NBA Picks: Heat vs. Timberwolves

Joe Freda

Monday, March 4, 2013 1:33 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 4, 2013 1:33 PM GMT

Will the Heat be worth backing again here, or is a play on the ‘total’ a better option for our NBA picks tonight? Find out where we believe the best options lie for our sports picks in this matchup.

The Miami Heat have notched a 9-5 spread record as part of their 14 straight wins, putting up 107.7 PPG. Monday’s matchup finds Erik Spoelstra’s squad in the second end of a back-to-back spot against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who return home after seeing the OVER cash at 2-1 in a three-game road trip.

The NBA odds have been slow to come out, but keep your eyes licked on SBR's Live NBA Odds page for the most up-to-date betting lines.

[gameodds]5/220054/43/us[/gameodds]

Heat, James rally past Knicks

Miami’s latest win came with Sunday’s 99-93 victory over the New York Knicks, collecting as a 4 ½-point road favorite. The Heat trailed by as many as 16 points, outscoring New York in the second half, 54-34.

Heat forward LeBron James logged his third straight double-double, finishing with 29 points and 11 boards. Miami’s Dwayne Wade recorded eight of his squad’s 20 assists, hitting 8-of-16 field buckets en route to 20 points.

The battle’s combined 192 points dipped below the ‘total’ of 196 ½, ending a 4-0 stretch for the OVER in Miami’s last four games. Heat veteran Shane Battier drilled 4-of-4 shots from three-point land for 12 points, while his mates edged out the Knicks in paint points, 42-32.

T-Wolves shut down in Portland

Minnesota picked up a fifth straight loss in Saturday’s 109-94 defeat as an eight-point road dog against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Timberwolves were held to 39.1 percent field shooting, while being outrebounded, 55-47.

Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams put up 23 points, uniting with mate Dante Cunningham for eight boards each. Williams added three of his side’s five blocks, while guard Ricky Rubio logged nine assists and three steals.

The contest’s combined 203 points leaped above the ‘total’ of 197, bringing the OVER to 3-2 in the Timberwolves’ last five matchups. Minnesota logged a 1-for-12 night beyond the arc, while hitting 25-of-26 free throws.

Back the UNDER in Minnesota

Minnesota’s Nikola Pekovic (15.9 PPG, 8.8 RPG) missed Saturday’s affair in Portland with an abdominal injury and is not expected to return for Monday’s matchup. The big man joins injured Timberwolves forward Andrei Kirilenko (13.1 PPG), who is “questionable” due to a calf strain.

I am adding the UNDER in this duel to Monday’s free picks, looking for some low octane in a lackluster battle here.

Minnesota catches the Heat in a vulnerable spot here, but has struggled to put up their own share of points. The Timberwolves have been held below the century mark in their last six home dates, logging a subpar mark of 95.3 PPG.

UNDER backers have cashed at 6-1 in Miami’s last seven spots played on no rest, while James and Co. have held foes to 87.5 PPG in their last six road contests. The UNDER is 3-0 in Miami’s last trio of trips to Target Center, with the Timberwolves held to 92.3 PPG on their floor.

Look for another UNDER ticket to get the money here, adding to a 5-0 mark for the wager in Minnesota’s last five matchups against clubs with winning records.

Free NBA Pick:  UNDER

Check out our NBA Picks: Monday Value Plays for two more selections to add to your betting ticket.

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