Sportsbooks Expect Wolves to Take Giant Step Back Next Season

Photo: Mitchell Leff – Getty Images

The Minnesota Timberwolves are on the rise. Karl-Anthony Towns is about to sign a super-max contract this offseason, Anthony Edwards, who doubles as a movie star, appears primed to take the next step in his career; blossoming into an unstoppable wing who can take over a game, at his discretion.

Sure, decisions need to be made on D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley. But that’s why our new high profile owners put on some big market masks and robbed the Denver Nuggets of their lauded, underpaid President of Basketball Operations, Tim Connelly. Patrick Beverley is on for another year. Jaden McDaniels is expected to take a huge step forward on offense.

Slapped by Sportsbook of Reality

Even if the Wolves were to keep DLo and run it back next season, they should still take a step forward, right? Not if you ask a couple of the most well known sportsbooks on the internet, which have just released the betting odds for the 2023 NBA Finals winners. Both DraftKings and FanDuel have the Minnesota Timberwolves sitting at 10th (+5500) in the Western Conference.

Remember, the Wolves finished 7th in the West last season, the first team left out of the conventional playoff bracket. They beat the LA Clippers in round 1 of the play-in tournament and advanced to the 7th seed in the final postseason bracket.

So instead of being on the rise, these early odds have KAT, Ant and the gang taking a big step back. On the bright side, if you disagree with the various sportsbooks, you can make a lot of money by jumping any state line and putting your money where your mouth is. A $100 bet will make you $5,500 at either of the sportsbooks named above. And I’m sure many others.

Explain yourself, Vegas

Some of the Wolves’ projected fall off next season has nothing to do with anything they’ve done or haven’t done. It’s about who others in the West are expected to get back.

The Clippers, for example, will get Kawhi Leonard back to pair with Paul George. Denver will get Jamal Murray back. The Pelicans SHOULD get Zion Williams back, who would enter a lineup already touting CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram.

I question the Utah Jazz but that could just be bias. If they hold onto Donovan Mitchell, there’s no reason to think they will take a big step back. At the end of the day, the Western Conference is going to be a dog fight. Welcome to the Minnesota fire, Tim Connelly.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan