NBA Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Minnesota Timberwolves (21-22 SU, 23-20 ATS) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (28-16 SU, 20-24 ATS)
When: Tuesday, January 15th, 2018 – 7:00 PM ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA
TV: FSN / NBA TV
By: Keith Franks, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MIN +6 / PHI -6 (Bovada)
Power Rankings: Philadelphia -2
Takeaways From Minnesota and Philadelphia’s Most Recent Games
The Timberwolves come in off a home win on Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans. Closing as a one-point underdog, the T-Wolves marched onto a 110-106 win to pull the upset. Overall, Minnesota has fared well against the spread as of late as they have gone 4-1 ATS in their preceding five fixtures.
The 76ers enter off a hard-fought win against arch rival New York on Sunday in the Big Apple. Despite being dominant in the rivalry as of late, as well as closing as a seven-point favorite, the Sixers escaped the basement-dwelling Knicks by just a bucket winning 105-103. The result marks Philly’s third consecutive loss against the spread.
How the Public is Betting the Minnesota-Philadelphia Game
Currently, 62% of the betting public like Philadelphia here as the home favorite. In spite of this, we have yet to see the line move. In Over/Under markets the line has dropped by half of a point from the opening number of 232 to indicate early action on the Under.
As of late, the 76ers have held the upper-hand against the Timberwolves as they have won the last three meetings. Philadelphia and Minnesota last convened in the City of Brotherly Love in March of 2018 when the Sixers defeated the T-Wolves 120-108 to cover as an eight-point favorite.
The Timberwolves in particular have some concerns to their personnel. Forward Robert Covington is out indefinitely as he recovers from a bone bruise in his right knee. There is no time table for his return. Point Guard Derrick Rose is listed as questionable for this game as he missed Minnesota’s last game due to a sprained ankle. Point Guard Jeff “Run The League” Teague is listed as probable for this affair.
Can Minnesota Hone Momentum And Added Rest To Take It To Philly?
The Timberwolves come into this contest owning a couple key edges that can make them a potent threat here against the Sixers. Firstly, Minnesota commits less turnovers compared to the 76ers which is a key element in spurning momentum and gives them the opportunity to hang around in this game. Furthermore, Minnesota is the better team in their free-throw operations. Minnesota sits eighth in free throw percentage (79%) while opponents average an 11th-ranked 76% against them. Contrarily, Philadelphia is 16th in the NBA in terms of free throw shooting as they hit 76.4% of their attempts. Opponents average a 23rd-ranked 77.4% success rate from the charity stripe against Philadelphia. The T-Wolves will take advantage of the free points and added possessions to pester the 76ers. Minnesota also gets an extra day of rest to prepare for this affair.
Free Hoops Pick: Kentucky Wildcats vs Georgia Bulldogs
Philadelphia Will Look To Bump Shoulders With The Timberwolves To Get The Win
The Sixers enjoy playing a physical brand of basketball. It is for this reason that Philly is known as one of the best rebounding teams on both sides of the ball. Offensively, the Sixers generate a fourth-ranked 47.3 offensive boards per game. The 76ers average a sixth-ranked 43.5 boards per contest in terms of defensive rebounding. This will be an avenue that Philly will look to exploit against a Minnesota team that ranks 19th in offensive rebounding (44.7 boards per contest) and 23rd in defensive rebounding (45.9 rpg). Philly will also look to dial-up from downtown against a Minnesota Timberwolves defense that sits dead last in opponent three-point field goal percentage (37%).
The most noteworthy trend in this series is the fact that Minnesota is 1-7 ATS in their last eight matches with the 76ers. Moreover, Minnesota has not covered in the last four meetings that have taken place in Philadelphia.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Minnesota +6
Some other betting sources would claim that the Timberwolves bode tremendous equity as they are significantly under-priced here in this spot. This in itself warrants a closer look at Minnesota. Much of this can be chalked up to the notion of home court advantage resting with the 76ers. After all, Philadelphia is a sparkling 18-4 SU this season in the City of Brotherly Love while the Timberwolves have struggled mightily outside of the Twin Cities going 6-15 SU away from home. When you factor in these two narratives along with Minnesota’s lack of profitability as of late, the Timberwolves are in position to be taking back inflated points as other sources imply they could be. However, the fact remains that this is the same Philadelphia team that saw its undefeated home record ended by the worst team in the NBA the Cleveland Cavaliers, earlier this season. It is safe to say Minnesota is a far better team than the Cavs and given the fact they could be supremely undervalued here, an upset may also not be out of question. A bet on the T-Wolves here may be worth splitting half of the wager on the Money Line (+210) and the other half with the points. For those that wish to play it conservative, the points offer tremendous value.