Timberwolves vs Pelicans Picks and Predictions: Back New Orleans With Ingram Returning

New Orleans is in a current funk but the return of Brandon Ingram to the lineup tonight will be huge, especially since Minnesota should have a hard time guarding the small forward. Read more in our Timberwolves vs. Pelicans betting picks.

Last Updated: Jan 25, 2023 3:41 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Brandon Ingram CJ McCollum New Orleans Pelicans NBA
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Few things in basketball are more disheartening than losing to the Rockets, but the Minnesota Timberwolves did that on Monday.

It is hard to believe in any team coming off that reality jolt, especially when they are still on the road tonight and facing the New Orleans Pelicans as they welcome back Brandon Ingram.

Read more to find out where the betting edge lies this evening in our free NBA picks and predictions for Timberwolves vs. Pelicans on January 25.

Timberwolves vs Pelicans best odds

Timberwolves vs Pelicans picks and predictions

Brandon Ingram’s return has been expected for about a week now, and New Orleans needs him badly. 

The Pelicans have lost 10 of their last 13, including five games in a row. To make this stretch somehow worse, New Orleans has been favored only three times in the last 13 games.

Zion Williamson has also been sidelined by a hamstring injury since January 2. Hence, the losing stretch and the need for Ingram’s return from his big toe injury.

How good were the Pelicans before these injuries? Despite going 3-10 of late, they remain in fourth place in the West. They were outscored by 68 points in the last 13 games — the three wins all being by double digits dramatically helped this metric — a -5.2 differential, yet their season mark remains at +2.5.

The Pelicans are just 3-point favorites tonight. That is presumably because they played last night, but Vegas is underrating how deep New Orleans is, even when it has been without its two best young talents. In a one-point loss on Tuesday, only CJ McCollum and Trey Murphy played more than 28 minutes. It's safe to say a back-to-back with both games at home should hardly bother this roster.

And now it gets back its most complete scorer while facing one of the league’s most inconsistent teams.

The Timberwolves’ most dynamic lineup lacks perimeter defenders. Anthony Edwards is not yet proven in that department, and D’Angelo Russell is a sieve. Meanwhile, Taurean Prince is sidelined with an ankle injury, and Kyle Anderson's “Slo-Mo” nickname should explain why defending Ingram could be a troubling task. 

Jaden McDaniels cannot guard both Ingram and McCollum, and if this game comes down to a bucket or two, that basic math should prove the difference for New Orleans.

My best bet: Pelicans -3 (-110 at FanDuel)

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Timberwolves vs Pelicans spread analysis

Explain the Timberwolves. Somebody, please.

Since New Year’s Eve, they have lost to the Pistons twice and the Rockets on Monday. Set aside those three upset losses — games in which Minnesota was favored by a combined 19.5 points — and the Timberwolves are 8-2 against the spread since December 31, with five of those ATS wins coming as single-digit underdogs.

Not to use an old cliche, but this certainly feels like a ripe moment of, “Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?”

Minnesota is clearly capable of losing to anyone, but it always competes. That is not necessarily a piece of praise, but against the Ingram-included Pelicans, it may make for high drama.

Timberwolves vs Pelicans Over/Under analysis

This total feels quite low at 229, and the average pregame total for Timberwolves games in their last five has been 235.9 points.

A 229 O/U is more akin to a typical New Orleans game, with the average pregame total in the last five Pelicans games coming in at 224.3.

That said, it is still a number presumably knocked down by the default back-to-back expectations, ones that should be somewhat disregarded thanks to New Orleans’ depth and Tuesday usage.

Timberwolves vs Pelicans betting trend to know

New Orleans is 5-1 ATS in its last six games against teams with a losing overall record. Find more NBA betting trends for Timberwolves vs. Pelicans.

Timberwolves vs Pelicans game info

Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET

Timberwolves vs Pelicans key injuries

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