Timberwolves vs Pelicans Picks and Predictions: NOLA Slows Things Down at Home

The Pelicans look to snap out of a funk against the red-hot Timberwolves Tuesday night in NOLA. The key will be to slow down the pace to New Orleans' preferred tempo. We like their chances at doing so while delivering on the Under in our betting picks.

Last Updated: Jan 11, 2022 8:54 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Jonas Valanciunas New Orleans Pelicans NBA
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The Minnesota Timberwolves are riding a four-game winning streak heading into Tuesday night’s meeting with the New Orleans Pelicans. Willie Green’s team has lost four of its last five contests, but he’ll be hoping that home-court advantage can wake his group up. 

Will New Orleans find a way to bust its slump and beat Minnesota at the Smoothie King Center? Keep reading our NBA betting picks and predictions to find out.

Timberwolves vs Pelicans odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

The Timberwolves opened as 2.5-point favorites over the Pelicans and it didn’t take long for this line to move. Minnesota is laying either 3 or 3.5 points and the total is down from 228 to 225.5 or 227 at the time of this writing.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Timberwolves vs Pelicans predictions

Predictions made on 1/11/2022 at 12:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Timberwolves vs Pelicans game info

Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
Date: Tuesday, January 11, 2022
Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET

Timberwolves vs Pelicans betting preview


Timberwolves: Patrick Beverley G (Questionable), Leandro Bolmaro G (Questionable), McKinley Wright IV G (Questionable).
Pelicans: Tomas Satoransky G (Questionable), Kira Lewis Jr. G (Out), Zion Williamson F (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Pelicans are 5-2 against the spread in their last seven home games. Find more NBA betting trends for Timberwolves vs. Pelicans.

Timberwolves vs Pelicans picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

The Timberwolves are really playing well, having won four in a row and covered in 11 of their last 14. Minnesota is also averaging a ridiculous 138.0 points per game over the last two games. The Pelicans, however, have covered in five of their last seven home games and could squeak out a slump-busting win. 

While Minnesota is sixth in the league in pace of play this season, New Orleans is just 20th. The Pelicans are going to do everything they can to slow this game down and try to win it in half-court situations, and that should help them stay competitive throughout. It also helps that they’ll be dumping the ball inside to Jonas Valanciunas quite often. Valanciunas has been a monster in the paint and his physicality could frustrate Karl-Anthony Towns here. Towns is going to get his on the offensive end, but Valanciunas will do some damage, too. 

Brandon Ingram and Devonte’ Graham are also capable of getting hot, which would somewhat neutralize what D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards do for the Timberwolves. Also, Josh Hart is a two-player who will give the Pelicans some much-needed energy on both ends in this one after missing the team's last game. 

Overall, considering the contrast in styles, the Pelicans are good value in a game like this. The Timberwolves are not going to be able to play their trademark style and the Pelicans tend to hold their own against similar opponents. 

Prediction: Pelicans +3.5 (-110)

The Under is 18-8 when Minnesota has been favored over the last two seasons and it’s an even more enticing 12-3 when the Timberwolves have been favored by 3.5 to 9.5 points in that time. New Orleans has also gone Under in three of its last four games, which includes the last two where the Pelicans stayed competitive.

As mentioned earlier, the Pelicans are going to be looking to slow this game down to their preferred tempo. They beat the Golden State Warriors in a grind-it-out game on January 6, and they followed that one up by nearly beating the Toronto Raptors on the road. That formula hasn’t failed them just yet, so New Orleans will try to take Minnesota out of its rhythm. That’s a good thing for Under bettors. 

Prediction: Under 227.5 (-110)

The Timberwolves are playing well, but this is an up-and-down basketball team. And while Minnesota has been good on the road this season, the sample size is still rather small. Meanwhile, New Orleans is 11-8 against the spread when playing at home this season. The Pelicans are also 12-10 against the spread when getting 3.5 to 9.5 points this year.  

This line just feels like one that could be a bit of a trap. New Orleans is a bit better than its record suggests, and the team should be able to come away with the win. That also makes the Pelicans worthy of a small money line play. 

Pick: Pelicans +3.5 (-110)

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