Minnesota’s mission to gain a record above 0.500 hit a snag once again after the Timberwolves couldn’t handle the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night. They’ll get a chance to return to an even record on Monday when they visit the Chicago Bulls, which have won four of their last five games.
The Timberwolves actually had their three-game winning streak snapped after wins vs. Utah twice, 98-72 and 112-97, and a close victory over the Golden State Warriors, 121-120 before their 115-104 loss at Portland.
The Bulls' lone loss in their last five came against the Los Angeles Clippers, 112-95, on Friday but had wins over the Charlotte Bobcats, 89-87; Cleveland Cavaliers, 98-87; Los Angeles Lakers, 102-100 (OT); and Philadelphia 76ers, 103-78.
Chicago is 10-3 since trading away Luol Deng, thanks to good effort from D.J. Augustin, who has averaged 20.4 points per game since dealing away their erstwhile leading scorer. Big man Joakim Noah has been consistent as well logging in double-doubles in the last 16 games.
The Bulls are currently at 22-21 good for the 5th place in the weak Eastern Conference.
Meanwhile, Minnesota has a similar record at 21-22 but just at 10th place in the West. While they have been playing better of late—especially in crunchtime—they just couldn’t keep up with the Blazers in their most recent outing.
Kevin Martin's 30 points with six 3-pointers and Nikola Pekovic's 23 points and 10 boards all went to waste as they struggle defensively against one of the best teams in the league. Kevin Love, the NBA’s fourth-best scorer (24.8 PPG) was limited to 15 points, missing 8 of his 12 shots from the field.
The Bulls have won seven straight versus the Timberwolves and have covered the spread in six games. This includes a 104-97 win at Minnesota, which was playing without Love at that time.
Watch the Timberwolves vs. Bulls via NBA League Pass.
Betting Lines: Minnesota Timberwolves (-2.5) vs. Chicago Bulls (O/U: 195.0) Game time: 11:00 am AEDT
Betting Against the Spread (ATS)
Minnesota Timberwolves Trends - The Timberwolves are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. East teams - The Timberwolves are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games vs. Central division teams - The Timberwolves are 25-9-1 ATS in their last 35 games after a loss
Chicago Bulls Trends - The Bulls are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games - The Bulls are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. Minnesota - The Bulls are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games vs. West teams