The Timberwolves take on the Trailblazers in what looks like to be an easy win for Portland. On closer examination though we see a lot of value taking Minnesota on the plus money line this game. Read more as to why the Timberwolves are our upset play of the day.
Healthy vs. Hurting
We usually don’t like to put too much stock in one person out for a particular team. The NBA odds makers have opened up this game at -4 for Portland, which is a bit surprising to us (more on that later). With Matthews now out it will be interesting to see how possibly Affalo can fill the void because in our opinion this is a really big blow to the Trailblazers. On the flip side the T-Wolves are starting to get healthy. Even though they have lost their last four in a row and are 2-3 at home since the break they are actually playing decent basketball. Except for the 15 point loss to the Nuggets last game they have been competitive even against the league elites the past month losing to Golden State by 3, Memphis by 4, and the Clippers by 5. Having Rubio, Martin, and Pekovic back is definitely a boost (plus the addition of KG for leadership).
What have you done for me lately?
Portland is on a five game winning streak, but since the all star break they have not shot the ball that well at 43% from the floor. They have picked things up though on the defensive end which has helped them continue to win. On the road this year they have also been pretty solid allowing opponents to only shoot 43% from the floor, oddly enough though this hasn’t translated into lower scores. For the season Portland ranks in the bottom half of the league on points allowed on away games at a 101.2 average. Minnesota has been arguably the worst defensive team in the league as they are in the bottom of most defensive categories. With people getting healthy though they are improving. Their most recent defensive stats are a bit skewed by a real hot night by the Grizzlies who shot for 59% against them (and Minnesota only lost by 4). Except for that debacle they have played much better defense recently at home holding Golden State to 44%, Washington to 38%, and Phx to 45% for example.
Sometimes it is about the line
This is the guts of our NBA picks right here. Portland sits at 41-19 and 15-13 on the road while the Timberwolves are 13-47. We understand Matthews being out hurts, but Portland is only favored by -4. Two buckets is what the NBA odds makers think separates one of the best teams in the West to one of the worst in the whole league. Something is not right. With Minnesota being healthy, having a leader in KG, playing overall better basketball wins and losses aside, and the fact they beat Portland earlier this year in the same arena gets our radar up. Add in Portland is on a winning streak and Minnesota is on a losing streak plus this small line REALLY gets our radar up and pinging loudly. We think the Timberwolves are going to bounce back from their worst loss since KG has been back and give the home fans an upset win.
NBA Pick: Minnesota plus money line at at BetOnline