Heat vs. Twolves: Strong Defense Makes 'Under' 195.5 the NBA Pick

Charles Stark

Thursday, November 5, 2015 1:38 PM GMT

Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015 1:38 PM GMT

For our total play for Thursday NBA we head to Minnesota where the Timberwolves take on the Miami Heat. The NBA odds have come out with a pretty high total for this game, let's check first.

Betting Odds
Across the board NBA odds makers have this game at 198.5. You can still get pretty good odds at under this total like at Pinnacle. For my NBA total pick of the day I'm going to back under this total and look for a hard-fought defensive battle.

 

Miami Heat
Miami is averaging 99.2 points per game, shooting 46.3% from the field, and 35.2% from distance. They have been one of the more efficient teams in the NBA from the field and have a good balance of options. They have been decent beyond the arc, but where they have been the most dangerous is in the paint where they rank fourth in the NBA at 48 points per game.  Chris Bosh has been resurgent and Hassan Whiteside looks like he could be a force in the East in the near future.

Defensively Miami is allowing 95.8 points per game, 41.6% shooting from the field, and 27.4% shooting from beyond the arc. The percentage from beyond the arc is typical of an Eric Spoestra defense. They are getting out and defending the perimeter hard and cutting off driving lanes. From being fundamentally sound to how hard they play, this is simply one of the better defensive teams in the NBA.  After there last game against Atlanta I like for them to get back to what wins championships and make things tough on the young T-Wolves.

 

Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota is averaging 102.7 points per game, shooting 43.8% from the field, and 22.7% from distance. They don't have a lot of options beyond the arc and will most likely struggle against a Miami team that focuses on defending that aspect. They have some really good young talent and could be a dangerous team a couple years down the road.

Defensively Minnesota's allowing 98.3 points per game, 37.9% shooting from the field, and 25.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Surprisingly they rank as one of the best defensive teams in the NBA ranking first in defensive three point goal percentage and second in overall defensive shooting percentage. They are also doing a good job getting out in space and limiting extra passes ranking second in the NBA and opponent assists per game.  It seems like KG's presence is rubbing off on the younger guys by putting a premium on the importance of defense.

 

Final Analysis
Both these teams have different strengths on defense, but I like how it sets up in proportion against these two offenses. For one of your NBA picks expect a lower scoring game than the odds makers have listed and back the under between the Timberwolves and Heat.

NBA Pick: Under 195.5 at Heritage

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