NBA Picks: Thunder vs Timberwolves

Joe Freda

Friday, November 1, 2013 12:54 PM GMT

The Minnesota Timberwolves play host to the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight at the Target Centeer. Find out where we've decided to place our cash...
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder both came away with close victories on Wednesday’s opening night, while failing to cash as NBA betting favorites. Friday’s league slate has the rivals clashing at Target Center, where the Thunder are 0-5 ATS since 2011. 

T-wolves edge Magic in O.T.

Minnesota saw a 17-point lead erased in Wednesday’s 120-115 overtime win over the Orlando Magic, falling short of collecting as 10 ½-point home ‘chalk.’  The Timberwolves were edged in rebounds, 54-49, while held to 42 percent field shooting.

Timberwolves forward Kevin Love opened his year with a double-double, piling in team-highs of 31 points and 17 boards. Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio notched 11 assists, while adding three of his squad’s seven steals.

The duel’s combined 235 points cashed OVER tickets in regulation time, surging above the ‘total’ of 199 ½. T-wolves guard Kevin Martin made his debut for Minnesota after being acquired from the Thunder, sinking 9-of-9 free throws en route to 24 points.

Thunder, Durant top Jazz

Oklahoma City held on for its first victory on the same night’s card, outlasting the Utah Jazz in a 101-98 battle. Thunder forward Kevin Durant scorched Utah for 42 points, while OKC was left unable to cash as a 6 ½-point road favorite.

Durant’s frontcourt mate Serge Ibaka grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds, while held to a 4-for-15 night of field shooting. Oklahoma City’s Reggie Jackson notched five steals and three assists, with the Thunder outscored in paint points, 56-32.

The contest’s final stretch lifted its 199 combined points above the ‘total’ of 191 ½, collecting for OVER backers. Ibaka added two of his side’s four blocks, while the Thunder went 29-for-33 at the foul line.

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Back the T-Wolves at home

Minnesota opened as a 1 ½-point home favorite on The Greek’s NBA odds board, while the ‘total’ was first posted at 201. Early wagers on the Timberwolves and OVER lifted the digits to two and 202, respectively.

I am tailing the ‘steam’ here as part of Friday’s NBA picks, laying the short number with the T-Wolves as home ‘chalk.’

Minnesota got off to an impressive start and looks ready for the step up in class against Durant and Co. Love missed most of last year’s action, but had one of his best efforts facing OKC in December  – notching 28 points and 11 boards in a 99-93 home victory.

Kevin Martin should look forward to facing his old team here, while Corey Brewer’s addition to the Timberwolves’ starting five already looks promising. Minnesota gave up its share of scoring in Wednesday’s action, but has bounced back with a 9-2 ATS mark in its last 11 spots that followed allowing 100 or more points.

Oklahoma City will continue missing Russell Westbrook, who remains out for the next two weeks with a knee injury. The Thunder finished last year with a 1-6 ATS run in matchups that came after its final seven victories, while coming in overvalued again here despite being an underdog.

Look for the T-wolves to light up the board again for its spread backers, surging for 105.4 PPG in their last five home meetings with Oklahoma City.

NBA Pick:  Minnesota Timberwolves -2 at The Greek