Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Chicago Bulls Betting Preview – February 24, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| February 24, 2021 6:09 am PDT

There is no getting away from the fact that the Timberwolves are the worst team in the NBA this season. Their abysmal record of 7-25 speaks for itself, and they are therefore already planning for next season. On the other hand, the Bulls dream of postseason basketball as they cling on to the last playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

Although Minnesota doesn’t have much to play for this season, they still have an excellent record of upholding against the Bulls, having won four of the previous five matchups. They have alternated wins in their last four matches in Chicago, and if that trend continues tonight, it will be the Timberwolves that come away with the victory.

Over the previous ten head-to-head clashes between these two, the Timberwolves are averaging a whopping 11 points more per game. They have predominantly won these games with superior rebounding, something they will be hoping to continue tonight.

Here is my Timberwolves vs. Bulls betting preview.

Timberwolves vs. Bulls Match Odds

Timberwolves +4.5-110
Bulls -4.5-110
Timberwolves To Win+172
Bulls To Win-180
Over 227.5-110
Under 227.5-110

I thought the spread might be a point or two bigger, but I guess the bookmakers are taking into account the Timberwolves’ better head-to-head record over the Bulls. The total points look massive, considering they have only averaged 213 points between them over the last ten games.

The Bulls have a negative record of 4-5 as the betting favorite this season, but I wouldn’t be too concerned by this as it aligns with their record as an underdog and their overall record this season.

Timberwolves Preview

The Timberwolves are on a dreadful run, having only won one of their previous ten matches. Their fortunes don’t appear to be changing either, as they have lost their last five games in a row. Possibly their only piece of information that does give them any hope is that their previous two wins have come on the road. Their last win was a little under two weeks ago when they beat the Raptors 112-116. The thing that strikes me about that game is how well the Timberwolves shot that night. They went at 51% from the field goal range and 41% from deep. This seems to have been a one-off, but if they could replicate that shooting, they would stand a good chance of winning here.

But that doesn’t mean they are any good away from home as they have only won three of their away fixtures all season. Two of those three wins came in their previous seven away trips, which perhaps gives them the smallest glimmer of hope tonight.

Here are the latest betting trends for Minnesota:

Against The Spread
  • They have lost their previous five matches.
  • The Timberwolves have won eight of their last ten games against the Bulls.
  • Minnesota is 1-5 in their previous six games against opponents from the Eastern Conference.
Points Total
  • Four of their last six games have gone under the betting total.
  • Their games against the Bulls in Chicago are usually low-scoring as nine of the previous 13 games have gone under the points total.
  • The total has gone under in four of their last six games against teams based in the Central Division.
Other Pointers
  • The Timberwolves have only won two of their previous 16 games on their travels.

The Timberwolves have struggled to make an impact going forward this season, and their atrocious shooting has let them down more often than not. Although, to be fair, they haven’t been too bad from the three-point range, presumably because they are getting so much practice after finding themselves well behind most nights.

Their defense is ranked 25th in the league, just as their offense is, so there is a total lack of ability across the board. They do their best to try and press and harass their opponents, but they don’t execute that plan well enough, I’m afraid. More often than not, they take an overzealous approach and end up committing a large number of personal fouls.

They haven’t rebounded well in defense either, which has compounded their fate most games. However, they are blocking well, averaging just under six per game, the fourth-highest average in the league.

When you look at the Timberwolves’ stats, they aren’t as bad as you might expect. You certainly wouldn’t think you are looking at a team’s statistics that has only won seven games all season.

As he found out against the Bucks, new head coach Chris Finch has his work cut out if he is to get some bit back into the Timberwolves. But who is Chris Finch, and what is his background? Here is all you need to know about the man who has the most challenging NBA job.

The Timberwolves will miss Russell and Culver for tonight’s game through injuries.

Bulls Preview

The Bulls are playing some of their best basketball of the season right now and have won four of their previous five matches. Their only defeat during that period was against the 76ers, who lead the Eastern Conference, so that loss can certainly be excused. They also had to deal with Embiid, who was unstoppable that night and scored a career-high 50 points.

Their main concern will be their hopeless home form which reads 6-9. This is only marginally better than the Wizards, who have the worst home form in the East. However, half of their wins have come in their last four home games; they can certainly be optimistic that they are improving. If you want to be supercritical, you could highlight that the wins came against three substandard teams.

Here are the latest betting trends for Chicago:

Against The Spread
  • They have a fantastic record of 9-3-1 when playing at home on a Wednesday.
Points Total
  • Five of their previous seven games against Minnesota have gone over the betting total.
  • Only one of their last five matches against teams in the Western Conference has failed to go over the points total.
Other Pointers
  • The Bulls have struggled against teams based in the Northwest Division as they have only won two of their previous 17 games against them.

The Bulls have a great, sharpshooting offense this season that is a handful for any team on any given day. If they improved upon their offensive rebounding, they would probably have a top-five attack.

They are making too many turnovers per game which, combined with their less than average offensive rebounding, means they aren’t seeing enough of the ball for their accurate shooters to affect the game.

As you might expect when you look at their home record, they haven’t always fired at home this season and have averaged three fewer points per game.

Their defense is lacking but matches up to the Timberwolves’ defense pretty well. They play a similar high pressing defensive game, but on the whole, it hasn’t worked, and they are still conceding 114 points per game on average.

The Bulls have failed to make the playoffs for the last four seasons, but they have a real shot this season, especially with their recent improved form. This is by far their best win/loss percentage over the previous four seasons also.

Chicago will be without Porter Junior, Markkanen, and Hutchison tonight as they are all out with injuries.

Timberwolves vs. Bulls Betting Pick

Pick
  • Bulls -4.5
    -110

I believe that the Timberwolves’ fortunes will change soon, and I like the appointment of their new head coach Chris Finch. However, the Bulls are playing terrific basketball now and are spurred on by the notion that making the playoffs this season is a real possibility. I will therefore take the Bulls to cover the handicap tonight.

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