Warriors vs Timberwolves Picks and Predictions: Minnesota Takes Advantage of Depleted Dubs

The Golden State Warriors wrap up a road trip in Minnesota before heading to the Bay for a seven-game homestand. The Dubs are shorthanded and will give the Timberwolves a great chance, as our NBA betting picks explain.

Last Updated: Jan 16, 2022 10:09 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
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A week on from the long-awaited return of Klay Thompson, the Golden State Warriors will wrap up a four-game road trip against the Minnesota Timberwolves without Draymond Green or Steph Curry.

Golden State's stop in Minnesota will be its last before a seven-game homestand, a stretch that includes another meeting with these same Wolves. It may be looking for revenge in that spot, as the shorthanded Dubs are primed to be picked off by a young and energetic Minnesota team.

Here are our free NBA picks and predictions for Warriors vs. Timberwolves. with tipoff on January 16.

Warriors vs Timberwolves odds

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

The Timberwolves opened as high as a 6-point favorite but have since moved to between -4 and -4.5 against the Warriors, who will be without both Steph Curry and Draymond Green. The total hit the board between 218 and 219, with early action on the Under seeing the total drop to 216.5.

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.

Warriors vs Timberwolves predictions

Predictions made on 1/15/2022 at 11:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Warriors vs Timberwolves game info

Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Date: Sunday, January 16, 2022
Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: BSN, NBCS-BA

Warriors vs Timberwolves betting preview

Injuries

Warriors: Draymond Green PF (Out), Gary Payton II PG (Questionable), James Wiseman C (Out), Steph Curry PG (Out).
Timberwolves: Jaylen Nowell SG (Questionable), Leandro Bolmaro SF (Out), Jordan McLaughlin PG (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Warriors are 2-7 ATS in the last nine meetings in Minnesota. Find more NBA betting trends for Warriors vs. Timberwolves.

Warriors vs Timberwolves 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 Minnesota Timberwolves have continued a season of swings this week, as a four-game win streak has been followed by back-to-back losses and now a matchup with the Western Conference's two-seed, the Golden State Warriors. Minnesota's record, hovering around .500, has almost entirely been constructed of multiple game winning and losing streaks, but it has a good chance at halting its brief skid against the Steph Curry-less Warriors. 

The Wolves' starting five has been among the NBA's best and has struck a great balance between scoring and defense, but the team still leaves a lot to be desired.

The offense, at times, has been remedial, with their three stars alternating turns as opposed to synergizing. And while the team's shooting has improved recently, they're still a lowly 22nd in effective FG% and will continue to be streaky as long as key bench pieces Malik Beasley, Taurean Prince, and Naz Reid remain cold. The defense, so outstanding for most of the season, relies on energy and chaos and suffers on lethargic nights, of which there have been a few too many as of late.

The Warriors, meanwhile, have been extremely reliable wire-to-wire this year, even with some Steph Curry shooting struggles. They're the best defense in the NBA, adjusted for opponent, and sit 12th by the same metric on offense.

With Thompson growing back into the game, Andrew Wiggins' occasional big nights, and Jordan Poole's reliability off the bench, their offense should jump back up into the elite before the season's end. However, without Curry or Green on Sunday, Golden State will find scoring hard to come by against the feisty Minnesota defense. 

These Wolves are competitive but have been beaten soundly by great teams regularly this season. This would shape up as one of those spots for Minnesota had Golden State had its full roster available but with Green and Curry out, the Wolves can take advantage.

Prediction: Timberwolves -4 (-110)

Despite two of the best shooters in the NBA, Klay Thompson and Karl-Anthony Towns, and talented scorers around them taking part here, it's the defense that defines this matchup. 

The Warriors boast the best adjusted defensive rating in the NBA, and even in Draymond Green's absence, they have put together a couple of strong performances on defense, holding the Cavs to 82 points and the Bulls to 96.

The Wolves only just fell out of the Top 8 in defensive rating adjusted for opponent, ranking 12th (with 6-12 closely packed together) after a sluggish week. With the best five-man unit in the NBA in terms of net rating, including two superb defenders in Patrick Beverley and Jarred Vanderbilt, they can suffocate any team with their chaotic style of defense. 

While there's faith in both teams' defenses, both teams' scoring gives you pause at the moment. 

Golden State blew Chicago out on Friday but skepticism is still warranted — though Andrew Wiggins will no doubt show up against his old team. Steph Curry is out with a hand injury, Klay Thompson's stroke is yet to be found, and Green's absence may be mostly felt in his role with the bench, as the veteran has formed a superb two-man game with Jordan Poole this year to keep the team afloat while Curry rests. The third-year guard is averaging a career-high 17.1 points per game this year but in the last six games Green's missed, Poole's averaged just 13 (boosted significantly by 22 vs. the Bulls). 

For Minnesota, the only reason we can't call its half-court offense "broken" is because it's never been together. The Wolves have been awful when they haven't been able to get out and run this year, as Towns has been consistently doubled in the post while the team's shooters have stayed ice cold. They found a small solution in the half-court in microwave scorer Jaylen Nowell, but the combo guard is only just returning from an ankle sprain suffered earlier this week. 

With plenty of reason to Under in this one even without factoring in Curry's absence, it's an easy choice. 

Prediction: Under 216.5 (-110)

Anyone who has followed Andrew Wiggins' career is well aware of the way the lethargic, frustratingly tantalizing wing turns it on in certain matchups. Those matchups rarely change, either, with Wiggins coming alive against LeBron James (whose Cavs traded him for Kevin Love), the Raptors (his hometown team), and now, the Timberwolves, who traded him away in February 2020.

Wiggins has averaged 19.5 points per game in his career but it ticks up in those matchups, averaging 22.2 points vs. James, 22.2 points vs. Toronto, and 26.0 in four games vs. Minnesota, including a 35-point night in the prior meeting this year. The former No. 1 overall pick is capable of turning it on at any time, which is part of why he is so maddening, and he always turns it on in the games that mean the most to him. 

Both the Wolves and Warriors are happy with the way in which the D'Angelo Russell-Andrew Wiggins swap has played out but for a night, Minnesota fans will yet again be left frustrated by the play of their former cornerstone as he carries Golden State in Curry's absence. 

Pick: Andrew Wiggins Over 17.5 points (-105)

NBA parlays

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