We have set our parlay prediction on the showdown in the Western Conference between the Thunder and T’Wolves in Minnesota. OKC is led by superstar guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and we detail the strengths and weaknesses of his game. The T’Wolves have the best record in the West, led by sensational guard Anthony Edwards. Let’s put together a big win!
NBA Picks & Parlay of the Weekend | January 20
Oklahoma City Thunder at Minnesota Timberwolves
By far the best game of the night in the NBA on Michigan Sportsbooks is the top two teams in the West battling in Minnesota.
OKC beat the T’Wolves the day after Christmas 129-106 with star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander going off for 34 points. OKC is a better home team (16-5) than on the road (12-8) but are hot, winning five of their last seven. They’re on a long road trip, but this isn’t a back-to-back for either team.
Minnesota has the best record in the West at 30-11, but is 22-19 against the spread. Guard Anthony Edwards has really come into his own. He’s scoring 26.1 a game, and the T’Wolves have great balance inside and out.
It looks like a great match-up.
The Thunder are getting some points, but I’ll take them straight up in a game that comes down to the final minutes.
Thunder vs. Timberwolves Total
Minnesota has the NBA’s best defense, allowing 107.4 points a game, while the Thunder are second in the NBA in scoring at 122.2.
Something has to give, and usually in the NBA, good offenses find ways to score no matter what.
I like the over in this game. Three of the last four meetings between these two have hit the under, but when OKC beat Minnesota last month, they put up 129 on them. That’s the second most points Minnesota has allowed all year. The Thunder are 25-16 over/under. Minnesota is 21-20.
The reason offenses usually win out in the NBA is because there’s so much talent on the floor and the stars like to match one another. Both teams are rested and healthy. That’s important here.
Take the over in our parlay.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Threes
Thunder star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander doesn’t have many holes in his game, but shooting 3s may be the biggest.
Shai shoots 32.4 percent from beyond the arc, which places him roughly 200th among NBA players. He makes - on average -- one a game. But he does shoot them. This isn’t a situation where he doesn’t shoot 3s. He takes almost four a game. OKC takes 33 a game.
Shai hasn’t made a 3 in his last two games and is 2-17 in his last five. But he’s made two or more in almost half the games he’s played.
I don’t know that I’ve ever done a bet like this, but I believe OKC will need Shai to score a lot to win, which means shooting some 3s. He’s too good a player for a few not to go down tonight.
Take Shai over 1.5 threes.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.