Can Karl-Anthony Towns Lead Minnesota Timberwolves to 2022 NBA Playoffs?

Can Karl-Anthony Towns Lead Minnesota Timberwolves to 2022 NBA Playoffs?

Check out our best NBA bets for all of the action on Monday, February 28.

We are officially entering one of the most interesting stretches of the year for online NBA betting. With the trade deadline in the rearview, the All-Star break officially over and fewer than one-quarter of the season to go, the focus will shift almost entirely to spotting which squads have the best odds to win the 2022 NBA Finals.

And believe it or not, that process begins with digging into the nightly action, just like the spate of games headed our way on Monday, February 28. It is within these performances where we can suss out not only championship heavyweights like the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors, but take stock of the fringe teams best positioned to make the 2022 NBA playoffs. 

Before diving in, though, let's have a look at the latest betting odds on the NBA:

FavoriteBovadaBovadaUnderdog
Orlando Magic-105-103Indiana Pacers
Minnesota Timberwolves-115-105Cleveland Cavaliers
Miami Heat-225+205Chicago Bulls
Toronto Raptors-120+115Brooklyn Nets
Milwaukee Bucks-305+220Charlotte Hornets
Memphis Grizzlies-325+235San Antonio Spurs
Sacramento Kings-175+135Oklahoma City Thunder

After analyzing these NBA odds, we find ourselves most pulled to a question everyone around the league has seemingly been asking for the entire year: Can Karl-Anthony Towns lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to the 2022 NBA playoffs? Or is this a team fated to come up short once again?

We'll hit upon all of this and more in our best NBA bets for Monday night. In the meantime, we also recommend you browse through our reviews of the top online sportsbooks. We've made them available so you can easily identify the best NBA betting sites in 2022.

Timberwolves Face Playoff-Level Test vs. Cavaliers

Somewhat quietly, the Timberwolves have notched above-average ratings on both the offensive and defensive ends this year. Their vitals actually suggest they could be better than the seventh-place spot they've secured in the Western Conference.

We're not quite ready to go that far. Minnesota has seen both the performance of their defense and a once-upon-a-time dominant starting five slip as the season wears on. That's obviously not the end of the world. The Timberwolves should finish in seventh place; they're not in danger of forfeiting it. But we're not sure if Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, and D'Angelo Russell have the capacity to vault them up to sixth place and outside the play-in tournament.

If anything, the Timberwolves need to get far more consistent performances from members of their bench—most notably Malik Beasley. Fortunately for them, their topsy-turvy second unit shouldn't hurt them against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Collin Sexton, Caris LeVert and Darius Garland will all be unavailable, so it's tough to see how Cleveland plans on generating offense.

OSB Prediction: Minnesota Timberwolves (-105)

Minnesota Timberwolves To beat the Cleveland Cavaliers
-105
Bovada

Why the Raptors Should Easily Beat the Nets

On paper, the Brooklyn Nets should be heavy favorites over the Toronto Raptors. In practice, though, the oddsmakers are correct.

Brooklyn will be without Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, and Joe Harris when they travel to Toronto on Monday. Even though the top-heaviness of the Raptors' roster renders them far from sure things, you shouldn't be investing in a Nets team that will be missing their four best players

OSB Prediction: Toronto Raptors (-120)

Toronto Raptors To beat the Brooklyn Nets
-120
Bovada

Chicago will be Hard-Pressed to Beat Miami

It is a little shocking to see the Miami Heat this heavily favored over the Chicago Bulls. After all, these two teams are neck and neck in the race for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Upon further review, however, we find ourselves siding with Miami anyway. Chicago will be without premier point-of-attack defenders in Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball, and star Zach LaVine hasn't looked the same while trying to play through a knee injury.

OSB Prediction: Miami Heat (-225)

Miami Heat To beat the Chicago Bulls
-225
Bovada

Milwaukee will Fend Off Charlotte in High-Scoring Affair

Oddsmakers are likely trusting the Milwaukee Bucks a little too much. Their defense has regressed over the past month or so, and they remain incredibly shallow outside their top three players.

Of course, in the end, all that matters is Milwaukee has those top-three players. The Bucks are outscoring opponents by nearly 15 points per 100 possessions when Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday share the floor together. What's more, their defensive regression shouldn't matter as much against a Charlotte Hornets squad that likes to play smaller upfront.

OSB Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks (-305)

Milwaukee Bucks To beat the Charlotte Hornets
-305
Bovada

Is Oklahoma City Undervalued vs. Sacramento 

We won't lie: The Sacramento Kings should absolutely be favorites in this one. But a +135 is too enticing for us to pass up on the Oklahoma City Thunder.

There's this prevailing sentiment that the Thunder are somehow the worst team in the league. They're not. Far from it. Their offense is cramped. There's no question about that. But Oklahoma City works their butt off on the defensive end. Currently, they are the only team that ranks in the top seven of both the share of opponent shot attempts at the rim and opponent field-goal percentage when they actually get off those looks at the rim.

Knowing how all over the place Sacramento has been not just since the Domantas Sabonis trade but basically all year, we're inclined to step out on a limb here.

OSB Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder (+135)

Oklahoma City Thunder To beat the Sacramento Kings
+135
Bovada

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your NBA betting: