San Antonio Spurs vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Pick 1/18/19
San Antonio Spurs (26-20 SU, 27-18-1 ATS) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (21-23 SU, 23-21 ATS)
When: Friday, January 18th, 2018 – 8:00 PM ET
Where: Target Arena – Minneapolis, MN
TV: ESPN / FSN / NBA TV
Point Spread: SA +1 / MIN -1
Power Rankings: Pick-Em
Takeaways From San Antonio and Minnesota’s Most Recent Games
The Spurs enter off a significant win against one of their arch rivals when they defeated the Dallas Mavericks on the road on Wednesday. The Spurs closed as a one-point underdog (identical to where they are priced in this market) and pulled off the upset winning 105-101 to end both a two-game losing streak and two-game skid against the spread.
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The Timberwolves come in off a beat-down suffered at the hand of the Philadelphia 76ers when the T-Wolves ventured to the City of Brotherly Love on Tuesday. Closing as a six-point underdog, Minnesota was nowhere near to covering as they were pummelled 149-107 by the Sixers. Overall, Minnesota is 4-2 SU and ATS in their previous six contests.
How the Public is Betting the San Antonio and Minnesota Game
Presently, 56% of the betting public like San Antonio here as the road dog. Regardless of the lean on the underdog, we have yet to see the line move as a result. In Over/Under markets, the line has dropped by half of a point from the opening number of 225 to indicate early action has come in on the Under.
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Recently, the Spurs have gotten the better of the Timberwolves as they have won two of the three meetings the two teams have already shared this season. Most recently, the Spurs smashed Minnesota 124-98 in San Antonio on December 21st. The victory was an easy cover for the Spurs who were favored by just four points.
Both teams enter into this nationally-televised Western Conference collision in relatively good health with each side expressing no prominent injury concerns.
Will San Antonio Make It Rain From Downtown To Get Another Key Road Victory?
The Spurs do one thing in the NBA that no other team can do as good as them: shoot the three-pointer. San Antonio presently averages an incredible 40.3% success rate from three-point range. The Spurs get perhaps the best match-up imaginable given their proficiency from beyond the arc as they are up against a Minnesota Timberwolves defense that sits dead last in opponent three-point field goal percentage (37.4%). In addition to this key advantage, San Antonio is also the second-best free throw shooting team in the NBA as they hit 82% of their attempts from the charity stripe. The Timberwolves stand eighth in this category with a 79.1% free throw percentage. In a game forecasted where every point counts, San Antonio has an angle to snag some critical points.
Can Minnesota Use Home Court Advantage To Notch A Big Win?
In Minneapolis, the Timberwolves sit at 15-7 SU. The possibility for the location to play a role in this contest is enhanced by the fact that the Spurs are just 8-14 SU outside of San Antonio. The metrics reveal what the line has already shown: this game could be very evenly matched and highly-competitive. When it comes to scoring offense, Minnesota averages just .2 points less per game (San Antonio averages 111.7 ppg – 15th in the NBA while Minnesota averages 111.5 ppg which is 16th in the league). On the flip side, Minnesota curates .2 more offensive rebounds per game (Minnesota averages 44.5 RPG – 21st in the NBA compared to San Antonio who averages 44.3 offensive boards per game which are 22nd in the NBA). An intangible such as home court advantage could very well be the deciding factor in a potentially tight game such as this one, and the Timberwolves have the benefit of that edge swinging in their favor.
There are several key trends worth keeping an eye on in this affair. First, the favorite has successfully covered in the previous seven contests. Furthermore, the Home Team has also won the last six meetings between these two teams. Finally, for those that like the Over/Under, the Over is 4-0 ATS in the previous four matches.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Minnesota -1
There are several variables that set the Spurs up to be overvalued here. To begin, the Spurs win on the road against a Dallas Mavericks with a significant home-court advantage is promoting the stock of San Antonio here as they are up against a Minnesota team that looked terrible in Philadelphia. When you add in the fact that the Spurs are priced identically to where they were against the Mavs last game, to the eyes of many San Antonio may look like easy money. However, there is no such thing.
Nevertheless, it is for this reason we have seen much of the consensus take to the Spurs as an underdog in this spot. A public underdog often raises a red flag as it is a signal that the favorite is undervalued. When you add in the fact that the Spurs made a mockery of the T-Wolves less than a month ago, Minnesota is undoubtedly bound to be short-sold here. However, the fact remains that the team with home court has been quite successful in this series. Given the fact the Spurs have been weak on the road overall while Minnesota has been a much better team on their own court this season, we have to like Minnesota’s chances here to win this game by a free-throw and then some.