The Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to hold on to the top spot in the Western Conference on Monday when they take on the Charlotte Hornets, who are just 9-31 in the 2023-24 season.
Minnesota is just one game ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the West, but the team has a cupcake matchup against the Hornets, who could be down LaMelo Ball (questionable) in this game.
Ball missed Charlotte’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.
The Wolves have the No. 1 defensive rating in the NBA, and they’ve been great at home in terms of winning – going 17-3 in 20 games.
However, the Wolves are massive favorites in this game, which could make it tough for them to cover, even against a bad Charlotte team.
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Let’s examine the latest odds and my best bet for this matchup on Monday night:
Hornets vs. Timberwolves odds, spread and total
Hornets vs. Timberwolves how to watch
- Date: Monday, Jan. 22
- Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
- Venue: Target Center
- How to watch (TV): Bally Sports Southeast, Bally Sports North
- Hornets record: 9-31
- Timberwolves record: 30-12
Hornets vs. Timberwolves injury reports
Hornets injury report
- Amari Bailey – out
- LaMelo Ball – questionable
- Gordon Hayward – out
- Nick Richards – questionable
- Mark Williams – out
Timberwolves injury report
- Jaylen Clark – out
- Leonard Miller – out
- Josh Minott
Hornets vs. Timberwolves key players to watch
LaMelo Ball: Ball sat out Charlotte’s last game against the Philadelphia 76ers, but he’s got a chance to return to action tonight. The former All-Star guard has dealt with ankle issues this season – and last season. Ball is averaging 25.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 7.8 assists in 19 games so far this season.
Anthony Edwards: It would be a shame if Ball can’t play, as Edwards and Ball would be a great matchup – they were No. 3 and No. 1 overall picks in their draft class. Edwards is on his way to an All-Star nod this season, as he’s averaging 25.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 39 games for the Wolves.
Hornets vs. Timberwolves prediction and pick
The Wolves are 8-7-2 against the spread as home favorites this season, not exactly a great record for a team that’s 17-3 straight up at home.
Ball’s status could move the line in this game, but I still lean with the Wolves either way against a Charlotte team that is 27th in offensive rating and 28th in defensive rating this season.
The Hornets have been brutal as road underdogs, going 7-14 against the spread, and they’ve gone just 4-17 straight up on the road this season.
These teams shockingly play at a similar pace – both bottom 10 in the NBA – which is bad news for the No. 28 defense against the No. 1 unit.
Bettors may want to wait to get a better number if Ball is ruled in, but if you’re taking a team to cover, Minnesota is the bet.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.