick: Under 221.5

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