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Lakers vs. Timberwolves pick against the spread, over/under for Thursday, December 21

We go over some of the best betting options for Thursday’s matchup between the Lakers and Timberwolves.

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Minnesota Timberwolves v Philadelphia 76ers
Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on during the third quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on December 20, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Update: Anthony Davis is in for the Lakers. The Timberwolves are 8-point favorites and the total is 223.5. I like Minnesota -8 and the under on the total.

Update: LeBron James has been ruled out and Anthony Davis is questionable. This is a nationally televised game, so the star rest rules should apply and Davis should be suiting up. The Timberwolves have become 8-point favorites now, and the total is 223.5. We’ll wait on Davis’ status to provide updated picks, but Timberwolves -8 and the under still look solid.


The Los Angeles Lakers (15-13) will look to find some sort of consistency late in 2023, and they hope it can begin Thursday when they face the Minnesota Timberwolves (20-6). Both teams are on the second night of a back-to-back set, and both come in off a loss Wednesday. The Lakers are on a three-game skid, while Minnesota’s setback snapped a three-game winning streak.

There won’t be an official injury report until later in the day, but the statuses of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Anthony Edwards are all worth monitoring on the second night of a back-to-back set. James and Davis are both dealing with lingering injuries, while Edwards might be rested after he recently recovered from a hip issue.

The Timberwolves are 6.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total sitting at 225. Minnesota is -245 on the moneyline while Los Angeles is +200.

Lakers vs. Timberwolves, 9 p.m. ET

Pick ATS: Timberwolves -6.5

Let’s assume all the stars suit up. Neither team is particularly good on the second night of a back-to-back. The Lakers are 2-3 straight up but have not covered the spread in a single game, while the Timberwolves are 0-1 in their second game of a back-to-back both straight up and against the number. Minnesota is a home juggernaut this season, going 8-2-2 ATS as the home team with a great 11-1 straight up record. The Lakers have not done well on the road, going 5-10 ATS.

These teams are somewhat even when it comes to facing opponents who have the same amount of recovery time. The Timberwolves are 8-5 ATS against teams with equal rest, while the Lakers are 8-7 ATS. In this case, I’ll back Minnesota at home to win and cover.

Over/Under: Under 225

Both these teams lock in defensively when they are at home. The Timberwolves have one of the top defensive units in the league, and are 4-8 to the over at home. The Lakers have not been able to get their defense right on the road, going 10-5 to the over away from Crypto.com Arena. Since I’m taking the Timberwolves as the ATS pick, I’ll back them to put on the clamps and keep this total under 225.