Timberwolves Minus Butler Over Trail Blazers

Jason Lake

Friday, December 7, 2018 8:19 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 7, 2018 8:19 PM UTC

The Minnesota Timberwolves have torn the NBA odds apart since getting rid of Jimmy Butler. They should have the edge Saturday when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers.

Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Dec. 6: 7-6 ATS, 4-3 Totals

Minnesota (13-12 SU, 14-11 ATS) at Portland (14-11 SU, 12-13 ATS)Saturday, 10:00 p.m. ET (NBA-TV)Free NBA Pick: Timberwolves ATSBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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There are two types of people in this world: Type A, and Type B. Jimmy Butler is definitely a Type A person. Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins? Type B all the way. The Minnesota Timberwolves should have seen this coming. More importantly, bettors should have seen Minnesota’s recent run of success coming after Butler was dealt to Philadelphia. The Wolves are 9-3 SU and ATS since pulling the trigger on that deal.

Perhaps it’s not too late to squeeze some betting value out of this situation. Minnesota will visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday; the first NBA odds have yet to hit the board as we go to press, presumably because C.J. McCollum is day-to-day for Portland with a sprained left ankle. But we’ll send out an early recommendation for the Wolves. Make sure to check the latest lines and the injury reports before putting Minny in your NBA picks.

The Covington Files

Back to Butler for a moment. He was Minnesota’s best player, posting a plus-5.6 BPM through the first 10 games, but he flat-out punked Towns (plus-3.7 BPM) and especially Wiggins (minus-2.6 BPM) the whole time. Philadelphia is a much better fit for Butler’s personality – although he’s “only” posted a plus-2.7 BPM for his new employers, who are 3-5 ATS in their last eight games.

Meanwhile, the two active players who joined the Wolves have improved their level of play since switching uniforms. Robert Covington (plus-4.0 BPM), Minnesota’s new mild-mannered hero, is canning 39.2 percent of his threes while playing better defense than Butler. Dario Saric (minus-1.4 BPM) is more in the Type A category, and he’s yet to build on his improvements from last year, but Saric is still performing better than he did in Philly. He’s a useful depth player for now behind Taj Gibson (plus-2.8 BPM) at the 4-spot.

In Bloom

We also need to talk about Derrick Rose (plus-0.8 BPM). He’s not anywhere near his former MVP self, but the fact that Rose is playing the point at better than league average for the first time since his knees got wrecked is one of the feel-good stories of the year. Too bad nobody’s paying attention – it’s still Minnesota, after all.

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Dwyane Wade wants his son to learn from Derrick Rose ✊

(h/t @AshleyNevel @SLAMonline ) pic.twitter.com/FzZX9oLLFO

— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) 7 de diciembre de 2018
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The Trail Blazers fly under the public radar, too, and they’re in a big-time funk right now at 3-6 SU and 1-8 ATS in their past nine games. It’s hardly a death sentence for Portland if McCollum (minus-0.4 BPM) can’t play; he missed Thursday’s game against Phoenix, and the Blazers still won 108-86 as 12.5-point home faves. But that was the Suns. Put Seth Curry (minus-4.5 BPM) in the starting lineup against the Wolves and see what happens then. We’re betting it won’t be pretty.

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