NBA Picks: Bet Timberwolves to Hang With Bulls & Cover ATS

Charles Stark

Saturday, November 7, 2015 12:55 AM GMT

I really like how Minnesota has played defense this year, and I look for them to hang in with the Bulls. Chicago had a nice win against OKC, but the Thunder were coming off a back to back. I respect them but this is a good spot for Minnesota to hang within the number for our NBA picks.

Betting Odds
Across the board, NBA odds makers have Minnesota at +9.5. That number is a bit too much for me so for one of my NBA picks I will back the Timberwolves in this spot. You can still get good odds like at Bookmaker at -105.

 

Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota is averaging 98 points per game, shooting 41.5% from the field, and 25% from beyond the arc. Not good numbers at all on the offensive end, and they really are not a threat shooting the three. What they have though is a core of talented young guys led by veteran Kevin Martin. What they have been doing well is getting to the line as they lead the league in free-throw attempts. On the road in Chicago that might not come into play as much for what I like is for the Minnesota Timberwolves to keep things interesting because of how they have played on the other side of the ball.

Defensively Minnesota has allowed 97.8 points per game, 40.2% shooting from the field, and 26% shooting from distance. There seems to be a refocus in this organization, at least so far this season, to simply play better defensively. At the beginning of training camp this season the team went nearly 2 hours with barely touching a ball, and just focused on the basics from their defensive stance to how to defend from the perimeter on in. Head coach Sam Mitchell was quoted just prior to the season, "We know we have to get better defensively, and the only way you're going to get better is to work on it."

 

Chicago Bulls
Chicago has averaged 101.2 points per game, shooting 44.6% from the field, and 38.6% from distance. I thought their second unit was the real difference in that game with Oklahoma City the other night, that and a stellar performance from Derrick Rose. They are shooting beyond the arc at a solid rate averaging 9.3 three-pointers per game which ranks fourth in the NBA. They have been shooting a lot around the perimeter but not much in the paint as they average just 38.3 points per game from the interior ranking 27th in the NBA. Minnesota has played good perimeter defense so the young T-Wolves should be able to make enough stops to stay within the number.

Defensively Chicago has allowed 101.3 points per game, 42.4% shooting from the field, and 32.8% shooting from distance. They have not been doing anything particularly great, but have been sufficient on the defensive end. They have been good at opponent shooting efficiency ranking sixth in the NBA. For me the jury is still out on just how good the Chicago team can be this season. Until they get it done more consistently on the defensive end they will be on the outside looking in come playoff time.

Minnesota has not been very good offensively for the most part, but they have been playing really hard and well on defense. I think this is the aspect that keeps them within the number although Chicago will most likely pick up the win. For one of your NBA picks I suggest taking the young Timberwolves to battle with Chicago all the way until the final minute.

NBA Picks: Timberwolves +9.5 at Pinnacle

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