NBA Picks: Value Lies In The Total For Rockets vs. Timberwolves Game

Kevin Stott

Monday, April 11, 2016 11:00 AM GMT

The Houston Rockets head to Minneapolis on Monday night to face the Minnesota Timberwolves in a must-win spot for the visitors. Joins us as we look for betting value and a worthy NBA Pick for this game.

The Houston Rockets head to Minneapolis on Monday night to face the Minnesota Timberwolves in a must-win spot for the visitors who still sit in 9th place in the Western Conference despite winning on Sunday as the 8th-place Utah Jazz also emerged victorious in their own must-win clash. And whomever ends up in the 8th spot will be getting Stephen Curry and the No. 1-seeded Golden State Warriors as their reward, so who know where Motivation levels will really be at deep down inside for James Harden and the visitors? Let’s take a look at the L10 games in this series, any Streaks and Trends—the Over has W8 straight—and provide an NBA pick for our website readers.

 

Odds Overview
The Minnesota Timberwolves (28-52 SU, 13-26 Home) welcome James Harden and the Houston Rockets (39-41 SU, 17-23 Road) to the Target Center in Minneapolis on Monday night in the second-to-last game of the NBA Regular Season for both clubs and a huge contest for Houston which is still fighting for the 8th berth in the Western Conference with the Utah Jazz (40-40), who like the Rockets, won on Sunday. Offshore Oddsmakers have opened the host Rockets as solid 3½-point favorites here with the game’s Total (Points) opening at 216½, while the Money Line (Winner) NBA odds see Houston priced at -154 with the Home Underdog and growing Timberwolves lined at +139 on the takeback.


 

Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets (35-45-0 ATS, 19-21-0 ATS Road) and Interim Head Coach JB Bickerstaff will desperately need to win its L2 games (this one at Minnesota and vs. the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday) and hope that the Jazz lose their L2 and end up with a 40-42 record and in 9th place (Utah hosts the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night, 9:05 p.m. EDT/6:05 p.m. PDT). On Sunday, Houston (+40000 to win NBA championship, 32Red) thoroughly pounded Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in Houston, 130-110 as Harden had 40 points and 13 assists and Dwight Howard 13 rebounds in the win. The Rockets covered the 14-point spread by 6 while the Total sailed well over the 212½ by 27½ points and when you have two guys like Bryant and Harden who will shoot from the Bathroom, an ABA-like Final Score and an easy Over is to be expected. Besides Harden and Howard, the Rockets (106.2 AF-106.7 AA) got 19 points apiece from SF Trevor Ariza and PG Patrick Beverley while Jason Terry added 11 off the Bench for Houston (+30000 to win Western Conference). Both SF Sam Dekker (Back) and PF Terrence Jones (Illness) are Out Indefinitely and may have played their last games this season.

 

Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves (38-41-1 ATS, 13-25-1 ATS Home) and Head Coach Glen Taylor knocked off the mighty Golden State Warriors in OT at ORACLE Arena last week in their best game of the Regular Season, so this team will be Confident no matter how much Houston needs this game and no matter how horrible they have been against the betting number here at Home (13-25-1 ATS)—the worst such mark in the league. In their last game on Saturday night at the Moda Center in Portland, the Timberwolves squeaked out a 106-105 victory over the Trail Blazers as Minnesota was outscored in every Quarter but the 2nd, where the did a +11 on Portland (32-21) and basically used that slightest of margins to hold on for the upset win in the Pacific Northwest. Probable NBA Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns (27 points, 9 rebounds), Andrew Wiggins (23 points) and Shabazz Muhammad (12 points) led the visitors who could very well just end the Rockets season here on Monday night with the win. And with the recent aforementioned wins against Golden State and Portland, Towns (18.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 1.7 bpg) and the Timberwolves won’t be the least intimidated by the overrated Howard and the Rockets and this could end up being a fun little watch. PF Kevin Garnett (Knee) and PF Nikola Pekovic (Achilles’) are both Out Indefinitely for the Timberwolves.

 

Relevant Details
The play of Minnesota G’s Zach LaVine and Rocky Rubio will be huge in this game both matching up with Harden, Beverly and Terry in the Rockets backcourt Defensively as well as trying to create and help generate enough Offense in a game that figures to be a shootout with Houston having to win to keep its Hopes alive and not really knowing how to play lockdown Defense for the occasion. In the L10 meetings in this series, the two teams have split 5-5 ATS with the Timberwolves covering the L3 in a row. Two big Trends here are the Total and the 8-game Over streak in this series with only one time in the 10 games seeing on of these two teams scoring less than triple-digits. And there are a zillion other Trends supporting the Over here: The Over is 5-0 the Rockets L5 against a team with a SU Losing Record; the Over is 7-1 the L8 against Road teams with a Winning Percentage under .400; the Over is 26-8-1 in the L35 Minnesota games vs. the Southwest Division; the Over is 20-7 the L27 vs. a team with a winning Percentage under .400; the Over is 4-0 the L4 Rockets games on Mondays; the Over is 9-2 in the Rockets L11 games playing on 0 Days Rest; the Over is 8-3 in Houston’s L11 vs the Northwest Conference; and, the Over is 22-8 in the Rockets L30 vs the western Conference. However, the Under is 5-0 the L5 Rockets Roadies, 5-1 in the L6 Timberwolves Home games and Minnesota games overall and the Under is 7-3 in the Rockets L10 overall.

The second big thing is that Minnesota has the Worst Home ATS Record in the NBA at 13-25-1 (34.2%) and the Timberwolves have L4 straight ATS at the Target Center. With that in mind along with Houston’s desperation as well as the Rockets 11-4 ATS mark the L15 here in Minneapolis, it seems taking the Rockets and laying the minimal lumber would be a no-brainer, but Houston’s 1-4 ATS mark the L5 is distressing and Towns, Wiggins and even UCLA product Muhammad are playing at their peak levels now and the Underdog is 4-1 ATS the L5 in this series. Also, Houston could be a bit tired after playing on Sunday and then traveling (0-4 ATS L4 on 0 Days Rest), so shying off a Side in a spot where Minneota can spoil the Rockets playoffs hopes and get some juice sounds wise and just taking the game Over in a series that’s averaged 222.5 ppg over those L8—all Overs—seems like the safest moderate route.

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Final Score: Rockets 116 Timberwolves 110
NBA Pick:  Rockets Over 216½ -105
Best Line Offered: at Heritage