NBA Picks: Timberwolves vs. Nuggets

Steven Suarez

Thursday, January 3, 2013 3:52 PM GMT

The Nuggets have been terrific at home but may have their hands full with Kevin Love and company tonight. Let's analyze the NBA odds for this Thursday night tilt before coming up with our final pick.

Odds Overview

Denver's uptick in performance and Minnesota's inconsistency has resulted in a large spread in the Nuggets' favor tonight. Based on our NBA betting lines, they're giving away 7.5 points at most shops.

We find a total of 205 on the NBA odds board, with the OVER going 17-16 in matchups featuring Denver and 13-14-1 in games involving Minnesota. That said, the OVER has hit in five straight meetings between these squads.

[gameodds]5/133574/93-19-43-999996-1096-198-238/us[/gameodds]

Check out our NBA parlay for our free picks on tonight's matchups.

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves essentially conceded last night's game once they were down big, in hopes they could conserve energy to give the Nuggets a good fight on national television.

Minnesota ended up losing 106-84 to Utah, shooting just 34.5 percent from the floor overall and 2-of-17 from beyond the arc. The Timberwolves were killed inside (outscored 56-36 in the paint) and were outclassed on the fast break (25-8) as well.

Kevin Love finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks, but shot just 4-of-14 from the field. Andrei Kirilenko added 12 points, seven boards and two blocks, while Nikola Pekovic had 11 points, four rebounds and four blocks in just under 30 minutes.

That loss means Minnesota has dropped three of their last four. They're also just 2-5 over their last seven, both straight up and against the spread.

Playing on the road hasn't been too fun for Rick Adelman's team either. They've lost four straight away from Minnesota, while covering ATS (in a three-point loss to the Knicks) in just one of those games.

Denver Nuggets

After surviving a brutal schedule to open the season, the Nuggets are starting to round into form. They've won three of four and are 7-3 SU and ATS over their last 10.

Two nights ago Denver ended the Clippers' unbeaten run in dominating fashion, winning 92-78 and smashing the NBA betting lines in the process.

The Nuggets forced L.A. to shoot 38.5 percent overall and 17.2 percent from three, while connecting on 45.1 percent of their own shots. Andre Miller filled in admirably for the injured Ty Lawson, putting up 12 points and 12 assists. Andre Iguodala neared a triple-double with a 12/8/7 line, while Kenneth Faired posted a 14-point/11-rebound double-double.

It looks like Lawson won't be able to go again tonight, so expect another spot start from the experienced Miller and additional minutes for Corey Brewer off the bench.

Back to business. If you've been selecting Denver with your NBA picks lately, you've been doing quite well for yourself. The Nuggets have covered ATS in five consecutive home tilts and are 9-3 ATS over their previous 12 contests overall.

NBA Pick

Already these teams have met on the court twice this season, with the series currently at 1-1, though the Nuggets covered the spread in both matchups. Both games were in Minnesota.

The Timberwolves may look like the smart choice for your NBA picks in tonight's game, but the Nuggets have lost just once at home this season and are coming off a rather dominant win over the scorching-hot Clippers.

As such, we are going to roll with an UNDER play. While it's true Denver is in the top ten in offensive efficiency, Minnesota is just #22 in that category and they've hit the century mark just once over their last seven contests.

In addition, the Timberwolves are playing great defensively, allowing just 99.7 points per 100 possessions, good for the sixth-best mark in the NBA. Throw in the fact the Nuggets have improved dramatically on the defensive end (#13 in efficiency) themselves and we believe this one will stay under the high number.

Pick: UNDER 205 at Bookmaker