Timberwolves vs Trail Blazers Picks, Prediction Today | Thursday, Feb. 15

Timberwolves vs Trail Blazers Picks, Prediction Today | Thursday, Feb. 15 article feature image

Jabari Walker #34 of the Portland Trail Blazers goes up for a shot against Rudy Gobert #27 of the Minnesota Timberwolves in the third quarter at Target Center. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Timberwolves vs. Trail Blazers Prediction, Picks for Thursday, Feb. 15

Thursday, Feb. 15
10 p.m.
League Pass
Trail Blazers +9 (-110)

Here's everything you need to know about Timberwolves vs. Trail Blazers on Thursday, Feb. 15 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.

The final game before the NBA All-Star break will be played in Portland, where the Trail Blazers are hoping the mighty Timberwolves will let their guard down on the road and cough up a win.

Can Portland's improving offense bring it to the precipice of an upset victory on Thursday night?

Let's get to our Timberwolves vs. Trail Blazers prediction and pick.

Timberwolves vs. Trail Blazers Prediction

Pick: Trail Blazers +9 (-110)

Timberwolves Betting Outlook

Life continues to be great for the Timberwolves, who own the league's top defense, and have seen it improve by a point per 100 possessions over the last 10 games. In that time, their 3-point defense has remained one of the best in the league at 35.6% according to Cleaning the Glass. They've also allowed the lowest opponent field goal percentage at the rim by a considerable margin at just 55.8%, improving upon their third-ranked mark of 62.2% for the season.

Teams have begun to learn their lesson, taking fewer 3s and fewer shots around the rim during this stretch and settling for the inefficient mid-range jump shot. While the Trail Blazers haven't had a huge amount of success in this shooting zone over the last couple weeks, it does technically profile as their most efficient area of the floor, even though they take most of their shots at the rim.

Minnesota's offense may take a step back here if Anthony Edwards, who is questionable for this tilt due to right knee soreness, is out. With that said, though, the Timberwolves' offense has been much improved over the last 10 games, posting a spicy 118.7 efficiency rating. While Portland has made some strides on offense, it still possesses one of the worst defenses in the league.

Trail Blazers Betting Outlook

Speaking of injuries, and defense for that matter, the Trail Blazers will play a fifth straight game without Malcolm Brogdon, whose importance to this team can't be overstated. The positive news here, at least, is that Scoot Henderson who has been in and out of the lineup recently, is listed as probable. He should be able to continue to carry the scoring load.

Scoring down low against the Timberwolves will be a tall task, though it's worth noting that even with slightly worse 3-point shooting numbers, the Trail Blazers have been a much different team at home this year. Their 112.7 offensive rating at home beats out out their mark on the road by over seven points per 100 possessions. Otherwise, it's hard to see where this team has improved on offense other than in the long mid-range — something that certainly could come in handy given it's the only area of the floor the Timberwolves have relented in the last 10 games.

The Timberwolves have actually managed to shoot better from 3 on the road this season by nearly a full percentage point, which should actually play into the Trail Blazers' hands here as one of the best 3-point defenses in the NBA. If they can manage to hold their ground on the perimeter, they should be able to find their way into this one.

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Timberwolves vs. Trail Blazers Picks, Odds

Thursday, Feb 15
10:00pm ET
ROOT Sports NW+
Timberwolves Odds
-112o / -108u
Trail Blazers Odds
-112o / -108u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Let's just call it how it is — it's very hard to beat the Timberwolves. Minnesota is dominant across the board on offense, and even with Portland showing some improvements and playing at home, the Trail Blazers are going to be behind the proverbial 8-ball here from the jump.

Nine points is where things get interesting for me, particularly with the status of Edwards up in the air heading into the break. Nobody would fault the Timberwolves for taking it easy with their lead man and giving him an extended rest, particularly given the caliber of opponent here and their recent run of form.

Minnesota may be covering in 53.8% of its games this season, but it's just 10-10 against the spread as road favorites. Portland, despite covering in 47.2%, is an equal 10-10 ATS as home underdogs.

The Trail Blazers' offense has been trustworthy in home games this year, and it's been performing better of late — particularly in the area of the floor where it's easiest to score on Minnesota. The Timberwolves' otherworldly rim defense led by Rudy Gobert is going to throw a wrench into the Trail Blazers' plans, given how many times they take the ball into the rim, but I do think Portland's solid 3-point defense should neutralize that advantage enough to make this one interesting.

Pick: Trail Blazers +9 (-110)

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