The Boston Celtics continue to chase the top four spot in the Eastern Conference, and they start 2019 with a clash against the Minnesota Timberwolves on the home court. The Timberwolves are in big trouble, sitting at the 13th spot of the Western Conference table, so they will be looking for an upset at TD Garden where the Timberwolves has been winless since 2005. This will be the second head-to-head duel of the season between these two rivals, and the Celtics overcame the Timberwolves 118-109 as 1.5-point underdogs in Minneapolis on December 1, 2018.
The Timberwolves are hoping for a miracle
The Minnesota Timberwolves (17-20; 19-18 ATS) have lost 12 straight meetings with the Celtics at TD Garden, so they are certainly feeling like waiting for a miracle on this one, and Kyrie’s injury could help, for sure. The Timberwolves are coming off a 123-114 defeat at New Orleans, missing the chance to beat the wounded Pelicans, and ending up a three-game winning streak away from home. They had a lot of problems on the road this season, winning just five of their 19 contests, and covering on eight occasions, but that recent winning streak should be an encouraging fact.
Karl-Anthony Towns is leading the way for the Timberwolves with 21.7 points and 12.1 rebounds per game, while Derrick Rose is tallying 18.9 points and 4.8 assists per contest. Andrew Wiggins is struggling all season long, averaging just 16.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per night on 39.7% shooting from the field, and the Timberwolves need more from him if they want to reach the playoffs. Jeff Teague has 11.6 points and 8.3 assists per game, but he and Derrick Rose are listed as questionable for the clash against Boston. The Timberwolves are scoring 111.5 points per game (14th in the league) on 44.9% shooting from the field (22nd), allowing 111.6 points in a return (21st) on 45.7% shooting (14th).
The Celtics continue with an inconsistent performance
The Boston Celtics (21-15; 18-18 ATS) just cannot find the right rhythm this season, and just when you think they will start to win in sequences, they make a regress. The Celtics are coming off a 120-111 defeat at the San Antonio Spurs on New Year’s Eve when they dropped a six-point lead from the halftime, surrendering whopping 46 points in the third quarter. It was their second defeat in the last three outings and fifth over the previous eight games, while the Celtics have lost two of their last four matchups at TD Garden.
Kyrie Irving is leading the Celtics with 25.0 points and 6.6 assists per game on 48.8% shooting from the field and 40.8% from beyond the arc. Uncle Drew suffered an eye injury against the Spurs and is listed as questionable for the clash with Minnesota. Jayson Tatum is averaging 16.2 points per game and is leading the Celtics in rebounds with 6.6 boards per contest, while Marcus Morris continues to impress, tallying 15.5 points on 50.1% shooting from the field and 44.1% from downtown. The Celtics are scoring 111.6 points per game (12th in the league) on 45.4% shooting from the field (20th), allowing 106.0 points in a return (6th) on 44.4% shooting (4th).
- 4-8 SU and 5-7 ATS in the last 12 games overall
- 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS in the last five road games versus the Eastern Conference
- 0-12 SU and 3-9 ATS in the last 12 road meetings with Boston
- 3-5 SU and ATS in the last eight games overall
- 4-3 SU and 3-4 ATS in the last seven home games against the Western Conference
- 8-2 SU and ATS in the last ten meetings with Minnesota
The Winner Prediction
Kyrie Irving could easily miss this one due to an eye injury, so the Celtics will probably have to bounce back without their best player. It means some other guys need to step up and contribute at the higher level, and the Celtics possess a lot of talent among their roster. On the other side, the Timberwolves are in a tough situation in the Western Conference, so I expect to see a tight contest. However, it seems like the Timberwolves have huge problems at TD Garden, so I will go with the Celtics here.
The Pick: Boston Celtics -6.5 (-110)
The over has hit in Celtics’ last six outings, and they will have to tighten up their defense if they want to get back on the winning path. On the other side, the over has hit in Minnesota’s previous eight showings, and the Timberwolves have won four games during that stretch. The betting trends are suggesting the over on this one, but I think the Celtics will step up defensively and make the Timberwolves take some tough shots all night long, so I’m backing the under.
The Pick: Under 219.5 points (-110)