Timberwolves at Trail Blazers Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Dave Schwab - 3/2/2013
The Minnesota Timberwolves will try and put another crimp in the Portland Trail Blazers’ fading playoff hopes when the two Northwest Division foes battle it out at the Rose Garden this Saturday night. The game set to tip off at 10 p.m. (ET), and it will be broadcast nationally on NBA TV.
Minnesota’s losing streak reached four games with a 116-94 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night as a 10-point road underdog. It is now 20-35 straight-up overall and a dismal 7-21 on the road this season. Its record against the spread on the road is much better at 12-15-1, and the total has gone “over” in three of its last five road games.
The Trail Blazers have just one SU victory in their last nine games and are now 26-31 SU (24-30-3 ATS) and four games in back of Houston for the final playoff spot in the West. They are 18-10 SU (13-12-3 ATS) at home, and the total has gone over in eight of their last 10 games overall.
Timberwolves at Trail Blazers Betting Storylines
The loss of Kevin Love in early January spelled the end of the Timberwolves’ chances at making the playoffs as this team has completely fallen apart in his absence. They are ranked 20th in the NBA in scoring with an average of 95.2 points a game while shooting 43.5 percent from the floor and just 30 percent from three-point range. Center Nikola Pekovic now leads the team in both scoring (15.9 points) and rebounds (8.8).
Adding to Minnesota’s woes in this contest is the health of Andrei Kirilenko. He left last Tuesday’s game against Phoenix with a calf strain and remains questionable for Saturday night. He is averaging 13.1 points and six rebounds a game, but the biggest void if he cannot go would be on a defense that is already allowing close to 98 points a game.
Portland has done a fairly decent job at putting points on the board this season with an average of 97 a game. LaMarcus Aldridge leads a group of five players scoring in double figures with 20.8 points a game. JJ Hickson is the Trail Blazers’ top rebounder with 10.4 a game, and Damian Lillard is averaging 18.4 points while dishing out a team-high 6.4 assists.
As good as Portland can be on the offensive side of the ball at times, it has struggled to keep opponents from lighting up the scoreboard as well. It is ranked 20th in the NBA in points allowed in giving up an average of 99.9 points a game. Things have only gotten worse over its last nine games after allowing 105 points or more six times.
Timberwolves at Trail Blazers NBA Betting Odds and Trends
Portland has been opened by BetOnline has a nine-point home favorite for this game with the “over/under” set at 197.
The Timberwolves are 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 road games and 7-15-2 ATS in their last 24 games overall. The total has gone over in seven of their last nine games on the road.
The Trail Blazers are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 games against a team with a losing record and 2-5 ATS in their last seven games following a SU loss. The total has gone over in five of their last six home games.
Head-to-head in this divisional matchup, the favorite is 16-6 ATS in the last 22 meetings, and the total has gone over in nine of the last 11 games. The total has also gone over in four of the last five meetings in Portland.
Timberwolves at Trail Blazers Picks and Betting Predictions
Neither team comes into this game in solid form, especially on defense, so points should be pretty easy to come by for both. Add in the fact that recent results heavily favor the over in this matchup and that the total has already gone over the last two times they met this season, and it become obvious that the best play this time around is to keep riding that same exact trend.
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