The Minnesota Timberwolves remain atop the Western Conference standings, but have three teams within striking distance at a half-game back. One of those teams is the Los Angeles Clippers, which have an opportunity to leapfrog the Timberwolves Monday night at Crytpo.com Arena.
Minnesota started its five-game road trip with an overtime loss in Chicago, but quickly bounced back on Thursday by blowing out the Bucks. The Clippers have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA going back to Christmas, winning 18 of their last 22 games. Los Angeles is coming off a 112-106 win over Detroit.
Here’s the betting preview for a Monday’s matchup with a best bet.
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Los Angeles Clippers
Anthony Edwards: Edwards shows no signs of slowing down his career year as the two-time All-Star has continued to explode in February. In four games this month, Edwards, who is averaging 25.9 points per game, is averaging 29.5, and is coming off 64 points combined over the first two games of Minnesota’s road trip, which included a double-double (38 points, 12 rebounds) against Chicago.
Paul George: George, who is averaging 22.5 points per game, was the Clippers’ leading scorer for the first time since Jan. 16 in Saturday’s win over the Pistons. George poured in 33 points on 14-of-24 shooting to go with five rebounds and three assists to help the Clippers rally from a nine-point halftime deficit and avoid a costly loss.
Will Minnesota’s defense travel?
The Timberwolves are built on that side of the ball with the No. 1 defensive rating in the NBA this season. The Clippers are a respectable 12th in that category, but are built on offense, ranking No. 3 in offensive rating.
Minnesota’s defense is designed to be tough in the paint behind elite rim protection between Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert in the front court. The Clippers’ offense is most lethal, though, beyond the arc as the No. 1 three-point shooting team in the NBA, connecting on 39.7% of its perimeter attempts.
Minnesota is 4-5 ATS as a road underdog and just 13-15 ATS on the road overall this season. The Clippers turn it up at home, too, going 9-1 straight up in their last 10 games and are the No. 1 shooting team (50.1% from the field) in the NBA at home this season.
The Clippers have revenge on their mind after losing to Minnesota 109-105 on the road Jan. 14 and you shouldn’t look too much into Saturday’s close call with Detroit as they very likely could’ve been looking ahead to this matchup with seeding implications.
Ivica Zubac (12 points and 9.4 rebounds per game) can hold his own in the paint against the Timberwolves while the Clippers’ stars lead the way to another home victory, as they’ve done all season. Lay it with LA.
Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.