We’ve entered the fourth season of the annual South Point-lined Play of the Day competition, effective July 1.
Starting bankrolls have reset to $10,000, with the maximum bet being to win $1,000 and the minimum wager $300. Ray Brewer won back-to-back titles in the 2015-2016 and 2016-17 seasons, after Taylor Bern prevailed in 2014-2015.
Minnesota Timberwolves minus-5.5 vs. Charlotte Hornets: $550 to win $500
Handicapping early-season NBA action isn’t easy. Teams are often lacking motivation as they stare at a grueling 82-game season, and the better team can get beat on any given night.
One team that may be immune to that is the Minnesota Timberwolves, who, after years of losing, finally have a talented young roster and appear ready to compete for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Minnesota has been on fire lately, winning its last four games and covering the spread on three of them with a push in the fourth. The competition during that stretch has been good, with wins over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat and New Orleans Pelicans.
The driving force for the Timberwolves has been their offensive firepower. Minnesota has scored more than 100 points in eight straight (their only game in double figures was a 107-99, season-opening loss to San Antonio).
Karl-Anthony Towns leads the Timberwolves in points (22.4) and rebounds (11.1) per game and the Horners have no one to slow him down in the paint. Minnesota also has four other players averaging double figures with Andrew Wiggins (19.9 points per game), Jimmy Butler (15.4), Jeff Teague (12.9) and Jamal Crawford (10.3).
The Timberwolves are clearly the better team, but more importantly they are hungry. I’ll lay the 5.5 points with Minnesota.
Current Standings: Granger (8-8, $11,575), Keefer (12-12-1, $9,641), Brewer (12-12, $8,870), Grimala (5-7, $8,055)