Karl-Anthony Towns has been out for the Timberwolves since November, and they’re hoping his return has a big impact. But against the Hawks, our NBA picks think his biggest impact will be on the total — find out more.
Karl-Anthony Towns appears set to return to the court for the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight, finally returning from a calf injury suffered in late November. The Timberwolves were already favored against the Atlanta Hawks with the Hawks on the second night of a back-to-back, but the return of their franchise cornerstone should make for a rowdy Target Center.
Here are our free NBA picks and predictions for the Hawks vs Timberwolves on March 22, with tip set for 8:00 ET.
Hawks vs Timberwolves best odds
Hawks vs Timberwolves picks and predictions
Karl-Anthony Towns’ return is welcome news for the Timberwolves and their fans alike. His prolonged absence recovering from a calf strain led to far too much off-court speculation, but that can finally be put in the rearview mirror with his return tonight.
Gauging his on-court impact is an uncertain endeavor. Will Towns start? Probably not, even if he reportedly does not expect any restrictions in this return. Whose minutes will he cut into? Start with Naz Reid’s. Will Anthony Edwards return from an ankle sprained just on Friday? To be determined.
Edwards is probably more unlikely than not to play, perhaps best evidenced by sportsbooks not offering an Edwards’ points prop tonight. The instinct then may be to load up on Jaden McDaniels’ props, given his emergence since the trade deadline and further step forward the last three games without Edwards, going 10-of-18 from beyond the arc and averaging 20.3 points per game.
But Towns may take some of McDaniels’ corner threes. It at least should be viewed as a possibility, and one strong enough to dissuade from once again suggesting McDaniels’ 3-pointers made as the best bet, available as low as -120 on the Over 1.5 despite him making at least two threes in 11 of the 16 games since D’Angelo Russell was traded.
The focus with Towns’ return should be on the total. In time, Minnesota certainly hopes the twin towers approach of Towns alongside Rudy Gobert will yield decent defense. But those rotations are going to be botched tonight; Towns has simply been out too long. For every long-range three he can add to the Timberwolves’ offense, he is likely to give one up.
Atlanta does not chuck from deep as often as you might expect, ranking only No. 20 with 16.5 threes attempted per game in their last 20, but it does rank No. 9 in 3-point percentage across its last 20 games, hitting 37.7% from beyond the arc.
The Hawks are an Over team, going 40-32 toward the Over this season, while Minnesota has crested its total in the last three games, all without Edwards.
A few shots from an excited Towns and a few subsequent defensive lapses from a rusty Towns should be enough to propel tonight past its relatively reasonable total of 241.5.
My best bet: Over 241.5 points (-107 at Pinnacle)
Best NBA bonuses
Looking to do some NBA betting? Here are two of the best bonuses* available:
A) New users at FanDuel can get a no-sweat first bet up to $1,000! Sign Up Now
B) Get a profit boost (up to 100%) on one NBA same-game parlay at DraftKings! Opt-in Now
*Eligible USA locations only. Also, check out our full list of best sportsbook promotions for 2023.
21+. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Hawks vs Timberwolves spread analysis
This spread jumped a point when reports first surfaced that Towns will play tonight, moving the Timberwolves from 4-point favorites to 5-point favorites. That was an overreaction. It has been clear since Tuesday evening’s injury report that Towns would return to the court tonight, and sure enough, that spread soon came back down to -4.5.
But why did even that half-point linger? The bookmakers knew to expect Towns back tonight. They baked that into the -4. NBA reporters confirming Towns will play tonight did not change anything but a few headlines.
The hook may seem meaningless, but if you could have a hook’s edge on every game, imagine how profitable a gambler you would be. The Hawks were rightfully +4. Moving them to +4.5 creates undue value.
Hawks vs Timberwolves Over/Under analysis
The Hawks have gone Under their total in six of their 11 games with Quin Snyder as head coach. One of the Overs came against Minnesota just nine days ago, a 136-115 Timberwolves victory.
That game cruised Over the total of 241 by 10 points despite Atlanta shooting a woeful 4-of-22 from deep. There is no reason to expect that kind of ugliness again tonight.
Minnesota played well that night, but none of its shooting rates were unsustainable. If anything, shooting less than 70% from the line left some points on the court.
Hawks vs Timberwolves betting trend to know
The Hawks are 0-4 ATS in their last four games on the second half of a back-to-back. Find more NBA betting trends for Hawks vs. Timberwolves.
Hawks vs Timberwolves game info
|Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
|Wednesday, March 22, 2023
|8:00 p.m. ET
|Bally Southeast, Bally North