Minnesota Timberwolves (47-35 SU, 37-42-3 ATS) vs. Houston Rockets (65-17 SU, 41-40-1 ATS)
Time: Sunday, April 15th, 2018 9:00 PM EDT
Where: Toyota Center Houston, TX
by Keith, Professional NBA Handicapper, Predictem
Odds Minnesota +550, Houston -800
Point Spread: Houston -11.5
Total Line: 216.5
The Minnesota Timberwolves will travel to the Houston Rockets for Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. The game is set to kick off at the Toyota Center on Sunday, April 15th, 2018 at 9:00 PM ET. The contest will be aired on TNT for national audiences. This series has been dominated by Clutch City. The Rockets have won the last six meetings between both parties. Most recently, Houston defeated Minnesota in the Twin Cities by a score of 129-120 in March.
Both teams enter in the overall good form. The Rockets own the best record in the NBA and come in off a 7-3 SU run in their previous ten outings overall. The Rockets own home court advantage throughout the NBA Playoffs. Minnesota in their own right enter on a three-game winning streak capped off by a dramatic overtime win against the Denver Nuggets to earn the eight seed in the playoffs.
There are several key narratives that we are focusing on in this Game One. First off, the Rockets are 34-7 SU in Houston. This record is among the best in the league along with the Toronto Raptors. On the contrary, Minnesota is just 17-24 SU on the road outside of Minneapolis. At home, however, Houston is 17-23 against the spread which reflects a tendency for their home court presence to be overvalued. Minneapolis owns an identical ATS record on the road.
The Timberwolves are certainly a feel-good story. The team clawed and scratched their way into the postseason after spending many years in the doldrums. The combination of young talent with veteran leadership has made this franchise transform in just one season to a contender. The Wolves have plenty of motivation heading into this contest and given the fact they are the eight seed they are in position for favorable point spreads.
Nevertheless, the Rockets are the next big thing in the NBA. Featuring the best backcourt in all of the league, the combination of point man Chris Paul and shooting guard James Harden makes this team a scary one to face. The Rockets have the firepower to usurp the Golden State Warriors as the kings of the NBA. A team as talented as this one will certainly garner plenty of attention.
From what we have seen in the early going, there has been a lean on the Rockets by the fact we have seen this market rise by two points. 75% of the cash and 70% of the ticket action is on the Rockets to confirm this trend. In Over/Under markets, we have seen the figure drop by two points to reflect steam on the Under. Contrarily, 93% of the cash and 96% of the ticket action is on the Over in this market. 100% of the consensus also like the Over in Game One.
A great angle to utilize in handicapping NBA Playoff games is the exploitative narrative of the one seed versus the eight seed. Generally speaking, takers will have to pay to back the top dog of the conference by the fact they get home court advantage and an esteemed reputation. The eight seed is considered a formality by many, and thus we will see many overlays take shape across the board. When you look at a team with a resume like Houston’s this tendency is optimized. However, Minnesota is a tough and scrappy outfit. One should not expect this unit to simply lie down and thus a spirited effort alone will help bring the Wolves in under the number in Game One.
KEITHs PICK: Minnesota +11.5 at 5Dimes to get the best line on this game and guys if you don’t have an account here, now is the time to save money all during the playoffs and all season long in MLB!