Rockets to Close Out Wolves and Cover Big Number Wednesday

rockets wolves

Swinging Johnson

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 2:55 PM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 24, 2018 2:55 PM UTC

Houston is back home and poised to end the first-round series after a dominating Game 4 performance gave them a 3-1 lead. Let’s determine if the double-digit spread is worth a bet on the home team.

NBA Wednesday: By The NumbersTimberwolves (48-38 SU, 40-43-3 ATS) vs. Rockets (68-18 SU, 43-41-2 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Rockets -11½Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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What’s Trending
  • Houston is 6-2 ATS versus Minnesota this season.
  • Houston is 41-36 ATS as a favorite this season.
  • Houston is 15-6 ATS versus Northwest Division opponents this season.
  • Minnesota is 14-18 ATS in the second half of the season.
  • Minnesota is 18-23 ATS in road games this season.
  • Minnesota is 1-3 ATS in games in Houston this season.

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The Rockets scored 50 POINTS in the 3rd quarter for a new franchise record (& 2nd most all-time) of points per quarter in NBA postseason history!

Watch all 50 Points Here! ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/KW82F7rOBq

— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) April 24, 2018
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Game Analysis

After a shocking 121-105 loss in Game 3, Houston returned the whipping to the tune of a 119-100 thrashing in Game 4 on Monday night in Minnesota. The Rockets are now 7-1 straight up and 6-2 ATS this season against the Timberwolves and are locked and loaded to close out the series on Wednesday night. Their Game 4 clash was very much in doubt after the first half when Minnesota trailed by just one point headed into the locker room. However, what was a hotly contested first-half changed drastically in the third-quarter when Houston exploded for 50 points in that frame and cruised to a 19-point victory.

Who else but James Harden would lead all scorers with 36 points, while teammate Clint Capela pounded the boards with 17 rebounds and four blocks. The battle of the bigs between Capela and Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns went pretty much as expected with both men dominating inside as evidenced by the 32 rebounds between them. Towns has improved steadily in the series scoring 22 points, a personal best for him in the series, in Monday’s Game 4 showdown. Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler had 19 points while Andrew Wiggins struggled through a 5-for-14 night and ended with 14 points over his 29 minutes of action.

A quick glance at the NBA odds board confirms what we already knew. The Rockets are being dealt as 11½- to 12-point favorites depending on where you shop. It’s a square play to be sure but the public is not always wrong. Houston has dominated Minnesota this season and is 4-0 straight up and 3-1 against the number in the four meetings at the Toyota Center. There are some minor undercurrents in play as we analyze Game 5 of the best-of-seven series. Minnesota’s assist leader and starting point guard, Jeff Teague, dislocated his pinky finger in Monday night’s game which could go a long way to explaining his 1-for-7 shooting performance. That nagging injury could continue to be a factor in Wednesday’s game. In addition, Houston’s Eric Gordon got his motor running in Game 4 with 18 points including four from beyond the arc. That performance could serve as momentum entering Game 5 and could give the Rockets the added boost to cover a rather large point spread.

Let’s not overthink the obvious. Houston will win this game and close out the series. The issue before us is, can they win big? A week ago they entertained Minnesota in Game 2 and blasted the Wolves 102-82 where defense ruled the night for Houston. Who steps up for Minnesota? Does Jimmy Butler strike fear into your heart? Towns is a force down low to be sure but his efforts are mitigated by Capela. There is no Harden or Chris Paul for that matter on Minnesota. The Toyota Center will be rocking and Minnesota will wilt under the pressure as they go quietly into that Houston night and retire for the season. Back the Rockets in your NBA picks and don’t be afraid to lay it.

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