NBA Picks: Timberwolves Hold Favorable Spot Against Injured Clippers

Joe Gavazzi

Monday, March 9, 2015 1:37 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 9, 2015 1:37 PM GMT

Our expert handicapper takes us through this Timberwolves/Clippers preview article and analyzes the odds and trends in order to give you his free NBA pick for this match.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. L.A Clippers (-8) 10:35 ET
The Minnesota Timberwolves travel to LA for a 10:35 ET tip against the LA Clippers and are currently listed on the NBA odds at +7. At first glance, this appears to be a mismatch. The LA Clippers at 40-23 SU currently hold the 5th spot in the Western Conference playoff queue.  The Minnesota Timberwolves reside in the basement of the West with a 14-47 SU record, trailing even the lowly Lakers. Yet, there is plenty to like about Minnesota in this matchup, as it is now they who are the healthy team and the LA Clippers the injured team. These teams have met twice this season with the Clippers winning (127-101) on this floor back on December 1st and then again (110-105) last Monday in Minnesota.  We need look no further than the Minnesota lineup to see why these two scores were so dichotomous.  In that first matchup, Minnesota was without 3 key cogs, Pekovic, K-Mart, and Ricky Rubio.  In the rematch last Monday, the Clippers without Blake Griffin. Tonight, he will be joined on the sideline by major point producer, Jamal Crawford, while the T-Wolves will have all hands on deck.  In this case, it is not about the X’s and O’s but about the Jimmy’s and the Joe’s.

Clearly, the T-Wolves will be hungry, after losing to this team twice, particularly just a week ago by a narrow margin on their home floor.  Since February 1st, roughly correlating with the return of previously injured Pekovic, Martin and Rubio to the lineup, the T-Wolves have gone 10-4 ATS. At the break, they added veteran, Kevin Garnett, to the roster who added some much needed veteran leadership.  Along with emerging youngsters, Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Dieng, and Payne, this is clearly a team that is much better than their YTD record indicates.

The LA Clippers are now the hurting team. Since that similar date of February 1st, the Clippers have gone 7-12 ATS. After challenging to be the premier team in the NBA for much of last season, this team was severely negatively impacted by the ownership issues at the close of last season.  Even with savvy mentor HC Rivers at the controls, and with much the same leadership as last year, it can be argued that the Clippers are one of the league’s biggest underachievers this season. That lack of success is notable on this floor, where they stand 10-15 ATS when favored by 4 or more points. In the next week, the Clippers will be facing games at OKC, Dallas and Houston. That makes this game, against the only losing team they will face in 2 weeks, and a team they have defeated twice to be a definitive flat spot. That’s especially true after facing Golden St. yesterday. The Clippers are just 11-10 ATS following a loss.

In short, we have a pair of teams headed opposite directions with the value according to the now healthier Minnesota team. Catching the underperforming Clippers in a big favorite role at home, in a scheduling sandwich spot, and without key cogs Griffin and Crawford, makes this an ideal spot for the Wolves to come in under this lofty impost, so back them with your NBA picks.

NBA Pick: Take Minnesota at 5Dimes

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