Rockets to Rebound vs. Wolves in Game 4 on Monday Night

rockets

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, April 22, 2018 1:12 PM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 22, 2018 1:12 PM UTC

Houston enters Game 4 after taking a 121-105 licking from the Timberwolves but still hold a 2-1 series advantage. Let’s check out the NBA odds board to find value in Monday's game.

NBA Monday: By The NumbersRockets (67-18 SU, 42-41-2 ATS) vs. Timberwolves (48-37 SU, 40-42-3 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Rockets -5½Best Line offered: YouWager

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What's Trending
  • Minnesota is 14-17 in the second half of the season.
  • Minnesota is 13-17 ATS as an underdog this season.
  • Houston is 14-6 ATS against Northwest division opponents.
  • Houston is 24-17 ATS in road games this season.
  • Houston is 5-2 ATS versus Minnesota this season.

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On to Game 4... pic.twitter.com/zaiLOSnXpI

— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) April 22, 2018
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Game Analysis

A quick check of the NBA odds board revealed the Rockets opened as five-point favorites headed into their Game 3 clash with the Timberwolves yet that number rose to as high as 6½ in some of the offshore shops. But after watching the Timberwolves rebound from a 20-point Game 2 loss to a 121-105 Game 3 win, it appears that all that money flowing in on the road chalk was square as a microwave. Yes, call me Joe Q. Public because I was one of the lemmings walking in lockstep over that steep divide and into the abyss when I not so boldly predicted that the Rockets would repeat their dominating Game 2 performance in Minnesota on Friday night. I was an unabashed square but at least I was a square getting the best number possible as I plucked Houston -5 being offered at SkyBook before that number was long gone and impossible to find.

C’st la vie, a losing ticket is a losing ticket no matter how good the line. But there are many times when those full points and even hooks can be the difference between winning and losing so always shop around and get the best number possible. Apparently, the oddsmakers are looking at Houston’s Game 3 loss as more of a curiosity rather than a foreshadowing of things to come. Personally, I agree with them because the things I wrote about heading into Game 3 are still viable for Game 4 despite the Rocket’s failure to launch.

Prior to Saturday night, Houston had won 12 of their last 13 games played against Minnesota and was 6-0 straight up 5-1 against the spread versus the T-Wolves this season. So, maybe Minnesota was due but the fact of the matter is when you handicap these games the best thing you can do is look at what the teams have done against each other in the past with the expectation that more of the same will continue unless there have been roster moves, injuries, coaching changes, etcetera.

As we peer into our crystal ball for Game 4 we can expect Houston to clamp down on Minnesota’s outside shooting which essentially sealed the deal for the Wolves in their victory Saturday night. Minnesota was smokin’ from beyond the arc, nailing over 55 percent of their treys and ended the game with just seven turnovers on the night. In other words, the T-Wolves played a steady, even-keeled game while Houston would much rather have a frenetic pace that increases the tempo of the game and keeps Minnesota back on its heels. Quite the opposite happened in Game 3 but the Rockets are a deeper, more talented team that simply underestimated Minnesota’s desperation.

Houston won’t be fooled again so expect to see Harden coming out firing and the defense protecting the perimeter from Minnesota’s sharpshooters. Lay the lumber and back Houston in your NBA picks on Monday night.

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