Timberwolves Continue to Cover Against (Short-Handed) Houston

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Swinging Johnson

Thursday, January 18, 2018 1:11 PM GMT

Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 1:11 PM GMT

The Timberwolves travel to Houston and hope to shoot down the Rockets on Thursday night (TNT) after both teams saw their winning streaks snapped in their most recent outings. Let's analyze this matchup and deliver a winner in our NBA picks.

Timberwolves (29-17 SU, 22-22-2 ATS) at Rockets (30-12 SU, 20-21-1 ATS) Free NBA Pick: TimberwolvesBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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  • Houston is 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following a straight up loss.
  • Houston is 2-5 ATS in their last seven Thursday games.
  • Houston is 0-6 ATS in their last six games as a home favorite of 0.5-4.5.
  • Minnesota is 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 road games vs. a team with a home winning percentage of greater than .600.
  • Minnesota is 5-1 ATS in their last six when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
  • Minnesota is 4-1 ATS in their last five after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.

This is a good news/bad news scenario for the Rockets. The word is that James Harden will suit up after a seven game absence due to a hamstring injury, although his minutes may be limited. The bad news is that shooting guard Gerald Green (15.6 PPG) and small forward Trevor Ariza (12.4 PPG) will be in civvies as part of their two-game suspension for their locker room altercation with members of the LA Clippers on Monday.

Because of that reason the NBA odds are not up on this matchup as of this early Thursday morning writing. However, we will evaluate this game assuming the line will be closer to a pick than it was in their last meeting in Houston when the Rockets were installed as 8½-point favorites but failed to cover in their 123-118 win in the 2016-2017 regular-season finale.

This year's edition of the Minnesota Timberwolves is much better than last, and heading into their game with Orlando on Tuesday night Minnesota had won 12 of its last 15 games, including their past five by an average of nearly 19 points per game. But this team is still maturing as evidenced by their stunning 108-102 loss to the woeful Magic as 8½-point road chalk. However, Minnesota will learn a lesson from that game and should be fully prepared to compete with a Houston team that is in disarray after their loss to the Clippers and subsequent suspensions emanating from the post-game altercations.

Let's not forget that even when Minnesota was a middling club, it has been spectacularly successful at the betting windows when matched up against the Rockets. If you included the Wolves in your NBA picks over their last seven meetings against Houston, you would have cashed six of your seven wagers. We believe it's a good time to take advantage of the discord in the Houston locker room as well as the sense of urgency by Minnesota to get back on track after falling flat in Orlando. Back the visitors in this one.

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