Houston Rockets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Pick 2/13/19
Houston Rockets (33-23 SU, 26-29-1 ATS) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (26-30 SU, 28-28 ATS)
When: Wednesday, February 13th, 2019 – 8:00 PM ET
Where: Target Arena – Minneapolis, MN
TV: ESPN / FSN
Point Spread: HOU -3 / MIN +3
Power Rankings: Minnesota +4
Takeaways From Houston and Minnesota’s Most Recent Games
The Rockets enter off an impressive home win on Monday against the Dallas Mavericks when they hosted their cross-state rivals and defeated them 120-104. Houston was able to cover easily as an 11-point favorite at tip-off. Overall, Houston is 4-1 SU over their last five outings.
The Timberwolves snapped a four-game losing streak with a 130-120 win at home on Monday when they hosted the Los Angeles Clippers. Minnesota closed as a 3.5-point favorite and was able to generate their second consecutive cover as a result.
How the Public is Betting the Houston and Minnesota Game
At the time this article was written (Wednesday morning), there have been no line movements that have occurred in the Point Spread market.
Did you know? That you can bet Minnesota on the moneyline at a reduced juice sportsbook and get +145 instead of the +135 offered at many of the onlnie betting sites.
The Timberwolves hosted the Rockets in the Target Center in December and pulled an upset as a two-point underdog. The final score was Minnesota defeating Houston 103-91.
Timberwolves Small-Forward Andrew Wiggins (check status) was held out of Minnesota’s home win on Sunday against the Clippers due to an illness. He is questionable to return to action against Houston. Wiggins averages 17.9 points per game, 4.8 rebounds per contest, 1.1 steals per outing, and 2.4 assists per match. Forward Dario Saric saw an uptick in activity on Sunday as a result of the Wiggins absence and fared well posting 19 points, 2 assists, and 8 rebounds in his increase in action.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
Both teams enter into this Western Conference collision on two days’ rest, and this will be their last game before the All-Star break commences. For Houston, this is their first road game since completing on a two-game home-stand on Monday. Minnesota is wrapping up a two-game home-stand as they host the Rockets here.
Will Houston Get Another Big Road Victory?
Despite posting a 13-14 SU record on the road this season, the Rockets have actually done quite well for themselves on the road as of late going 4-1 SU in their last five away games. Much of this can be attributed to the play of James Harden who has been simply unstoppable. “The Beard” is flirting with history as he is now looking at extending his 30-point game streak to 31 games which would tie him second all-time with legend Wilt Chamberlain. Much of this will be the center of conversation surrounding this game. However, this game could boil down to who defends the three-pointer better as Houston owns a significant edge in that department. The Rockets sit second in the NBA in opponent three-point field goal percentage at 34%. The Timberwolves are far friendlier to their opposition’s operations beyond the arc as they allow a 28th-ranked 36.8% success rate in three-point field goals.
Can Minnesota’s Bench Help The Wolves Pull The Upset?
The Timberwolves own several significant edges that can help them get the win in what is forecasted to be a close game. First, Minnesota is a better offensive rebounding team as they produce 45 offensive boards per game (18th in the NBA) compared to Houston who sits near the bottom with a 27th ranked 41.7 offensive rebounds per game. Minnesota also commits fewer turnovers compared to their counterparts, and they own a stronger bench. The Timberwolves bench averages 33.9 points per game which is 7.3 points per game better than Houston’s 26.6 bench points per contest.
There are several key trends worth keeping an eye on in this contest. First, Houston is 7-3 ATS in the previous ten meetings between these two teams. In addition, the Over is 17-6 ATS in the last 23 contests between both sides.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Minnesota +145 (Money Line)
With all the focus being on the stellar performance of James Harden, the market may be quick to dismiss the fact that this is a game that is prognosticated to be settled by a bucket. Given the fact Minnesota has won five games this year settled by three points or less (5-5 SU) compared to Houston’s 3-4 SU record in three-point games, we have to like the Timberwolves’ prospects here. Furthermore, Minnesota’s edge in turnovers and offensive rebounding will give them more opportunities to score. When this is combined with the potential point swing from the differential in bench play, Minnesota cannot only cover here but produce an outright upset. We can trade away the bucket with confidence to enhance our return here as Minnesota will not cover but win outright.