Feisty Minnesota to Stay Within the Number Against Portland

Portland Trail Blazers players

Charles Stark

Thursday, April 6, 2017 1:47 PM GMT

Minnesota and Portland have played some tight contests this season. With Portland still battling for a playoff spot and Minnesota out of the race, oddsmakers have made the home Trailblazers a decent favorite. Can the young Minnesota Timberwolves come in and disrupt Portland’s playoffs aspirations?

Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota lost to Golden State the other night but I was impressed at how hard they battled especially the first half of the game. They have played tight with Portland this season and matchup very well with them so I think there is value in backing the T-Wolves. Head coach Tom Thibodeau has surprisingly struggled with this team this year on the defensive side of the ball as Minnesota has some of the poorest defensive percentages in the league highlighted by allowing opponents to shoot 47.5% from the field which ranks 28th in the NBA. 

They do defend from beyond the arc somewhat okay though which will be the point of contention tonight as Portland can really light it up from range. For all their defensive struggles Minnesota has actually been decent putting the ball in the basket and has some young solid scorers with the team averaging 46.7% overall shooting which ranks eighth in the league. Although they are out of the race, and Portland is very tough to be in Portland, I like for Minnesota to take this game to the wire.

 

Portland Trail Blazers

Portland has played a lot better the second half of the season and as always is really tough playing at home. The number odds makers have set have given me a little bit of pause as it seems like Portland should win this game going away, but I think they will have a tough time getting enough stops to cover the number. This is a bit of a revenge game for them as well after Minnesota stopped their six-game winning streak just the other night so I have no problem thinking that they will win this game. 

Portland ranks in about the middle of the league in most offensive statistics but there are a couple deficiencies in their defensive numbers that has me believing Minnesota can take this game to the final minute. Currently, Portland ranks 22nd in opponent shooting efficiency and 27th allowing opponents to shoot 37.3% from distance. This a big game for Portland and I expect them to probably pull out the win but take the value and the points with Minnesota.

 

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Portland Trail Blazers

Oddsmakers have made Portland a -6 favorite but for my NBA pick, I will take the points with Minnesota. I like the way how they fought the other night versus Golden State and I expect for them to do the same tonight in Portland.

 

Free NBA Pick: Portland -6Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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