Timberwolves vs. Spurs Pick
Minnesota finished last year with a 31-51 record to miss the postseason, while San Antonio was 61-21 for the second-best record in the NBA and advanced to the Western Conference Finals before being swept by the Warriors. The Spurs won all four meetings straight up last year and went 2-2 ATS. The total went under in three games.
The Timberwolves made a splash over the summer by trading for Jimmy Butler (23.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 5.5 apg), giving them another explosive option next to Karl-Anthony Towns (25.1 ppg, 12.3 rpg) and Andrew Wiggins (23.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg). This is a team that will catch no one by surprised this season as they are clearly much-improved and Towns is becoming a superstar, but in the stacked Western Conference it will be interesting how it all shakes out for Minnesota. This will be a good first test on the road for the T-Wolves.
San Antonio seems as though it might slow down finally heading into every season, but there they are at the end with one of the best records in the NBA. It happened again in the 2016-17 season and there is no reason why the Spurs won't again win way more than they lose. A veteran corps led by Kawhi Leonard (25.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg), LaMarcus Aldridge (17.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Pau Gasol (!2.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg) knows how to win and they are led by arguably the best coach in basketball in Gregg Popovich. Don't expect a dropoff by the Spurs this season, although their win total might go down to the West being even stronger somehow.
The T-wolves are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 meetings with the Spurs, while the total has gone over in four of the last five games in San Antonio.
Minnesota is poised to make a big leap this year, but Butler and company still need to figure out how to work together. The Spurs are a cohesive unit, playing at home and have a small number to cover. We like the hosts in this spot.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: SAN ANTONIO SPURS -1.5