- Go to BetOnline or Bovada for the latest odds on the Lakers vs Timberwolves matchup
- LeBron James averaged 26 points, 7.5 assists and 7.3 rebounds in five April contests
- Tuesday’s Western Conference Play-In game tips off from Crypto.com Arena at 10:30 ET on TNT
While most teams in the NBA play-in tournament are waiting to be put out of their misery, the Lakers (43-39) just might be bonafide contenders in a Western Conference where every club is full of warts.
On Tuesday night, No. 7 Los Angeles will host No. 8 Minnesota (42-40) with the winner moving on to face the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Before we break down the matchup and make our picks, check out the latest 2023 NBA Playoff Betting Odds and our guide to betting on the NBA.
Lakers vs Timberwolves
|Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||+7.0 (-110)||+240||Ov 227.5 (-110)|
|Los Angeles Lakers||-7.0 (-110)||-295||Un 227.5 (-110)|
LeBron seeks fifth ring
Los Angeles had the best record in the Western Conference since the All-Star break despite LeBron James only playing in 11 games. The King lit up the Jazz in the final game of the regular season, making eight triples for a game-high 36 points. LeBron looks all the way back from his foot injury, averaging 26 points, 7.5 assists and 7.3 rebounds in his last five contests.
Anthony Davis stepped up during James’ absence to keep his club in the playoff hunt and he hasn’t slowed down since his return. AD has put up 23 points, 13.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game in April. The trade deadline acquisitions of Jarred Vanderbilt and D’Angelo Russell also helped transform the Lakers into a contender heading into the postseason.
— Do Deka (@dodekabasket) April 9, 2023
Minnesota took the season series 2-1 over the Lakers but dropped their most recent meeting, losing 123-111 at home two weeks ago. The Timberwolves looked to be imploding in Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Pelicans before somehow pulling off a 113-108 comeback victory. Rudy Gobert was sent home after throwing a punch at teammate Kyle Anderson during a sideline altercation. Jaden McDaniels also broke his shooting hand after punching a wall while walking down the tunnel.
The T-Wolves can’t be outright dismissed in this one. Averaging 24.6 points per game, Anthony Edwards is one of the game’s bright young stars. Karl Anthony-Towns is coming off a 30 points, eight rebound performance. And Mike Conley has provided a steady hand at the point guard position since coming over at the deadline.
Los Angeles vs Minnesota
Los Angeles is a 7-point home favorite on Tuesday night. They’re just 21-20 against-the-spread at Crypto.com Arena this season, and 10-12 as home chalk. Minnesota is 20-20 ATS away from home, and 13-14 as a road underdog. This is the Lakers’ second appearance in the play-in tournament in three seasons. Back in 2021, they knocked off the Warriors as the No. 7 seed before losing their first round series to Phoenix in six games.
Tuesday’s game total is set at 230.5 points. The majority (56.1%) of Lakers home contests have gone UNDER while Minnesota’s road games have a slight lean (52.5%) towards the OVER.
Oh my Rudy Gobert just threw a punch at his own teammate Kyle Anderson pic.twitter.com/6GP5wwkCqW
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) April 9, 2023
We absolutely expect Minnesota to lose this game and face the winner of Wednesday’s play-in matchup between No. 10 Oklahoma City and No. 9 New Orleans. However, their gutsy effort on Sunday shouldn’t be discounted and 7 points is a lot.
The Lakers will win a close one over the Timberwolves and advance to play Memphis in the first round.
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