On Wednesday, the Philadelphia 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves, two of the best teams in the NBA, will play in an exciting non-conference game. Our Philadelphia 76ers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves prediction, betting picks, and matchup preview are below, featuring updated betting odds and each team’s starting lineups!
Philadelphia 76ers Vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Prediction
It was just announced that Joel Embiid would be missing his first game of the season tonight against the Minnesota Timberwolves due to left hip soreness. Embiid’s absence changes the trajectory of this game completely, as Philadelphia takes a substantial hit to its frontcourt. Karl Anthony-Towns, Naz Reid, Kyle Anderson, and Rudy Gobert should have a field day against a frontcourt featuring Nic Batum and Paul Reed.
The Timberwolves are 4-0 against the spread as home favorites and are still undefeated (6-0) at home this season. Minnesota has an inexplicably strong net rating of +18.1 at home this season, shooting 52% from the field as a team.
Ultimately, the Sixers will have to completely “wing it,” as this is Embiid’s first missed game of the 2023-24 regular season. Embiid’s offensive usage of 36.2% is a lot to replace, considering he is the cornerstone of the Sixers’ successful offense; he has taken massive steps forward as a passer and playmaker for others, too, averaging six assists per game.
Unfortunately, Philly can’t fill in Embiid’s output right now. The Sixers will have to change up their offensive scheme, and there could not be a worse time to do it than on the road against the best defense in the NBA.
Philadelphia 76ers Vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Prediction: Timberwolves -6.5 (-115)
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Philadelphia 76ers Vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Best Odds
Minnesota is a 6.5-point home favorite against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night. The Timberwolves have -258 Moneyline odds, while the Sixers are +210 to knock off Minnesota and grab a huge road win. The point total for this matchup is 220.5 points, with the Over and Under holding -110 odds.
Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup
Minnesota Timberwolves Starting Lineup
Philadelphia 76ers Vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Injuries
It was announced on Wednesday afternoon that Joel Embiid will miss tonight’s game against Minnesota due to left hip soreness. Further, Kelly Oubre Jr. will be out for several weeks, if not months, due to being struck by a car as a pedestrian.
Meanwhile, Minnesota will be without Jaylen Clark, Jordan McLaughlin, and Jaden McDaniels will miss this non-conference matchup against the Sixers. McDaniels will be re-evaluated in two weeks after sustaining an ankle injury against the New York Knicks on Monday night.
Philadelphia 76ers Vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Key Matchups
The key matchup for the Philadelphia 76ers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves will be the battle of the frontcourts. Check out our breakdown and analysis below to see who has the advantage.
Battle of the Frontcourts
With Joel Embiid unexpectedly being ruled out for this game against the Timberwolves due to left hip soreness, the Sixers will enter this road matchup shorthanded, particularly in the frontcourt.
The Sixers will be without Embiid and Kelly Oubre Jr., who was hit by a car earlier this month. Luckily, Oubre didn’t sustain any substantial injuries, but the Sixers will have to find a way to replace his output while he works on getting healthy.
Philly will be forced to start Paul Reed and Nic Batum while bringing Mo Bamba, Robert Covington, and Marcus Morris Sr. off the bench. Normally, the Sixers could manage because they have an abundance of depth in the frontcourt from the James Harden trade; however, this is a game against the Timberwolves.
Minnesota has ramped up its defense from last season to this season, ranking second in defensive rating, first in opponent eFG%, second in opponent 3P%, and third in opponent points in the paint. Gobert is still very much a force in the paint defensively and is currently in the lead for his fourth NBA DPOY award.
The T’Wolves will miss Jaden McDaniels, which undoubtedly hurts, but they also have terrific frontcourt depth, with Kyle Anderson and Naz Reid coming off the bench. Minnesota has a clear advantage in the interior, and it should catapult it to another home win. Advantage: Timberwolves Frontcourt.