NBA Picks: Bet Pacers vs. Timberwolves To Go 'Under' 206.5

Jason Lake

Saturday, December 26, 2015 12:26 PM GMT

Everything's gone wrong for the Minnesota Timberwolves this month. Can the Wolves get back on track Saturday and beat the NBA odds when they host the Indiana Pacers?

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NBA Pick: UNDER 206.5 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Dec. 25: 11-10-1 ATS, 3-1 Total

 

The last time we checked in on the Minnesota Timberwolves, they were in eighth place in the Weste rn Conference. Their rebuilding project was going swimmingly, most of their players were healthy – life was good. And then everything went to heck in a handbasket. Minnesota has gone 3-12 SU and 2-12-1 ATS in December, and the month's not over yet; the Wolves host the Indiana Pacers this Saturday (8:00 p.m. ET).

But what's happened to the Pacers? They've had a pretty bad December too, going 5-7 SU and 4-8 ATS to slip into a tie for seventh place in the East. Nevertheless, Indiana is laying 4.5 points on the NBA odds at press time, up from –4 at the open with 71 percent of early bettors laying wood on the visitors.

 

Unseasonably Cold
Given how rough things have been for both teams lately, perhaps we should go straight to the totals for our NBA picks. We're looking at a total of 206.5 points, and our consensus reports show 56 percent of first responders grabbing the UNDER. Seems reasonable; the UNDER is on a six-game winning streak for Indiana, and 3-1 in Minnesota's last four games.

Both teams have been healthy for the most part this month, but their 3-point shooting touch appears to have deserted them. The Pacers are shooting 34.1 percent from long range in December, down from 41.0 percent in November. The Timberwolves have dropped from 34.6 percent to 31.1 percent, and they're at the bottom of the league with just 16.2 trey attempts per game. That's not going to cut it in today's NBA.

 

The Madness of Paul George
It isn't helping Minnesota's cause – at least in the short term – that SG Kevin Martin (37.8 percent) has been put on ice. The Wolves have decided to give prospect Tyus Jones his first crack at NBA minutes instead; Jones was the No. 24 overall pick this year out of Duke, where he shot 37.9 percent last year from behind the (shorter) 3-point line. After three games in the NBA, Jones is 0-of-2 from long range and 3-of-12 overall.

Indiana could end up leaving some points on the table this Saturday, too. Paul George (22.0 PER, +4.6 BPM), who's been slumping as of late, has been dealing with an illness that appears to have sapped his strength. “Felt I was going to throw up at times,” George told The Indianapolis Star on Monday after shooting 1-of-14 against the San Antonio Spurs. “It’s still hanging around for whatever reason.” That's about all the incentive we need to place a confident wager on the UNDER. We hope you've been enjoying a fantastic holiday season, and may the sphere be with you in 2016 and beyond.