Update: Haliburton has been ruled out after initially being listed as questionable. The Timberwolves are now 10.5-point favorites and the total is 239.5. I still like Minnesota to win and cover, and the under to hit on the total.
Two of the most surprising teams this season will face off Saturday when the Indiana Pacers (13-10) face the Minnesota Timberwolves (18-5). The Pacers have lost their last two but have announced themselves as a playoff contender, while the Timberwolves have won eight of their last 10 to surge to the top of the Western Conference. This is the first meeting between these teams this season, with Minnesota sweeping last year’s two-game series.
The Pacers are on the second night of a back-to-back set and won’t release an official injury report until later in the day, but Tyrese Haliburton is reportedly dealing with a knee issue and is uncertain to play in the words of head coach Rick Carlisle. For the T-Wolves, Anthony Edwards is listed as questionable but should suit up as he recovers from a hip injury.
The Timberwolves are 9-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total coming in at 242.5. Minnesota is -380 on the moneyline, while Indiana checks in at +300.
Pacers vs. Timberwolves, 8 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Timberwolves -9
Minnesota has been dominant at home this season with a 10-1 record, going 7-2-2 against the spread. The Timberwolves are 5-2-2 ATS as the home favorite. This line suggests Haliburton won’t play, and some other key Pacers starters might be rested as well. With Edwards in line to suit up, I like the Timberwolves to remain dominant to start this season with another big win Saturday.
Over/Under: Under 242.5
The entire calculus for this pick hinges on Haliburton’s status. He’s blossomed into a superstar for the Pacers, spearheading the top scoring offense in the league. The Timberwolves, on the other hand, are the top defensive team in the league. They rank first in defensive rating and second in points allowed per game. If Haliburton is out, this entire Indiana offense takes a giant step backwards. I like the under on this number tonight.