NBA Picks Thunder vs. Timberwolves -2

Steven Suarez

Saturday, January 4, 2014 2:17 PM GMT

Kevin Durant is without his sidekick, part of the reason the Thunder are underdogs for this visit of the Timberwolves. What's our NBA play here?

Odds Overview

Minnesota is favored by two points at home in the NBA odds, while the O/U is holding steady at 208.

The Timberwolves are 16-16 SU and 18-14 ATS, with the Thunder at 25-7 SU and 17-15 ATS for the season.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Life without Russell Westbrook has been hard. Everyone figured as much, but we're seeing the proof of it now.

At first the Thunder seemed fine, beating the Bobcats by four in Charlotte and then crushing Houston 117-86 at home. However, they've since lost consecutive home games to Portland (94-98) and Brooklyn (93-95).

Their most recent loss to the Nets was easily the most surprising. The Thunder were up by 16 at one point but once again saw their lead dissipate. Brooklyn hung around, hit some big shots, and then got a game-winner as time expired from Joe Johnson.

For OKC, Kevin Durant scored 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting and added four rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Serge Ibaka had 10 points and 11 rebounds and Perry Jones III scored 11 points off the bench.

Will the Thunder fall for the third straight time tonight? They're 11-4 SU and 9-6 ATS on the road so far, but confidence isn't at its highest level at the moment.

Check out SBR's sportsbook reviews before placing your bets!

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves have rebounded to win three of four since losing both games in Los Angeles (91-104 against the Lakers and 116-120 to the Clippers) a couple weeks back.

Kevin Love and company have been off since Wednesday's 124-112 win at home over New Orleans.

As we've seen so often already this season, the Timberwolves caught fire offensively and the visiting Pelicans couldn't keep up. In all, Minnesota shot 55.7 percent from the field in a game that they were winning by as many as 30 at one point.

Love wasn't as efficient as normal but still finished with 21 points, six boards and three assists, while Kevin Martin (20 points on 8-of-14 FG) and Ricky Rubio (14/9/8) contributed in a major way. Nikola Pekovic added 22 points and seven boards and JJ Barea, Alexey Shved and Dante Cunningham all scored in double figures off the bench.

So now Minnesota will see if they can keep it going at home, where they're a solid 10-5 SU and 8-7 ATS for the year. They've won four of their past five at Target Center, highlighted by a 11-point win over Portland.

NBA Pick

These two teams have already met up twice this season, with each team winning (straight up and against the spread) at home.

However, Westbrook didn't play in Minnesota's 100-81 win over Oklahoma City, showcasing just how different life can be without the star point guard on the court.

The Thunder just are nowhere near the same level offensively without Westbrook. They're 2-2 SU since he went down and the UNDER has hit in all four of those games – Reggie Jackson is a budding young player, but he's still raw and just isn't nearly as aggressive as Westbrook. That allows opposing defenses  to key in on Durant.

Meanwhile, Minnesota has been playing better, so we'll take them as one of our NBA picks tonight.

Pick: Timberwolves -2

[gameodds]5/251975/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]