The Los Angeles Lakers have been in a bit of a rut as they’ve lost four of their last five games and they will be hoping to avoid a third straight defeat after falling to the Knicks in a 119-112 home loss on Friday. Brandon Ingram led the team in scoring with 21 points on eight of 21 shooting, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 19 points, JaVale McGee scored 18 points while Lonzo Ball drained five 3-pointers to finish with 17 points. As a team, the Lakers shot 43 percent from the field and 11 of 37 from the 3-point line as they rallied in the second and third quarters to overcome an early 17-point deficit, but they’ve had trouble closing out games in the absence of LeBron James and Friday was no different as they were outscored by 33-20 in the fourth quarter. With the disappointing loss, Los Angeles dropped to 21-18 overall and 13-8 at home.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been in decent form with four wins in their last seven games and they will be looking to build some momentum after blowing past the Magic in a 120-103 home win on Friday. Karl-Anthony Towns led the team with 29 points and 15 rebounds, Jeff Teague returned from a nine-game absence to add 23 points and 10 assists on eight of 10 shooting, while Andrew Wiggins chipped in with 16 points and four assists. As a team, the Timberwolves shot a healthy 51 percent from the field and nine of 26 from the 3-point line but the key to the win was actually their defense as they held the Magic to just 35 points in the second half after allowing them to pour in 40 points in the first quarter. With the win, Minnesota improved to 18-21 overall and 13-6 at home.
L.A. Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves
|Date & Time||Sunday January 6, 2019, 3:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Minnesota -5.5 — Over/Under 232
Online Stream: Click here to watch Live in HD
Looking at the betting trends, the Lakers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 Sunday games, 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine games against a team with a losing record and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games following an ATS loss. The Timberwolves are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 home games, 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a win of more than 10 points and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
Head to head, the over is 10-4 in the last 14 meetings, the Lakers are 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings in Minnesota and 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings overall.
LeBron James has already been ruled out as he decided to skip the this road trip and Kyle Kuzma is currently listed as questionable which really hurts a struggling Lakers team who have trouble closing out games. The Timberwolves look to like they’re starting to turn the corner with four wins in their last seven and they’ll only improve with Teague finally back in the lineup. The Lakers are just 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings overall and the Timberwolves have been great at home where they are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games. With that being said, I’ll take the Timberwolves to pull away late for the win and cover in the battle of shorthanded teams.