Two NBA Games That Will Have The Upset Alert Buzzing Tonight

Jake Walker

Friday, December 9, 2016 3:10 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 9, 2016 3:10 PM UTC

In this week's column we look at why the Pistons and the Thunder are on upset alert against the Timberwolves and the Rockets, two teams that are dangerous for different reasons and provide decent betting value for your NBA picks. 

Pistons vs. Timberwolves

These two teams are really struggling; the Pistons have lost two of their last three games while the Timberwolves are 1-6 in their last seven games. I'm surprised that both teams are playing so bad, particularly the Timberwolves, who are loaded with potential stars.

Minnesota is a young, talented team with a lot of weapons on offense, led by Andrew Wiggins, who averages a team-best 22.4 points per game and Karl-Anthony Towns, who adds 21.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. Zach LaVine (20.5 points per game) has stepped up as of late, averaging 22.0 points over his last 10 games and he is the player to watch against the Pistons. Wiggins, Towns and LaVine will keep the Detroit defense busy and their poor offense, which averages just 99.2 points per game (25th in the league) will have a hard time scoring at Minnesota's pace.

The Timberwolves are playing poor basketball and they're just 6-16, which makes them very dangerous, as they're the better team here and they can turn their season around soon. The Pistons are just 4-9 on the road, 4-5 ATS in non-conference games and 0-2 ATS after scoring 85 points or less. Add Minnesota +2 to your NBA picks in what promises to be a close, fun to watch game.

Free NBA Pick: Timberwolves +2.5 (-105)Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

The Rockets and the Thunder are on fire. The Rockets have won their last four games, scoring at least 128 points in three of those contests to improve to 15-7, 3 games behind the Spurs in the Southwest Division. Houston has the second-best offense in the league, averaging 112.2 points per game, led by James Harden and his 28.5 points, 11.4 assists (first in the NBA) and 7.5 rebounds.

The Thunder are also on a roll, winning six straight games and they have the best player in the league this season, Russell Westbrook, who is the front-runner to win the MVP award since he averages a triple-double (31.0 points, 11.3 assists and 10.9 rebounds). Oklahoma City is favored by 1 point on the NBA odds board.

The Harden vs. Westbrook matchup will be the key to this game and it will be very entertaining, but the Rockets have a slight edge because their team is more balanced, with five players scoring in double figures and an offense that is putting up 125.3 points per game over the last four contests. The Thunder allow 104.8 points per game (17th in the league) and their defense will be tested here.

These two teams met on November 16 and the Thunder won 105-103 at home but the Rockets are 7-0 ATS in the last seven meetings, including 4-0 ATS at Oklahoma City.

Free NBA Pick: Rockets +1 (-121)Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker 

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