NBA Las Vegas Summer League is in full swing and will continue to feature all the exciting rookies drafted a few weeks back. It is time to continue our NBA odds series with a Timberwolves-Jazz prediction and pick.
The Minnesota Timberwolves impressed in their Las Vegas Summer League opener and used a 30-13 fourth quarter to earn a 102-88 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. The Timberwolves had five players in double figures, including four of the five starters, led by Brandon Williams' 24 points. Josh Minnot added 20 points, while Leonard Miller, Minnesota's 2nd round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, tallied 16 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Meanwhile, the Utah Jazz also won their first game of Summer League led by the electric 33-point performance of Keyonte George. George, taken 16th overall by the Jazz in the 2023 NBA Draft, went 12-of-24 from the field, six of which were from beyond the arc, and even dished out 10 assists to pace Utah to a 105-99 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Ochai Agbaji also had a strong outing with 21 points, while Micah Potter added 18 points.
Here are the Vegas Summer League NBA Odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NBA Summer League Odds: Timberwolves-Jazz Odds:
Minnesota Timberwolves: +3.5 (-106)
Utah Jazz: -3.5 (-120)
Over: 188.5 (-113)
Under: 188.5 (-113)
How to Watch Timberwolves vs. Jazz
Stream: Watch ESPN
Time: 10:00 PM ET/ 7:00 PM PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why the Timberwolves could cover the spread
The Timberwolves showed in their Summer League opener that they can lock up defensively for an extended period of time. And this could be the main reason why they emerge victorious with their second win on Monday night. Minnesota used a 21-3 run within the last seven minutes to earn the 14-point victory over the Pelicans. The Timberwolves were stifling defensively, forcing turnovers which led to some easy transition baskets.
It will be interesting to see how they can contain Utah's three-point shooting, considering the Jazz made 39 percent from long distance against the Clippers. Minnesota, meanwhile, held the Pelicans to just 7-of-28 shooting from beyond the arc.
While Brandon Williams led the team in scoring, Minnesota should be encouraged with the debut of their 2nd round pick this year, Leonard Miller. The forward from Scarborough, Ontario, Canada registered a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. He showcased pretty much his entire repertoire, from post moves, a three-pointer from the top of the key, and even a nice alley-oop connection to Josh Minott.
More importantly, the 19-year-old showed his activity and relentlessness on the boards. Of the 11 rebounds he had, five came on the offensive glass. Look for Leonard to come out with the same aggression as he builds on his strong performance from Friday's game.
The Timberwolves also showed their aggressiveness on the offensive end. They drew 31 fouls from the Pelicans and generated 26 freethrow attempts. They converted 23 freebies, good for a stellar team percentage of 88.5 percent.
Why the Jazz could cover the spread
Utah can cover the spread simply because Keyonte George can pop off again. The Jazz are 3.5-point favorites for this one and if the 16th overall pick can have a repeat performance, there is a good chance for them to win by at least four points.
George put on an absolute show in his professional debut. But as good as his 33-point explosion was, it also did take him 24 shots to get there, which was just a little less than a third of the entire Jazz team's total shots on Friday. If you combine his shot attempts with Ochai Agbaji's and Micah Potter's, that accounts for 70 percent of Utah's total shots. The Jazz were basically a three-man show to open Summer League. If Utah gets a little more from everybody else, they should come away with another victory.
The Jazz were also a little too trigger-happy with their three-pointers on Friday. They attempted 41 three-pointers. George and Agbaji alone launched 25 of them. Luckily, they converted 16 of their threes, or 39 percent.
But as mentioned, the Timberwolves defense held the Pelicans to just 25 percent shooting. If Utah is able to generate open looks and shoot close that 39 percent clip again from beyond the arc, they should be in good shape to notch their second win in Summer League.
Final Timberwolves-Jazz prediction and pick
Take the Minnesota Timberwolves for this one. Their all-around and team performance from Friday is just hard to overlook and they got it done on the defensive side of the floor as well. Utah relied on three guys to win over the Clippers and that recipe may not be sustainable, even in Summer League. The Timberwolves also have a ton of pieces they can rely on, with the likes of Williams, Miller, Minott, and Wendell Moore Jr.
Final Timberwolves-Jazz Prediction & Pick: Timberwolves +3.5 (-106)