Here is something NBA basketball handicappers and those placing sports picks would have not forecasted based on prior results this season, Minnesota has current longer win streak than Atlanta does.
That’s right, Minnesota (11-40, 22-28-1 ATS) is on a season-high winning streak of three games, while Atlanta (42-10, 35-16-1 ATS) has dumped two of their last four contests, including yesterday in Memphis, falling 94-88 as three-point underdogs. Do the Timberwolves have a chance to make it four in a row in the win column or at least 4-1 against the NBA betting odds in their past five games? Or do the Hawks prove they are the superior team and put Minnesota back where they belong?
Minnesota is Heating up In February
Anyone generating daily NBA picks understood coach Flip Saunders team knew the Timberwolves were injury-riddled this campaign, yet after awhile and having among the worst records in the league all season, people forget and just see the numbers.
But the recent returns of shooting guard Kevin Martin (16 games this season), center Nikola Pekovic (20 games) and Ricky Rubio (8 games) has breathed new life in the Minnesota roster. Add these players with younger players like Alan Wiggins (15.4 PPG) and Shabazz Muhammad (13.7) and you can start to see where the T-Wolves at least have potential to be far more competitive than having the second-worst point differential in the Association.
The importance of having Martin and Pekovic cannot be understated, both being veteran players who have been in the league and they are individuals the younger guys can look towards for leadership when they are in position to win games.
The Timberwolves are desultory 6-18 and 9-15 ATS in the land of 10,000 frozen lakes, being outscored by 6.6 points a contest and will face of the NBA’s best.
Atlanta Wants to Finish Strong Heading into Break
Despite their franchise-best 19-game winning streak, Hawks backers on Facebook and Twitter are fussing Atlanta has lost two of their past four games and will need help once the playoffs commence. It might be a bit early to put the cart before the horse, because almost any team off such a lengthy winning stretch is going to have a natural letdown.
You also have to consider what the schedule brought the Hawks, two very challenging road games at New Orleans and Memphis and sandwiched between them was Washington and a massive matchup with Golden State, both which resulted in victories.
On aspect coach Mike Budenholzer talks about daily is having his team “get better” each day in some way and off two road setbacks; this is a measuring stick for mental toughness. With another road contest in two days before the All-Star break, the last thing coaches and players want to do is head into the break with a sense if disappointment after all what they have accomplished this season.
Betting Odds and Head to Head
With Jeff Teague questionable earlier, sportsbooks did not release a number on this contest until this morning. Atlanta was sent out as a six- point favorite with a total of 202.5.
The Hawks beat Minnesota at home 15 days ago 112-100, but never threatened to cover the super-sized 17.5-point favorite role. The T-Wolves have taken the past two at home versus Atlanta and should be feeling as confident as they have all season believing they can make it three straight.
This is the second stop on Atlanta’s three-game road trip before the break and their final stop will be in Boston. The Hawks are among the very finest road teams both SU and versus the NBA odds at 17-7 and 17-6-1 ATS. This is worth knowing, Atlanta is 10-3 and 8-4-1 ATS without rest, which includes a 3-0 SU and ATS mark in consecutive road tilts.
Minnesota is back home off their win yesterday and not only has a rugged home game tonight, but on Wednesday against Golden State. The T- Wolves are 2-9 and 4-7 ATS without a day off.
The NBA betting odds are awfully suspicious at only six, which in the NBA most likely means it is accurate. And while I’m impressed with Minny’s play of late, Atlanta has not lost two in row since the second week of the season and is 11-4 and 9-5-1 ATS off a non-cover. This will be close, but the Hawks superiority and trust with one another will lead to a spread cover in the fourth quarter.
NBA Basketball Free Pick – Atlanta -6 at The Greek