Atlanta Hawks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – NBA, January 22, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| January 22, 2021 3:56 am PDT

The Hawks go into this one hoping to move onto a positive game record, having split their opening 14 games with seven wins and seven defeats. Despite having an average start, they still top a tightly packed Southeast Division. The Timberwolves have arguably been the worst team in the NBA so far this season and are rock bottom of the Western Conference.

The recent head-to-head record between them has been close, with the Hawks winning three and the Timberwolves two of the last five games played. However, the Timberwolves have a slight edge in Minnesota, reversing that record over the previous five games.

Let’s now look at the match odds, summarize each team and then conclude with a Hawks vs. Timberwolves betting prediction.

Hawks vs. Timberwolves Odds

Hawks (-4.5) -110
Timberwolves (+4.5) -110
Hawks To Win -182
Timberwolves To Win +160
Over 222.5 Points -110
Under 222.5 Points -110

I would say that the bookmakers have called this game correctly, with both the spread and the points total being where I thought they would be. Despite neither matching up to their recent game five days ago, looking across the season as a whole, it seems accurate. Let’s analyze each team and then come up with a betting selection.

Hawks Analysis

The Hawks have won back-to-back games for only the second time this season by beating the Timberwolves and, most recently, the Pistons in overtime. In their win over the Timberwolves five days ago, they dominated the game, not losing one quarter of the game.

They have been slightly weaker on the road this season, losing four old their opening seven games. This includes losing the last three in a row against the Hornets, Jazz, and Trail Blazers.

Here are the latest betting trends for Atlanta:

  • They have only won three of their previous nine games against the spread.
  • Nine of their last ten games have gone under the betting total.
  • The Hawks have a good record against the Timberwolves against the spread, winning four of their last five encounters.
  • Only one of their last nine road trips has gone over the point total.
  • However, six of their last nine visits to Minnesota have gone over the total.
  • They have only won two of their previous six games against teams from the West Coast when betting against the spread.
  • Atlanta has lost eight of their last 12 games against opponents from the Northwest Division.

The Hawks have a well-rounded team this season, and while there are many better teams in the league, they are consistent and relentless, and if you have an off night against them, they will punish you.

Their offense relies on quantity and not quality as they tend to get plenty of shots off from all over the court. They work based on the law of averages, which says if you take lots of shots, some of them have to go in. They also have a fantastic rebounding game, especially in attack, which helps with this game plan. And to be quite frank, they have to be good as they score at just 43% this season, which is only slightly better than two other teams in the league.

Their Swiss Center, Clint Capela, has been responsible for the majority of their rebounds this season. Although he has had a delayed start with the Hawks due to injury and the current pandemic, he is certainly starting to find his feet. He was the first player since Shaquille O’Neal in 2004 to score 25 points, make 25 rebounds, and five blocks in one game as he did against the Pistons last time out. It’s therefore easy to see why he is the highest earning Swiss player of all time.

They have a good defensive unit that works on the same basis as their offense. They try to force their opponents into taking shots early before their set.

One slightly worrying stat for them is that they are conceding on average five points more on the road than they are at home, which is probably why they haven’t been as good in away fixtures.

Trae Young has starred for the Hawks this season, and he was in fine form last time out against the Pistons on his way to scoring 38 points. As well as scoring, he has also made plenty of baskets this season, averaging the third-highest number of assists per game in the league.

Atlanta has a few injury concerns at present with both Dunn and Bogdanovic out, and Gallinari is also doubtful. Hunter and Reddish both face late fitness tests.

Timberwolves Analysis

The Timberwolves have made a terrible start to the season, losing ten of their first 13 games. The season started so promising as they won their opening two games, but it has been downhill for them ever since. They have lost their previous three games, but they did show glimpses of a resurgence against the Magic last time out, losing by just one point, 96-97. They led by 16 at half time and even took a seven-point lead into the final quarter, but they eventually ran out of steam and losing at the buzzer.

They have been marginally better at home, winning two of their three victories at the Target Center. However, they have lost their last two against the Grizzlies and the Magic.

Here are the latest betting trends for Minnesota:

  • Six of their last nine games have gone over the betting total.
  • Their games against Atlanta have usually been high scoring, with five of the last six going over the points total.
  • In Minnesota, this trend has continued as six of their last nine games have also gone over against the Hawks.
  • They have only won four of their last 14 games against the spread when playing against teams in the Eastern Conference.
  • When betting against the spread, they have only won one of their previous five games against opponents based in the Southeast Division.
  • Only three of their last ten games played in January has gone under the points total.

The Timberwolves have a poor offense that averages just 106 points per game. The only area old their attacking game that is half decent is their rebounding. Playing against the best rebounders in the league, they will undoubtedly have to be on point tonight in this department. Their offense has been slightly better at home, which gives them so hope here.

They have a low field goal percentage just like the Hawks do, which would hint at this game going under the points total.

Unfortunately, their defense hasn’t been any better, which is why they have been involved in so many high scoring games recently. However, just like their offense, their defense has been better at home this season.

The Timberwolves are missing Rubio, Towns, and Hernangomez, who are all out through quarantine. But they are hopeful that Shooting Guard, Okogie, will return to face the Hawks.

Hawks vs. Timberwolves Betting Pick

I see this game going a similar way to their game five days ago. Both teams are poor shooters, which was evident in that game where they posted just 205 points, well short of the points total here. Three of the Timberwolves’ last four games have all gone under this total, as well as nine of the Hawks’ last ten games. The only game that did go over 222 points was a game that went into overtime against the Pistons.

Pick
  • Under 222.5 Points
    -110

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