Timberwolves at Nuggets Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Dave Schwab - 3/9/2013
The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Denver Nuggets face off this Saturday night at the Pepsi Center in matchup between two teams headed in completely different directions. This Northwest Division battle is scheduled to tip off at 9 p.m. (ET), and the game will be available on NBA League Pass.
The good news heading into this game is that Minnesota snapped a six-game losing streak with an 87-82 victory over Washington this past Wednesday night as a two-point home underdog. The bad news is that it was just its third straight up victory in its last 13 games. The total has now stayed “under” in seven of its last 10 games.
The Nuggets continued to roll with a 107-92 pasting of the Clippers as four-point favorites on Thursday night. It was their seventh SU victory in a row, and they are now a profitable 6-0-1 against the spread during this run. The total has stayed under in three of their last four games.
Timberwolves at Nuggets Betting Storylines
After Kevin Love fractured his hand in early January, it has been a one-way ride right down the tubes for the Timberwolves. The loss of their leading scorer and rebounder along with some additional injuries has resulted in a complete collapse that has them just 21-37 SU (25-31-2 ATS) on the year. Even worse is a 7-22 SU record on the road that is only softened by a 12-16-1 road record ATS.
The injuries do not stop there with Nikola Pekovic listed as ‘out’ with an abdominal strain and Andrei Kirilenko questionable with a sore calf. These three players have accounted for 50 percent of the scoring and 67 percent of the team’s rebounds this season. In their place, it will be up to players such as Luke Ridnour (12.4 points), Derrick Williams (11.2 points) and Ricky Rubio (7.2 assists) to try and keep this game close.
Denver is currently in fifth place in the Western Conference standings and quickly establishing itself as a team that nobody wants to face in the playoffs. It is now 41-22 SU (38-24-1 ATS) behind an offense that is ranked third in the league in scoring with 105.8 points a game while shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from three-point range. Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari have led the way with a combined 33.5 points a game.
The Nuggets have also done a great job under the boards with an average of 44.9 rebounds a game and Lawson’s 7.2 assists as part of a team total of 24.6 have them ranked second in the NBA in both of these categories. All of this has really come together as of late with 17 SU victories in their last 21 games.
Timberwolves at Nuggets NBA Betting Odds and Trends
The Timberwolves are 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 road games and 0-6 ATS in their last six division games. The total has gone over in eight of their last 10 games on the road.
The Nuggets are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games following a SU win and 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 games against the division. The total has gone over in seven of their last eight home games against a team with a losing record on the road.
Minnesota has covered the spread in 10 of its last 11 games in Denver, and the total has gone over in five of the last six meetings overall.
Timberwolves vs. Nuggets Predictions
The Timberwolves have had success in the past covering at the Pepsi Center, but current form along with their injury situation would make that a tall task on Saturday night no matter how high the spread might be. Nonetheless, I never like to lay that many points in a division matchup so the best play in this game is the over on the total line as Denver should be able to score at will against a depleted Minnesota lineup.
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