Revenge & Fight For 8th Playoff Spot When Twolves Host Blazers

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Portland Trail Blazers  game

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 8:32 PM GMT

Wednesday, Apr. 5, 2017 8:32 PM GMT

The Timberwolves edged the Blazers, 100-109 in Portland on Monday night, so expect Damian Lillard and the hosts to have a little extra pep in their step here on Thursday night. Let’s look at the series trends—which show Portland 36-15-1 ATS L52 vs. the Wolves—analyze the motivation of both teams and make a valuable NBA pick.

 

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Portland Blazers

The Minnesota Timberwolves (31-45 SU, 35-41-1 ATS) head to the Moda Center in Portland Thursday to face the Trail Blazers (38-40 SU, 37-41-0 ATS) in a Northwest Division matchup important for the hosts. They will be fighting for the 8th playoff spot in the Western Conference. NBA odds have the Blazers as 6-point favorites with the Total at 218—after opening at 220.

 

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves (11-25 Road) had high hopes for this season and rightfully so with the likes of Ricky Rubio (9.1 apg), Karl-Anthony Towns (24.9 ppg, 12.1 rpg) and Andrew Wiggins. But Minnesota (3-8 L11) just didn’t jell for HC Jason Kidd. Playing in the rugged West is no fun for younger teams and “Wait until next year” is the the mantra again in the Land Of 10,000 Lakes. On Tuesday, the Wolves lost to the Warriors in GS, 121-107 (GSW -14, 217½, BoL).

Minnesota (105.4 PF-106.2) is 2-8-1 ATS L11 overall and 1-6-1 ATS L8 vs. West—that lone cover coming against the tanking Lakers with Portland covering +2 in that 1-point loss at Minnesota Monday.

 

Portland Trail Blazers

HC Terry Stotts and the Blazers always seem to make the best out of what they have to work with and this season’s no exception with PG Damian Lillard (26.8 ppg) working with a fellow starting lineup of virtual no-names, with CJ McCollum, Maurice Harkless, Noah Vonleh and newly acquired C Jusuf Nurkic (battling a right Fibular fracture). Besides being beat-up, the Blazers (22-15 SU at Home) also allow the 4th-most points in the NBA (109.1 ppg) but the combination of Lillard and the home crowd has always created a synergy tough for opponents to overcome. On Tuesday, the Blazers lost to the Jazz in SLC, 106-87.

Portland (108.6 PF-109.1 PA) is 7-1 ATS vs. the Western Conference and in their L7 overall, 6-0 ATS L6 on 1 Day Rest and 4-1 ATS L5 Thursdays.

 

Series Trends Too Powerful to Ignore

The Blazers have rallied to get to the 8th spot in the West—they lead the Nuggets by ½ heading into Wednesday—going 8-3 L11, but one of those three losses was that aforementioned setback Monday in Minnesota, so expect that to fuel the hosts fire here in the Pacific Northwest. The Blazers are 36-15-1 ATS L52 meetings (70.6%) in this series and 7-2-1 ATS L10 in Portland. Although the Over is 15-5 L20 Thursday games for the Blazers, the Under is 6-0-1 L7 series meetings. With Portland needing the win, expect a close game for awhile with the hosts pulling away in the 2nd Half and winning by about 12, making the Blazers the NBA pick.

 

Predicted Final Score: Blazers 111 Timberwolves 99Free NBA Pick: Timberwolves -6Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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