Los Angeles Clippers vs Minnesota Timberwolves Prediction: No Kawhi, No Problem
When: November 13, 10:30 PM ET
Spread: Clippers -7
Total: O/U 220.5
Where to Watch: Bally Sports
Los Angeles Clippers vs Minnesota Timberwolves Prediction
By the looks of it, the Clippers don’t miss the two-time Finals MVP nearly as much as you thought they might.
While their net rating on the season isn’t anything spectacular (positive 4.2, good for sixth in the NBA), they’ve been trending in the right direction. They’re a plus 5.7 in their last seven games and a plus 10.0 in their last five, all of which they’ve won.
The first two of those five victories came against the same Wolves team they face tonight, both of which came in Minnesota, by a combined 31 points. LA then proceeded to cover two more against the Hornets and Blazers at home before winning but not covering against the Heat.
That last game shouldn’t throw you off the scent of what has been the second best team in the NBA for a while now. Similarly, you might be swayed by some recency bias involving the Wolves as well. Following six straight dropped games on the court and against the spread, Minny throttled the Lakers in Los Angeles last night.
Take the game with a grain of salt. The Lakers have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the league this season, and that’s putting it kindly. They gave up an obscene 56 points in the paint to Minnesota on Friday night while only scoring 32 themselves. Minnesota’s defense also “held” the Lakers to below 30 percent shooting, but that’s also an offense that is bottom-three in the league over their last five. Good luck doing the same against the Clippers, who have the second best offense in the NBA over their last five.
Before limiting the Lakers to 83 points, the Wolves had allowed 115, 126, 104, 125 and 123 in their previous five. This game - in LA, where the Clippers beat Minnesota by 19 and 23 in their two games last season – will be a reversion to form.
Los Angeles Clippers vs Minnesota Timber Wolves Pick
Clippers -7 (-110)
Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers
When: November 13, 2021, 8:00 pm ET
Spread: Celtics -3
Total: O/U 206.5
Where to Watch: Bally Sports
Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction
This feels like a trap.
The Celtics, widely considered to be solidly within the East’s top six before the season started, are only giving a few points to a team that everyone figured would help bring up the NBA’s rear just a few weeks ago. Boston has also covered five straight coming into the game, winning four of those games outright, including three quality victories over the Heat by 17, the Raptors by 16 and the Bucks last night by nine. Their only loss came on a Luka Doncic miracle three at the buzzer. No shame in that.
And yet, if you look at the season-long standings, there is Cleveland at 8-5 with a positive 3.0 net rating despite playing eight of 13 games on the road, whereas Boston sits at 6-6 with a (barely) positive 0.4 net rating. Even over their recent hot streak, the Celtics’ net rating of positive 10.0 is just one spot above the Cavaliers’ positive 9.1 in the league standings.
In short, we should all probably stop sleeping on Cleveland.
Both teams played last night, so there’s no rest advantage, although the Celtics are traveling in from Boston for the game. The Celtics are also still missing Jaylen Brown, but are arguably the healthier team, with Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen and Kevin Love all out for Cleveland.
This one feels like a toss-up, and feels more like a referendum of just how much Boston has figured things out than anything else. When they have looked good this season, they have looked very good, and when they’ve looked bad, it has been almost too ugly to watch.
The bet here is that this game falls in the former category. All of Cleveland’s wins against good teams have been tight down the stretch, so even if Boston isn’t their best, they should be able to hang around, and the spread is small enough to make you feel good about their chances.
Give the points on the road.
Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers Pick
- Celtics -3 (-105)