Minnesota Timberwolves at Boston Celtics odds, picks and predictions – USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire

The Minnesota Timberwolves (16-16) battle the Boston Celtics (22-10) at TD Garden Friday. Tip is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. Below, we analyze Tipico Sportsbook’s lines around the Timberwolves vs. Celtics odds, and make our expert NBA picks and predictions.
The Celtics lost 117-112 to the Indiana Pacers Wednesday, failing to cover as 9.5-point home favorites. Boston managed to make it a game despite entering the half down 28. The Celtics are 11-5 straight up at home. They are 17-14-1 against the spread (ATS) this season but are 0-5-1 ATS over their last 6 games. Boston sits 2nd in the NBA with 118.0 points per game.
The Timberwolves are just 13-19 ATS this season. Compared to 9-8 straight up at home, their 7-8 road record is better than expected. Minnesota lost 104-99 to the Dallas Mavericks at home Wednesday, failing to cover as 2.5-point underdogs. The Wolves are 3-1 ATS over their last 4 games.
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Provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 10:30 a.m. ET.
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Celtics 121, Timberwolves 108
The Celtics have been struggling lately, losing 3 straight.
However, they still have one of the best duos in the league and are a solid 11-5 straight up at home. Both lines are justified here, but without KAT, I wouldn’t play the Timberwolves to win even with their boosted odds.
BET CELTICS -9.5 (-105).
This seems like a good buy-low spot for Boston. Season-long trends still point to it being the better play.
Minnesota is 6-9 ATS as the road side while Boston is 9-7 ATS at home. The Celtics have also been working C Robert Williams back into the lineup after he missed the first several months of the season.
The Wolves rank 21st in offensive rebounding rate and 25th in turnover rate. The Celtics rank 10th in fast break points. Those turnovers for Minnesota should allow for transition opportunities for Boston.
Considering the trends and the weaknesses in the Wolves’ offense, back the CELTICS -9.5 (-105).
LEAN UNDER 228.5 (-110).
The Wolves have gone Under in 4 of their last 5 games. Minnesota has scored fewer than 100 points in 2 of its last 5 games as well — the absence of Towns has been clear.
The return of Williams for the Celtics — one of the best defensive big men in the NBA — has helped the Under become the sharp side. Boston has gone Under in 6 of its last 8 games.
The recent trends point to the UNDER 228.5 (-110) being the better play and I would back it for a partial unit.
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