Cold Cuts: Wolves The Right NBA Pick Versus Struggling Thunder

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 12:18 AM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2019 12:18 AM UTC

If you have the stones, the Minnesota Timberwolves look like the right NBA pick for Tuesday’s home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Mar. 4:
16-15-1 ATS, 0-4 ML (minus-9.35 units), 21-9 Totals

Oklahoma City (39-24 SU, 33-30 ATS) at Minnesota (29-34 SU, 32-31 ATS)

Tuesday, 8:00 p.m. ET
Free NBA Pick: Timberwolves ATS
Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The Oklahoma City Thunder haven’t beaten the NBA odds in seven straight games. What are the chances they snap that streak Tuesday night when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves? Maybe not that small. It’s easy to fall into the Gambler’s Fallacy trap with these betting trends; in fact, losing a game ATS can often improve a team’s value for the next game, thanks to over-reaction in the marketplace.

We also have to tread lightly when it comes to Paul George (plus-6.2 BPM). He’s missed the last three games for OKC with a sore right shoulder, and we have no idea at press time whether he’ll play Tuesday – which means we don’t have any odds yet, either. Teams often gain betting value when their star players sit out, again because of market over-reaction, but the Thunder have sure been a mess without George on the court. Fading them seems like the right thing to do with our NBA picks.

Dennis The Menace

The thing about the “missing star” angle is that the next man up is usually a better player than people realize. But in this case, the next man up is Dennis Schroder (minus-3.2 BPM), and he’s a fundamentally flawed basketball player. Schroder was an effective point guard over the last four years with the Atlanta Hawks – at the offensive end. Defensively, his hustle doesn’t make up for his 6-foot-1, 172-pound frame.

Schroder’s offensive skills have disappeared in OKC, too. Except for his 34.1-percent accuracy from behind the arc, his shooting numbers have declined across the board, and he’s also dishing the ball out less often at 5.3 assists per 36 minutes. This is the price the Thunder continue to pay for acquiring Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks last year; Schroder came over from Atlanta when Oklahoma City cut bait on Anthony in July, a deal which also cost them a first-round draft pick.

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Do not ask me how I feel about #Minnesotaweather in March pic.twitter.com/xkMj1CKxy1

— Tiffany (@send_red_pandas) 5 de março de 2019
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Stars On Ice

We’d be a lot more willing to fade the Thunder here if the Wolves weren’t supplying the opposition. This team has been all over the map since they ditched head coach Tom Thibodeau and put Ryan Saunders in his place. But they are 17-13 ATS at home, winning each of their last three games SU and ATS at The Tar-Zhay since Derrick Rose (minus-0.3 BPM) returned to the lineup. Rose still isn’t anywhere near the MVP he once was, but his return to relevance has been remarkable, especially on offense (plus-2.4 OBPM).

The weather in Minneapolis is also less than welcoming right now – which should take even more starch out of the Thunder as they begin this four-game road trip, including stops in Portland and Salt Lake City. Thrills, no. Chills, yes. Keep an eye on the shoot-around to see if George is likely to play, and as always, may the sphere be with you.

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