NBA

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Free NBA Pick

Tuesday, January 8 at 8:00 PM ET
 
Chesapeake Energy Arena
 
Coverage: NBATV
 
Two very inconsistent teams clash on Tuesday when the Minnesota Timberwolves visit the Oklahoma City Thunder. 
 
The Timberwolves fired president and coach Tom Thibodeau moments after Sunday's 108-86 win against the Lakers, which improved their record to 14-6 at home but they're just 19-21 on the season and they wanted to clear the way for ownership to revamp the team's basketball operations.
 
The Thunder were on a three-game winning streak, with impressive victories over the Mavericks, Lakers and Trail Blazers before suffering a disappointing 116-98 home loss against the lowly Wizards. Oklahoma City turned the ball over 15 times and Washington outrebounded them 66-52 but the biggest takeaway was Russell Westbrook's shooting woes. Westbrook led the Thunder with 22 points but he was just 9 for 23 from the field and now he's shooting 35.9 percent in his last five games.
 
Karl-Anthony Towns, one of Thibodeau's biggest supporters, is in the middle of one of the best stretches of play of his career, averaging 29.4 points, 16.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists while shooting 51.9 percent from the field in his last five games and he had 28 points on 11 of 20 shooting, including 1 of 4 from 3-point range, with 18 rebounds, four blocks, three assists and two steals across 35 minutes against the Lakers. Will Towns continue to step up even now that Thibodeau is gone? 
 
Also keep an eye on Andrew Wiggins tonight, here are his last three games at Oklahoma City:

30 points (11-20 FG), six rebounds, five assists (game-winner)

23 points (8-14 FG), three rebounds, one assist

27 points (10-20 FG), seven rebounds, four assists (game winner)

Wiggins is averaging 26.6 points in those games and he's playing well as of late, putting up 21.6 points and 3.2 assists in his last five contests, including 28 points and five rebounds against the Lakers.

 
NBA Trends:
 
The Minnesota Timberwolves are:
 
9-4 ATS in their last 13 games when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game
 
11-5 ATS in their last 16 games playing on 1 days rest
 
The Oklahoma City Thunder are:
 
4-10 ATS in their last 14 Tuesday games
 
2-5 ATS in their last seven games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points
 
8-21 ATS in their last 29 games against Northwest Division opponents
 
Minnesota needs Towns to have a big night because Derrick Rose has missed the last five games with a sprained right ankle suffered December 28 against the Hawks and Robert Covington has missed the last three games with a bone bruise on his right knee and both were ruled out for this contest. 
 
Even with their absences and their lack of a head coach I still like the Timberwolves to at least keep this game close behind Towns. Westbrook is really struggling with his shot and the battle of the boards can help decide this contest.
 
NBA Pick: Timberwolves +8 (-110) at Jazz Sports
 
Check odds here: http://bit.ly/2RMxhhA

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