Houston Rockets (65-17) vs Minnesota Timberwolves (47-35)Date : 04/21/2018
Time : 7:30 PM
Location : Target Center
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Houston Rockets vs Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves are happy to return back to their home court as they got squashed by the Rockets in game 2. The Timberwolves will have to win 4 out of the next 5 possible games if they want to advance to the 2nd round for the first time since 2003-2004.
Houston Rockets's Latest Performance :
Star Power & Bench Power
The Houston Rockets have shown why they are the true favorite to win the NBA Finals this year as they have dug into their bag of tricks and showed people the different things they can do. In game 1 of the series, we received an MVP performance from the probable MVP winner in James Harden who dropped 44 points and picked up another 8 assist in a game 1 win. Clint Capela also had a big game 1 as he had 24 points and 12 rebounds but has played an even more important role on the defensive end as he has been shutting down the T-Wolves best player in Karl Anthony-Towns. To the Timberwolves credit, they figured out how to rattle James Harden in game 2 as he was only able to drop 12 points but this is where the Rockets will get you as they have another star guard in Chris Paul. Paul went for 27 points and 8 assist in a game 2 victory as he took the ball out of Harden’s hands and ran the point. In game 2 the Rockets also received great play from their bench as Gerald Green had a big game with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Green will be an X-factor for the Rockets success in the later rounds of the playoffs because he gives the Rockets a go-to scorer off the bench.
Minnesota Timberwolves's Latest Performance :
Lack Of Scoring From Stars
No one could truly say they thought the Timberwolves would give the Rockets a series let alone win a game which is nothing against the Timberwolves as they have a great roster but more so the Rockets being too good. The Timberwolves have stepped up the intensity on the defensive end as they have been holding one of the best scoring teams in the NBA to an average of 103 PPG through their first 2 matchups. The problem for the Timberwolves hasn’t been on the defensive end but rather the offensive end as their star players have not been able to put the ball in the hoop. The combination of Karl Anthony-Towns, Jimmy Butler, and Andrew Wiggins was responsible for 61.2 PPG in the regular season but through the first two games, the trio is only averaging 34 PPG. KAT has been the main concern as he has only combined for 13 points through the first 2 games as he was the leading scorer for this Timberwolves team during the regular season. The Timberwolves have received scoring from different players off the bench as in game 1 Derrick Rose dropped 16 points and in game 2 Nemanja Bjelica had 18 points which is nice to have but doesn’t matter if the starters can’t score.
How Houston Rockets & Minnesota Timberwolves Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Houston is 42-41-1 ATS, 24-16-1 ATS on the road.
Minnesota is 38-43-3 ATS, 20-19-2 ATS at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Houston ended the regular season as the #2 ranked scoring offense as they outscored the 8th ranked Minnesota offense by 2.9 PPG (HOU- 112.4 PPG, MIN- 109.5 PPG).
Houston ended the regular season as the #6 ranked scoring defense as they held opponents to 3.4 less PPG than the 17th ranked Minnesota defense. (HOU- 103.9 PPG, MIN- 107.3 PPG).
Houston swept the season series, 4-0.
Houston is leading the playoff series, 2-0.
Against The Spread Selection: Houston Rockets -4
My reason for the pick :
The Houston Rockets are just too good for the Timberwolves and they are well on their way to sweeping them. The Rockets just beat the Timberwolves by 20 points with James Harden only having 2 buckets from the floor. I would put my house on the fact that Harden will score more than 25 points and will lead them to another victory.
Betting trends for Houston Rockets:
- Houston is 23-13 ATS as the road favorite this season.
- The under is 34-19-1 against Western Conference opponents this season.
Betting trends for Minnesota Timberwolves:
- Minnesota is 16-18-2 ATS after a loss this season.
- The under is 12-4 with 2-3 days off this season.