We're expecting a high-tempo game between the Timberwolves and Suns and will therefore be recommending the OVER with our sports picks. Check out our analysis inside.
Fresh off last night's road win in Milwaukee, the Suns are once again priced out as NBA betting favorites, this time in Minnesota. Odds makers have them as 8.5-point chalk right now, with a line of 8 available on the NBA odds.
The total is quoted in the 214 to 214.5 range right now, primarily because both teams aren't all that interested in playing defense. We should be seeing a high-scoring game here.
The Timberwolves have been brutal this season, there's no way around it. They're 5-28 on the year and are giving the 76ers a run for their money in terms of the league's worst. After losing Kevin Love and then getting hit with injuries to the likes of Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota has had to turn over the reigns to an incredibly young group.
Clearly this is a team that's building for the future, and there's definitely reason for optimism. Zach Lavine has shown flashes of his raw potential, but he has a long, long way to go. However, fellow rookie Andrew Wiggins has been improving dramatically and appears to be finding a groove. Ditto for Shabazz Muhammad, who has taken full advantage of the extended playing time that's opened up since the trade of Corey Brewer.
Coming into tonight though, Minnesota has dropped 12 straight, so this is a team you'll want to keep fading for the forseeable future.
Whereas the Timberwolves are on a lengthy losing run, the Suns are on quite a roll. They've won three straight and have gone 9-2 over their last 11 games, which has them at 21-16 on the year. In the highly competitive Western Conference, Phoenix is simply going to have to keep racking up as many wins as possible if they want any shot of making the playoffs.
The Suns were only one of four teams in action last night, as they went into Milwaukee and grabbed a six-point win. Markieff Morris was a standout, as he put up 26 points and 10 rebounds against the Bucks' weak interior defense. Eric Bledsoe continued his excellent play, logging 10 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and a couple steals for good measure. Goran Dragic (16/6/3) was solid as well, while Isaiah Thomas came up with 19 points off the bench for Phoenix. It was a great team effort.
As one of the hottest teams in the NBA, the Suns are going to be garnering a lot more interest from handicappers in the near future, and it's likely to start tonight against the hapless Timberwolves.
We don't like this game at all in terms of picking a side. Minnesota has been terrible and we don't trust them, even at home. However, this is a lot of points and the Suns did just take part in a very competitive game last night, so this could be a letdown spot for them.
That's why we're just going to stay away from an ATS pick and instead roll with the OVER as the NBA pick in what we feel will be an up-tempo matchup with little defense. The Timberwolves and Suns are ranked 30th and 28th respectively in average points allowed per game, with Phoenix also ranked fourth in points scored per contest (107.0).
We imagine a lot of people will be intimidated by an inflated number, but we reckon this game's total will still end up above the high O/U. Both squads are in the top six in the NBA in terms of PACE, so we feel good about the chances of the OVER hitting for backers.
Best of luck!
NBA Pick: OVER 216.5 at BetOnline