NBA Picks for April 11: Timberwolves Short-Handed at Lakers for Play-in Game

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LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks the ball as Taurean Prince #12 of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts on March 31, 2023. David Berding/Getty Images/AFP.

NBA Pick: Timberwolves +8 (-105) at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)

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Timberwolves +8 (-105)
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Picks Summary:

  • Hawks vs. Heat: Heat -4.5 (-110)
  • Timberwolves vs. Lakers: Timberwolves +8 (-105)
  • Anthony Davis Jr. To Have at Least 14 Rebounds (-108)

The NBA’s Play-In Tournament starts with two games on Tuesday night: Hawks-Heat and Timberwolves-Lakers – with the winner in each 7 vs. 8 game advancing to the full-field postseason and the loser having one more chance Friday.

Here are three NBA picks from the two games with NBA odds from BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks. 

Atlanta Hawks vs. Miami Heat 

Tuesday, April 11, 2023 – 07:30 PM EDT at Kaseya Center 

The winner of this Eastern Conference 7 vs. 8 game will travel to No. 2 seed Boston for Game 1 of their first-round series on Saturday afternoon. The loser hosts the Raptors vs. Bulls 9 vs. 10 game loser on Friday for the right to visit No. 1 Milwaukee in Round 1 on Sunday. Miami won the regular-season series vs. Atlanta 3-1, including 2-0 at home.  

Does having experience in this game help? Maybe a very little. The Hawks last season were in the 9 vs. 10 game and beat visiting Charlotte before then going to Cleveland and upsetting the Cavs to get into the East playoffs. The Hawks lost in five games in Round 1 to the Heat, who was the East’s No. 1 seed last year.

I believe the Heat’s title window closed with a Game 7 loss in Boston in the 2022 East Finals. Miami has not been in the play-in tournament previously. 

Which Trae Young shows up in this game? In his first playoff run in 2020-21, Young was spectacular, averaging 28.8 points and 9.5 assists. In his second playoff run last year, Young averaged just 15.4 points and 6.0 assists per game on 31.9% shooting. Coach Quin Snyder, who took over during this season for the fired Nate McMillan, won three playoff series with the Jazz over the past six seasons but has a 21-30 overall playoff record. 

The Heat is great in close games as they won 24 games this season by five points or less, the most such victories during a single season in team history. They also shot an NBA-best 83.1% from the free-throw line, a franchise record. 

The Pick

Atlanta was 17-24 on the road and Miami 27-14 at home this year. The Heat ranked No. 2 in the NBA in points allowed per game, while the Hawks were near the bottom in allowing 118.1 ppg. That will be the difference Tuesday. 

  • Hawks are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall. 
  • Hawks are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight-up record. 
  • Heat are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. 

For Miami residents looking to bet on this game, you can do it at our top Florida betting sites.

NBA Pick: Heat -4.5 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Lakers 

Tuesday, April 11, 2023 – 10:00 PM EDT at Arena 

The winner of this Western Conference 7 vs. 8 game will travel to No. 2 seed Memphis for Game 1 of their first-round series on Sunday. The loser hosts the Pelicans vs. Thunder 9 vs. 10 game loser on Friday for the right to visit No. 1 Denver in Round 1 on Sunday. The Timberwolves won the season series 2-1, but Los Angeles won the most recent meeting on March 31 in Minneapolis. 

One wonders, if the Timberwolves regret being part of a three-team deal at the Trade Deadline that sent D’Angelo Russell to the Lakers, as now the Wolves have to face Russell. The Lakers have had him, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James for nine combined games and are 8-1 in those. Russell is set for free agency this offseason, and the Wolves did get the very solid Mike Conley in the trade. 

In order to avoid finishing ninth, the Timberwolves went all out on Wednesday while most teams were resting starters. Minnesota did beat New Orleans 113-108 for a third straight win to earn the No. 8 spot, but it was very costly as All-Star center Rudy Gobert threw a punch at teammate Kyle Anderson during a heated exchange in the huddle and was literally sent home in-game. Not sure I’ve seen that.  

Gobert has been suspended for this one. The three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year averages 13.4 points on 65.9% shooting along with 11.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. Gobert did apologize so presumably he will play on Friday if the Wolves lose this game. They were 8-4 without him this year, so I hardly think it’s a death knell but obviously not ideal.  

Minnesota thus will be thin in the frontcourt because forward Jaden McDaniels (12.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg) has been diagnosed with a fracture in his right hand after he punched a wall during Sunday’s game, and backup center Naz Reid (11.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg) fractured his wrist late last month and is out weeks. 

The Pick

This writer still thinks this spread is too big, but Anthony Davis should dominate the boards with the three guys out listed above. AD enters with four straight double-doubles and we expect a fifth. Davis averaged 38.0 points and 11.0 rebounds during the regular-season series.  

  • Timberwolves are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games. 
  • Timberwolves are 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings. 

NBA Pick: Timberwolves +8 (-105) at Bookmaker 

NBA Prop Pick: Anthony Davis Jr. To Have at Least 14 Rebounds (-108) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.