The Minnesota Timberwolves were doing their best to hang around in the playoff hunt, but a recent losing streak has them near the bottom of the Western Conference. The Houston Rockets can help put another nail in their coffin with a win when the teams face off this week.
The T-Wolves get this game at home, so they should have a chance to win, but the Rockets are the superior team. The spread could be pretty small one way or the other and this figures to be a competitive showdown. Houston is in the middle of a crowded playoff field and could really use a victory in a toss-up matchup such as this in NBA gambling.
This NBA basketball game between the Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves will be held at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 13th, 2019. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.
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The Rockets are 32-23 on the season. They have won six of their past 10 games and are currently sitting as the No. 5 seed in the West. Houston has been up and down on the road this season. It is 13-14 away from home so picking up a win against an inferior opponent in the T-Wolves is certainly not a given.
Minnesota has gone 25-30 on the year. The Timberwolves have dropped four consecutive games and six of their past seven to drop back to under .500 on the season. Minnesota is currently five games out of the final playoff seed in the West so it is very unlikely it makes the type of run to get back in contention.
Timberwolves point guard Derrick Rose is dealing with an ankle injury that has kept him out of the past three games. He is hoping to play in this one but keep an eye on his status. Rose is enjoying a resurgent season, as he is averaging 18.3 points and 4.7 assists per contest. Minnesota was able to recently get back Jeff Teague. He is dealing with some foot soreness but is expected to play. Teague has missed a sizable chunk of the year but has been solid when available, averaging 11.5 points and 8.0 assists per contest.
Rockets superstar James Harden is dealing with a slight shoulder injury. While it is not expected to keep him out of this game, watch to see if it affects him shooting the ball at all. Harden leads the NBA in scoring and has the entire offense run through him, so any lingering effects would be a hindrance to Houston’s push to win this matchup.
111.6. That is the number of points per game the Timberwolves are allowing on the season, which is in the bottom tier of the NBA. Minnesota has some athletic players, including small forward Andrew Wiggins, but has not played cohesively on the defensive end of the court. It didn’t help that star defender Jimmy Butler asked for and received a trade out of town early in the year.
The Rockets aren’t scoring as efficiently as they did a season ago but the team has looked better on that end of the floor lately. Houston recently traded for Iman Shumpert and he should help score the ball as Harden can’t be the only one doing so down the stretch.
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The Timberwolves have been reeling of late and this is not the easiest matchup, but the home court is big. They should be able to get out of this rut and finally secure a win. The Rockets are a good team but not as great as most expected. A loss right here will hurt them in the Western Conference playoff race in NBA wagering.
NBA ATS Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves 115, Houston Rockets 112
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