The Memphis Grizzlies host the Minnesota Timberwolves at the FedEx Forum on January 7, 2020.
The Memphis Grizzlies head home after winning a pair of road games last week, including a big upset over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Grizzlies are 15-22 on the season and are in 4th place in the Southwest Division. The Timberwolves have been without star Karl Anthony Towns since mid-December. The Wolves have lost just twice in their last six games and are coming off a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in their last assignment.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have won four out of their last six games played after going on an 11-game losing streak. The Wolves head to Memphis having beaten the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers in succession. Karl Anthony Towns missed the game against the Cavs on Sunday with a knee injury. Towns has not played since December 14, 2019.
Towns leads Minnesota at 26.5 points and 11.7 rebounds per game but remains out of action. Andrew Wiggins is putting up 24.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game while Robert Covington is adding 12.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per outing. Jeff Teague leads the Wolves with 6.3 assists while also scoring 13.7 points per game.
Minnesota ranks 12th in the league in scoring at 111.8 points per game. They are 6th in rebounding at 46.7 boards grabbed per contest and are also 24th in passing at 22.2 assists per game. The Wolves are allowing the 7th most points per game this season at 114.6 per outing.
The Memphis Grizzlies have won back to back road games as they surprisingly took out the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night and then defeated the Phoenix Suns the following day. Memphis has won three out of their last four games and are 5-3 in their last eight assignments.
Jaren Jackson leads Memphis in scoring at 17.8 points per game while also collaring 4.9 rebounds and blocking 1.4 shots per outing. Rookie guard Ja Morant is having a fine year with 17.6 points and 6.6 assists per game. Jonas Valanciunas is putting up 14.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per contest
Memphis ranks 11th in the league in scoring at 112.2 points per game. They are 16th in rebounding at 45.3 boards grabbed per contest and are 2nd in passing at 27.5 assists per game this season. The Grizzlies have allowed their opponents to score an average of 116.5 points per game, 4th most in the league this season.
Minnesota is 4-13 SU in their last 17 games played The Timberwolves are 2-4 SU in their last six games played on the road. Memphis is 4-2 SU in their last six games played. The Grizzlies are 7-12 SU in their 19 home games played this season. Head to head, the Grizzlies are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games played against the T-Wolves. Memphis is also 16-3 SU in their last 19 home games against Minnesota.
The Wolves are starting to pick up victories even without Karl Anthony Towns who hasn’t played since December 14th. Andrew Wiggins returned in their last game after missing four games with the flu and the Wolves got big games from role players Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Napier in their win against the Cavs.
The Grizzlies won back to back road games last week including a big upset over the heavily favored Los Angeles Clippers. Memphis is 10-9 since December 1, 2019, and they are coming off a win over the Phoenix Suns. Jonas Valanciunas scored 30 points in that game while Dillon Brooks added 19.
Both teams are playing well right now but when you look at the Wolves they are a solid 9-10 on the road while the Grizzlies are a struggling 7-12 at home. Memphis won the first two meetings between these two teams with Karl Anthony Town playing for Minnesota. I think Towns’ absence is going to be the key here. I expect another big night from Valanciunas and a good game from Jackson.
PREDICTION: MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
The Wolves are 5-1 ATS in their last six games played. Minnesota is 11-7-1 ATS in 19 road games played this season. The Grizzlies are 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 games played. Memphis is 2-1 ATS in their last three home games, 5-1 ATS in their last six January games, and 7-2-1 ATS in their last nine games played against the Western Conference. Head to head, the Grizzlies are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games played against the Wolves.
Minnesota got Wiggins and Teague back last week but the team is still without its top player in Towns. Memphis, meanwhile, is healthy and they are playing well as of late with their back to back road wins over the Clippers and Suns. I think the Grizzlies are starting to figure things out and should have the edge playing at home against a Minnesota team missing its best player.
PREDICTION: GRIZZLIES -3
The total has gone under in eight out of the last 10 games played by the Timberwolves. The under is also 5-1 in Minnesota’s last six games played on the road, and also 6-0 in their last six games played against the Western Conference. The total has gone over in four out of the last five games played by the Grizzlies. The over is also 5-0 in Memphis’ last five games played at home. The total has gone under in seven out of the last 10 meetings between these two teams.
These two teams are in the Top 10 when it comes to pace. The Grizzlies are 3rd at 103.2 possessions per contest while the Timberwolves are in 8th place at 102.6 possessions per game. Memphis has scored 120+ points in their last three games played and the Timberwolves should follow suit given the number of possessions these teams play with per game. I think both teams go over the number in this game.
PREDICTION: OVER 234.5
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