The last Western Conference match on 9th of December will see Portland Trail Blazers hosting Minnesota Timberwolves at Moda Center in their 3rd H2H match of the season.
Portland Trail Blazers are coming into this match as the 7th team in the West, with an overall record of 14-11 this season. At home, however, they are holding a 9-4 record. In the past 5 games, Portland has won only 2 with the most recent win against Phoenix Suns, which was much needed after losing 3 consecutive matches against Denver (112:113), SA Spurs (131:118) and Dallas Mavericks (111:102). Despite a good start of the season, Portland are not in the best spot right now, with only 2 wins in their last 8 games, still, a 14-11 record in the West is a decent result. Looking at their match against the Phoenix Suns, the final result was not surprising, as the Suns are by far the worst team in the West (4-22). The first quarter ended with a 25 point lead by Portland (34:9), with Suns only scoring 9 points! The next quarter saw Suns performing much better, as they managed to outscore Portland by 4 points (28:32), but were still far away from getting back into the game. The 3rd quarter saw Portland adding another 7 points to their lead (25:18), which meant teams headed into the last quarter 28 points apart (87:59). The final quarter was once again in Phoenix favour, who outscored Portland by 6 points, which only reduced the margin to 22 points. Final score: 108:86.
The visiting side, Minnesota Timberwolves are coming into this match with 2 consecutive wins behind them. In the course of their last 2 matches, Wolves won against Houston Rockets (103:91) and Charlotte Hornets (121:104). As of now, they are 10th in the league with a 13-12 record, however, they are in an exceptional form, winning 7 out of their last 10 matches. In fact, they have lost only 1 match in the last 7 played. With such good results, all the drama surrounding the team has almost disappeared or at least does not negatively affect the team and its performances. Looking at their most recent match, Minnesota easily defeated Charlotte Hornets with an exceptional performance in the last quarter. By the end of the 3rd quarter, the teams were levelled at 86:86, but Minnesota played on another level in the final quarter. They shot with 59.1 FG% and had a 50% accuracy from behind the arc, whereas Charlotte only scored 29.2% of their shots. The result of those performances was clearly seen on the scoreboard, as Minnesota outscored Hornets by 17 points in the last 12 minutes. Final score: 121:104.
Minnesota is clearly in a better form that Portland going into this match, however, I believe Portland is underestimated. They are not in the top of the Conference due to lack of talented players, but we can’t look past the fact, they are 14-11 in the West. This is clearly a sign they are doing something right. Tonight the teams will play at Moda Center, which is known to be a tough place to visit for any team, which will give Portland the edge they need. Portland has proven they have got a potent attack, however, their defence is not on a level they would want it to be, so even if we see them scoring a lot of points, they tend to let a few too many being scored against them. Minnesota, on the other hand, has the same issue. Their offence has improved, but they lack in the defensive end. This should end up being a high scoring match, and although Portland is my favourite to win this one, we will only bet on Over 218 points.
Prediction: Over 218.00 points
Odds: 2.05 Asianodds