Few games could have as much impact on playoff seeding as tonight’s Minnesota Timberwolves’ trip to Boston. Both the top of the East and the back half of the West’s playoff pursuits are as tight as can be, so both the Boston Celtics and the Wolves should be desperate for a win this evening.
As the NBA’s two hottest teams since the All-Star break, they are both used to winning of late.
Here are our free NBA picks and predictions for the Timberwolves vs the Celtics on March 27, with tip set for 6:00 pm ET.
Timberwolves vs Celtics odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The Celtics opened as 6.5-point favorites Saturday afternoon, and after dropping to -5.5 momentarily Sunday morning, this spread has found its footing at -6.0. The total opened at 227 and briefly fell to 226.5 late Saturday night. From there, it steadily ticked upward throughout the morning and early Sunday afternoon, reaching as high as 230.5 at some books, with most at 229.5.
Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.
Timberwolves vs Celtics predictions
Predictions made on 3/27/2022 at 2:00 pm ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Timberwolves vs Celtics game info
• Rental: TD Garden, Boston, MA
• Dated: Sunday, March 27, 2022
• tip-off: 6:00 p.m. ET
• TV: NBCS-BOS, Bally Sports
Timberwolves vs Celtics betting preview
Timberwolves: Jordan McLaughlin G (Questionable), Malik Beasley G (Out), Jaden McDaniels F (Out).
Celtics: Jayson Tatum F (Likely), Jaylen Brown G (Out), Al Horford C (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Timberwolves are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games as road underdogs, a stretch dating back to mid-January. Otherwise, Minnesota is 19-6-1 ATS since mid-January. Find more NBA betting trends for Timberwolves vs. Celtics.
Timberwolves vs Celtics picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
Any bold Timberwolves’ dreams fall short when realizing how home-dependent they have been. Minnesota has made it a habit to blow out teams in Target Center, nearly no matter the opponent. And it has made it a habit to fall short on the road against quality competition.
Of course, winning on the road against playoff teams is supposed to be hard, but routinely falling short of expectations away from home against playoff teams is something worse. The only time the Timberwolves have beaten the spread as a road underdog in the last two-plus months was at Miami two weeks ago.
Not only does Minnesota always have extra motivation when it faces Jimmy Butler, but the intervening two weeks have made it clear greater issues might be bothering the Heat. Miami has lost four straight and six of its last nine, including that game to the Timberwolves.
That fall is part of why Boston is now in a practical four-way tie for first in the Eastern Conference, (take a moment here and appreciate that the playoffs have basically already started).
The Celtics are the complete opposite of the Heat, and we only refrain from calling them “Ice” because the fact of the matter is, Boston is on fire more than anything else. Winning five straight and 10 of 11 qualifies as such, not to mention going 8-3 against the spread in that stretch.
By a few metrics, Boston is the only team playing better than the Wolves since the All-Star break. It is 12-2 since then, while Minnesota sits at 12-4. They are also third and fourth respectively, in team defensive rating since the break, per statmuse.com.
This is simply the wrong matchup for Minnesota, which struggles at this moment in the first place. As good as the Timberwolves are at home, they are that bad on the road against worthwhile opposition. And no one in the NBA, perhaps Suns included, is as worthwhile as the Celtics these days.
Prediction: Celtics -6 (-110)
Covers NBA betting analysis
Those aforementioned defensive ratings stand out. While the Celtics have gone Over the total in four straight games, those totals were all 221 or lower, and only one of the results would have threatened today’s number. The Timberwolves are more hit-or-miss in regards to hitting Overs going 3-3 in their last six, but those numbers have all been 228 or higher.
Most Minnesota totals are even higher than that, the first team to commonly see 240s this season. So this total remaining below 230 is a reflection of Boston more than anything else.
And if the expectation is the Celtics will control tonight, that suggests they will dictate the pace, and the best unit on the floor will get to shine as such. In other words, all faith should be placed in Boston’s defense to slow down the Timberwolves.
Furthermore, Minnesota is without sharpshooter Malik Beasley after a sprained ankle on Friday night. In 15 games since the All-Star break, Beasley has shot 47.8% from deep on 7.5 attempts per game.
He has been a crucial piece of the Wolves surge, and any game without him should be considered a game with a noticeable drop in Minnesota output.
Prediction: Under 229.5 (-110)
The Timberwolves are too deep in the race for the No. 6 seed to think they will take any game off, but they might look ahead a bit after assuming a loss tonight. Minnesota next gets Toronto — far more beatable than these Celtics — and then a pivotal game against the Nuggets.
Losing tonight to win those two would be an acceptable trade for the Wolves, and if tonight starts to tilt that way, such a thought might gain traction.
As long as Tatum is on the floor, tonight should tilt that way. Minnesota is finding its way defensively, largely because Anthony Edwards is emerging as a perennial ball stopper, but Tatum should find success against either Edwards or the puny Patrick Beverley.
Even if either matchup is a stalemate, the Timberwolves’ best defenders will be too tied up to help elsewhere, leaving plenty of chances for the deep Boston roster.
Simply enough, there is no aspect of tonight that should be considered at Minnesota edge.
pick: Celtics -6 (-110)
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