In their sixth contest of the season, the Minnesota Timberwolves will play in their fifth game at home against the winless Los Angeles Lakers. The two Western Conference foes will square off at Target Center at 8:00 pm ET Friday evening.
Minnesota is coming off a win against the Spurs on Wednesday following their loss to San Antonio earlier in the week, which produced some mixed reactions. So far this season, the Timberwolves have alternated wins and losses with each game played. They’ll look to break that streak on Friday.
And judging by their opponent, they may have a solid chance of doing that. The Lakers have struggled mightily through the first week-plus of the NBA season, and they’re currently one of just three teams without a win to their name.
The latest odds from FanDuel Sportsbook have Minnesota as -8.5 point favorites against the spread. The Timberwolves are -360 on the moneyline, with the Lakers coming in at +290.
The over/under for the matchup is 227.0. Through five games, the Timberwolves are averaging 119.4 points per game, while the Lakers are averaging 102.3.
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers will be renewing a Western Conference rivalry that produced more than a few fun and memorable moments last season. After winning three of the four matchups in 2021-22, Minnesota will look to secure victories in four of their last five meetings with the Lakers on Friday night.
It’s safe to say the Timberwolves and Lakers have gone in opposite directions since their most recent meeting in March. Minnesota earned a hard-fought playoff berth and pushed the Western Conference’s second seed to six games before massively improving their roster in the summer. On the other hand, the Lakers missed the playoffs and had an objectively bad offseason.
Sitting at 0-4, the Lakers are desperate for a win. But their same fundamental problems remain, one of the biggest being a noticeable lack of three-point shooting. Their 22.3% mark from beyond the arc as a team ranks as not just the worst in the NBA, but the second-worst by any team in the first four games of a season all-time.
Like the Lakers’ other opponents, this is something the Timberwolves should look to exploit in a big way. By sagging off would-be three-point shooters like Lonnie Walker (17.4% on the season) the Wolves can load up the paint and put significantly more pressure on Anthony Davis on the interior. They should also be able to protect against drives to the basket from LeBron James more efficiently as well.
The Lakers already don’t score efficiently, so look for Minnesota to take advantage of Los Angeles’ lackluster offense and have their best defensive performance of the season so far.
Timberwolves 124, Lakers 101
Friday’s game will be broadcast locally on Bally Sports North as well as Spectrum SportsNet at 8:00 pm ET.
For a live stream of the game, check out FuboTV for a free trial!
The Minnesota Timberwolves will return to action Sunday evening at 7:00 pm ET as they travel to San Antonio for one more October matchup with the Spurs. They’ll kick off the November slate with a road contest with the Phoenix Suns, before welcoming the Bucks to Minneapolis after a two-day break.
Oct. 30 at Spurs
Nov. 1 at Suns
Nov. 4 vs. Bucks
Nov. 5 vs. Rockets
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.