Free NBA Picks: Timberwolves Will Keep It Close vs. Clippers

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 8:03 PM GMT

Minnesota Timberwolves look to snap the negative trend when they take on the Los Angeles Clippers in Wednesday’s round of NBA betting. Here’s our take on this game complete with NBA picks.

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NBA Picks: Timberwolves +11.5 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Minnesota Timberwolves (14-36)
Wallowing in the Western Conference basement, Minnesota Timberwolves are desperate to snap the negative trend but they can’t seem to buy a win no matter how hard they try. They are 14th in the conference and bottom of the Northwest division with a 14-26 record. Exacerbating their woes is a five-game losing streak that has them slipping to a 2-8 SU mark in their last ten and overall abysmal form since mid-December – the last instance of a back-to-back game winning streak—that features just three wins in 23 games played. Is it any wonder the NBA odds are stacked against the Timberwolves in tonight’s clash with the Clippers?

Odds makers rolled out an 11-point spread across the board at open doors but very quickly that line inched up a half-point where it’s stayed put for the most part. Pinnacle Sports increased the line within a few hours of trading – a move mimicked by most sportsbooks including BetCris and BetOnline, amongst several others. Some sportsbooks such as William Hill and Heritage, also opening at 11-points, increased the line up to 12-points at one point on Wednesday before slipping back down to 11.5-points.

No matter where you look it’s obvious the action is going against Minnesota. At the time of writing, 56% consensus betting is on the hosts to cover the spread. It’s worth noting, however, that the Timberwolves have covered four of their last six games and, as recently, as Sunday when they lost 96-93 to the Portland Trailblazers to cover as +6.5 road underdogs. They even covered as the 12.5-point road underdogs to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 114-107 loss.

On the season, Minnesota are 21-28-1 ATS with a 4-point losing margin and just a negative 0.2-point differential versus the spread. On the road, Minnesota are a positive 14-10-0 ATS with a 3.5-point losing margin and a plus 2.3-point differential versus the spread. As away underdogs, Minnesota are 13-9-0 ATS with a 4-point losing margin and a plus 3.2-point differential versus the spread.

 

LA Clippers (32-16)
The LA Clippers’ season is the mirror opposite with a 32-16 mark that has them sat pretty in fourth place in the Western Conference and second in the Pacific Division. Only the defending champions Golden State Warriors are better with a 44-4-0 mark on the season, which is hardly surprising given their championship credentials. But it’s a huge gap nonetheless from the standard setting Golden State Warriors.

In any event, LA Clippers are riding a four-game winning streak into Wednesday’s clash with Minnesota, improving to 7-3 SU in their last ten games.

Their seasonal record of 32-16 includes a 4-point winning margin and a plus 0.2-point differential against the spread. Speaking of spread betting, they are 23-22-3 on the season versus the market. At home, they are 11-12-1 ATS with a 6.2-point winning margin and a plus 0.1-point differential versus the spread. As home favorites, they are 10-10-1 ATS with an 8-point winning margin and a plus 0.8-point differential versus the spread.

The Clippers have covered three of their last four games, the only misstep was a 105-93 win over the LA Lakers in which they failed to cover as the 14.5-point faves. Most recently, they are coming off a 120-93 win over Chicago, covering handily the 4.5-point spread that closed on the NBA Odds board.

 

Betting Verdict
Two teams enjoying contrasting fortunes on the season are set to collide and predicting the likeliest winner isn’t rocket science. LA Clippers are at home and they have solid form right now and on the season that tips the scale overwhelmingly in their favor in straight up betting. However, covering the hefty spread is another matter entirely. They are coming off a big win over Chicago, which the public is probably reacting to on their NBA picks. The Timberwolves, despite their woes, have hung in there from game-to-game and are keeping it close on the scoreboard. They are long shots to win, but they might not be such long shots to cover as a result.