Timberwolves vs. Clippers Best Bets for Tuesday: Kawhi Leonard To Snap LA Out Of Funk

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Kawhi Leonard of the Clippers attempts a layup in front of Keegan Murray, Davion Mitchell, and Domantas Sabonis of the Kings on February 24, 2023. Harry How/Getty Images/AFP

NBA Pick: Clippers -6.5 (-110) Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Clippers -6.5 (-110)
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Picks Summary:

  • Clippers -6.5 (-110)
  • Kawhi Leonard Over 25.5 points (-121)

Could the Los Angeles Clippers play in a third straight overtime game Tuesday when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves?  

If this game goes to OT, that’s good news for the underdog Wolves. Which side of the 6.5-point spread has the best value at the top-rated online sportsbooks as your top NBA pick? We also have a player prop. 

Remember, fans from the Golden State who want to wager on this game should check out our top-rated California betting sites.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Clippers 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023 – 10:00 PM EST at Crypto.com Arena 

Busy night around the NBA and Timberwolves at Clippers is the second game of a doubleheader on TNT, with Memphis at the LA Lakers the first. 

This is the last meeting of the season between the clubs. They split the first two, each winning at home. The Clippers prevailed 99-88 on Dec. 14 behind a triple-double of 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists from Paul George. Luke Kennard added season-highs of 16 points and four 3-pointers. He’s now with Memphis.

On Jan. 6 in the Twin Cities, the Wolves won 128-115 – I expect a higher-scoring game like that one Tuesday instead of the first matchup. Rudy Gobert had 25 points and 21 rebounds, and D’Angelo Russell also scored 25 to lead Minnesota. Russell is now with the Lakers. Both George and Leonard were out for LA. 

The Clippers lead the all-time series 39-24 at home. They are 6-1 ATS in the past seven there. 

Will Gobert Play For the Wolves? 

Minnesota (31-32) sits ninth in the West and is (+120) at BMR’s top-rated books to compete in the play-in tournament. I think that may depend on when former No. 1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns is back from his calf injury. KAT hasn’t played since Nov. 28 and a best-case scenario right now is likely March 10.  

“He’s itching to play. I don’t think that it’s a question of anything like going off-path right now. I think it’s just literally just going through the final stages of what that looks like,” Coach Chris Finch said. “I don’t know how long it’s going to be, but talking to him, I definitely sense — more so than any other conversation I’ve had with him up until this point — that he’s chomping at the bit to get back and ready to help this team.” 

‘Wolves Struggle Without KAT

The Wolves are 21-21 without him this season but haven’t had back-to-back wins since late January and enter having lost four straight. They also played without three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert (illness) on Sunday and lost 109-104 at Golden State, which was even more short-handed. After holding a 99-96 lead with 4 minutes, and 35 seconds remaining, the Wolves went scoreless over the next 3:49 as the Warriors scored the next 11. 

Naz Reid scored a career-high 30 points and added nine rebounds, five steals, and two blocks for Minnesota. I’d consider over on any Reid props again here if Gobert sits (he’s probable). Reid became the first player in Timberwolves history to finish a game with 30+ points/9+ rebounds/2+ blocks/5+ steals and the only the fourth player this season to do so in the entire NBA.  

Anthony Edwards was terrible Sunday with 12 points on 5-for-19 shooting and five turnovers. Edwards shot only one free throw and that came on a defensive three-second call. Taurean Prince (personal reasons) and Jaylen Nowell (left knee) also were out Sunday. Prince will apparently play Tuesday but Nowell is questionable. 

  • The Timberwolves are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. 
  • The Timberwolves are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Tuesday games. 
  • The Timberwolves are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 1 day’s rest. 

Kawhi Fueling Clippers 

The Clippers (33-30) sit fifth in the West and I see no way they finish below sixth and have to compete in the play-in tournament barring major injury. They are (+200) to do so. I’m also not sure the Clips can finish above fifth as the fourth-place Suns are about to debut Kevin Durant and the third-place Kings are 3.5 games ahead. 

Los Angeles might be a bit gassed as it lost 176-175 in double overtime to the Kings on Friday – the second-highest scoring game in league history – and then lost 134-124 in OT at Denver on Sunday.

Paul George nearly won it in Denver at the end of regulation, but his long heave from just in front of the three-point line in the backcourt came just after the buzzer. 

Leonard on Fire

No player is hotter in the West right now than Kawhi Leonard, who totaled 77 points in those two games and is averaging 27.5 ppg this month. While shaking off the rust of missing all of last season, Leonard shot 44% from the field, 21% from deep, and 76% from the free-throw line in his first 10 games this season. Kawhi is shooting 53/46/89% since then. This team absolutely can win its first NBA title if Leonard keeps playing like that.  

Thanks in large part to Kawhi, the Clippers have scored at least 100 points in 22 of their last 23 contests. Since January 6, they are third in the NBA in offensive rating (119.7) and second in three-point shooting (40.2%). 

NBA Pick: Kawhi Leonard Over 25.5 points (-121) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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The Pick

Russell Westbrook has fit in pretty well since signing (even though the team is 0-2 with him) and had 17 points, five rebounds, four assists, and five steals against Denver. Coach Ty Lue has been starting the former MVP, but Westbrook still was on the bench in crunch time vs. the Nuggets.  

Center Ivica Zubac missed his second straight game with a strained right calf and is questionable here. Trade acquisition Mason Plumlee has been starting in his spot.  

  • The Clippers are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games vs. a team with a losing straight-up record
  • The Clippers are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 Tuesday games. 
  • The Clippers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. 

NBA Pick: Clippers -6.5 (-110) Bovada 

*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.