Free NBA Picks: Bet Timberwolves & Cavaliers To Go 'Under' 204

Jordan Sharp

Monday, January 25, 2016 4:08 PM GMT

The Cavaliers are coming off yet another bad loss to one of the NBA’s top teams in the standings, however, can they bounce back and beat up on the Wolves tonight back at home as our NBA pick?

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NBA Pick: Under 204
Best Line Offered: at TheGreek

 

Lebron James – Player/Coach/GM
The beginning of the Ty Lue era in Cleveland did not start well, and was anyone surprised? Sure, the Cavs couldn’t hit a shot to save their lives, and outside of Lebron James and JR Smith, the rest of the Cavs looked awful in that game, but a coaching change is not this teams problem. However, tonight they welcome in one of the worst teams in the NBA the Wolves, but Minnesota is not bad based on their talent, they simply are a young and inexperienced team. Young teams can still pull off good games, as was evidenced by Minnesota’s most recent game against the Grizzlies that they won SU and against the NBA odds.

However, Minnesota comes into this one as a +13½ underdog on the road in Cleveland, with a total of 203 points tonight. If Cleveland does what they normally do coming off a bad loss, the Wolves stand little chance of covering this spread, despite it being -13½ points. In wins following a Cavs loss, their average margin of victory in their next win is over 12 points, and while it’s no lock by any means tonight, I am simply laying off a tough spread to predict with the Cavs playing no better than average basketball right now.

However, the total in this one is much more intriguing, and after it’s already been moved up three full points from where it opened at 200 points, I think the sharps are on the wrong side of this one. The under is actually looking like a pretty good play tonight, because even though the Wolves tend to give up a ton of points, this is a big game for them tonight, and I think they bring the defense. 

The Wolves tend to show up defensively in big games, and the Cavs should definitely show up tonight after not playing well on either end of the ball against the Bulls. In their last two games against subpar teams coming off of bad losses to the Spurs and Warriors, the Cavs limited their opponents to 77 and 78 points respectfully. They have done that three times this season where they limited an opponent to less than 80 points coming off a loss, and I think we could see them lock down defensively against the Wolves here tonight.

 

The Sharp Pick
This one is definitely going against the grain. Both teams have done well cashing the over on their respective home/road splits, and after their loss to the Bulls, Lue did say he wants to get the Cavs playing faster. However, playing too fast will limit their defense, which is one of, if not their best attributes outside of you know, having the best player in basketball in their uniform.

Cleveland has now cashed the under in four of their last six games overall, and while it doesn’t mean much, history is on our side when it comes to the under in this one, as it’s cashed in 11 of the last 16 times these two have played one another. The first meeting Cleveland played well and cashed the over easily, however this one could be different. The Wolves have been better defensively against slower paced and Eastern Conference teams this season, and their offense has not been playing as well recently, averaging only 96.9 points per game in their last ten. If the Wolves can’t get above the 90-point mark tonight because of the Cavs’ stingy defense, the under is going to be the play. While they have been good on the road scoring this season averaging about 100 per game, recently the Wolves have slipped some, and in their last seven road games, Minnesota is only averaging 95 points per game. Take Under as your NBA pick tonight.