The Minnesota Timberwolves once again find themselves slight home ‘dogs (MIN +1) in the November 16th NBA free pick despite the fact the team is 6-1 at the Target Center this season. The ‘Wolves have now won four straight home games – three of which they were listed as underdogs in. Portland comes to Minneapolis tonight playing just their 2nd road game of the month. As the Wolves continue to get comfortable with their new roster are they the play this evening?
Portland Tries to Get Their Defense Back on Track
The Blazers kicked off a 6-game, 10-day road trip last time out by allowing their most points of the season in a 126-117 loss to the Lakers. Coach Terry Stotts hopes that was a hiccup for a defensive unit that had held four straight opponents to under 105 points scored. The Trailblazers won 5 of 6 on their recent home stand but will have a stronger test in the November 16th NBA free pick as they are just 3-2 on the road this season. Portland has the #1 rebounding team in the league (51.8 per game) but will have their hands full with the size of Minnesota. Then again, the Trailblazers did match up very well in the first game of the season, beating the T’Wolves 111-81 as Minnesota shot just 31.2% from the floor.
Portland definitely has the balance on offense to push this game towards the ‘over’ of 223.5. Damian Lillard is coming off a monster game vs. the Lakers, flirting with a triple-double with 31 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebounds. Two other Trailblazers scored 20+ in that game as CJ McCollum added 23 and Jusuf Nurkic added 21 points and 14 rebounds.
Minnesota Aims to Get in a Groove With Their New Lineup In Tact
Big picture the Timberwolves have struggled this year as they’ve lost 7 of their last 11 games. You have to look at that with a finer tooth comb however as the Wolves have gone 2-0 since a) returning home from a West Coast road trip and b) shedding the Jimmy Butler distraction. The team debuted two of the new pieces acquired in the Butler trade with great success. Dario Saric scored 9 points off the bench vs. New Orleans and Robert Covington had 13 in a starting role. Covington also played great post defense on Anthony Davis, ‘limiting’ the big man to 29 points and 11 boards which is about as good as you can do against him.
Perhaps the biggest benefit from the Butler trade was that Timberwolves fans finally got their Karl-Anthony Towns back. In the last three games Towns has simply went off, going for 39/19, 25/21, and 25/16 last time out vs. Davis and New Orleans. Andrew Wiggins seems more comfortable in his role now too, adding 23 points on Wednesday. Minnesota got the 107-100 win over the Pelicans even with Derrick Rose out and the former MVP is expected to be back in the lineup in the November 16th NBA free pick.
November 16th NBA Free Pick Betting
There’s value on both teams tonight especially as essentially a pick ’em. Portland has played well overall at the Target Center, going 20-6 ATS their last 26 games there. That being said the home team has covered in four straight meetings between the two. Minnesota’s defense will improve with the addition of the underrated Covington and their offense will get a boost with the return of Rose tonight. The Blazers fly in from LA while the Timberwolves have been at home for a week. That should be enough to tip the scales in the re-energized Wolves favor tonight.
NBA Free Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves +1