Timberwolves vs Spurs Pick & Prediction Tonight

Timberwolves vs Spurs Pick & Prediction Tonight article feature image

Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves controls the ball while Keldon Johnson #3 of the San Antonio Spurs defends in the fourth quarter of the game. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Timberwolves vs Spurs Pick & Pick

After making his Madison Square Garden debut on Wednesday, Victor Wembanyama is set to make his NBA In-Season Tournament debut Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves. In fact, the Timberwolves will make their In-Season Tournament debut as well!

It's only the second night of the tournament, and we saw a heavy bias to overs on opening night last Friday (5-2), but it's hard to tell if that's a small sample size or a sign of things to come. It could be an outlier, or it could be the result of the tie-breaker benefit to teams that score more points. Whatever it is, I'm here for it!

The Spurs are already a team that skews over (7-1 on the season), so we'll see if that trend continues against the Timberwolves, who boast the best defense in the league.

Here's everything you need to know about Timberwolves vs. Spurs on Friday, Nov. 10, including our expert prediction and betting picks for today.

Timberwolves vs Spurs Prediction

Friday, Nov. 10
8 p.m. ET
NBA League Pass
Timberwolves Team Total Over 116.5

Defense has been the story of the season for the Timberwolves. They’ve been the best on that end of the floor by any holistic metric you want to look at, and they’re near the top of the heap in pretty much every defensive stat worth considering. Minnesota is second in defensive rebounds per game (38), fifth in blocks (6.4) and third in opponent points in the paint (43.7), per NBA.com. The addition of Rudy Gobert and the ascension of Jaden McDaniels as a defensive stalwart has certainly helped Minnesota's defense reach new heights.

However, the biggest reason for the Wolves improved defense comes from their best offensive player. Through seven games, Anthony Edwards has been the most impactful player in the league based on Expected Wins (67), a metric calculated by Cleaning the Glass that predicts team wins based on an individual player’s efficiency contribution. Edwards is second in Offensive Rating (+22.9) and Efficiency Differential (+34.8), but his defense is what is really contributing to the Wolves' success. Incredibly, he’s number one in Defensive Win Shares (.252), ahead of last year’s Second Team All-Defense member OG Anunoby (.219), Kawhi Leonard (.197) and Gobert, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year (.204).

I mentioned Edwards’ offensive impact, which has been notable, but the Wolves' offense has taken some time to round into shape. They rank 15th in Adjusted Offensive Rating, per Dunks and Threes, but they’ve also had the 11th-toughest offensive schedule. The Wolves' offense is rounding into shape as their defense continues to dominate.

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Everything nice I just said about the Timberwolves and their defense, well, you can reverse that for the Spurs. Wembanyama has been every bit as electric as the hype suggested and he’s lived up to the high expectations, especially defensively. He ranks in the 93rd percentile in on/off Defensive Rating (-13.5), but is just about the only member of the Spurs who has even an above-average defensive skillset. The Spurs just don’t have the discipline or talent to hang defensively and that was on display Wednesday night against the Knicks, who profile similarly to the Wolves.

Like Minnesota, New York has an elite defense, but an offense that’s struggled to start the season. Even still, the Knicks soared past their team total of 116.5 — which is what the books have for the Wolves on Friday night. Alternatively, the Spurs went under their team total of 107.5, despite the full game total going over.

Timberwolves vs Spurs Pick, Odds

Friday, Nov. 10
8 p.m. ET
NBA League Pass
Timberwolves Odds
-115 / -105
Spurs Odds
-115 / -105
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Based on current form, I lean pretty heavily toward the Wolves (-6) and the over (225.5), but the Wolves are 0-2 ATS on the road and I have some concern that the Spurs won’t hold up their end of the scoring bargain — especially against Minnesota’s stingy defense. We’ve also seen the pace decrease somewhat in the past five Spurs' games, so to play it a bit safer, I’ll go with the Timberwolves team total over 116.5 and fade San Antonio's defense.

Minnesota has eclipsed 117 in two of its past three games and is 4-1 to the team total over in its past five games. Follow me in the Action app (AOWatts13) to see how else I play this game, but for now, let’s bet on the Wolves' offense and fade the Spurs' defense.

Pick: Timberwolves Team Total Over 116.5 | Play to 118.5

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Doug Ziefel
Jun 23, 2024 UTC