Free NBA Picks: Timberwolves at 76ers Odds
by Dave Schwab - 1/6/2014
The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Philadelphia 76ers will square off at the Wells Fargo Center this Monday night as part of a scaled-down three-game schedule in the NBA. The tip-off for this inter-conference clash is set for 7 p.m. (ET), and the game will be available on NBA League Pass.
Minnesota comes into this game fresh off Saturday’s 115-111 loss to Oklahoma City as a 1.5-point home favorite. The loss dropped its overall record below .500 to 16-17 straight up, and it is now 18-15 against the spread after covering in four of its previous five outings. The total went “over” the 207-point closing line, and it has now gone over in six of its last eight games.
The 76ers are still nine games below .500 at 12-21 SU (15-18 ATS), but they are playing their best ball of the year with a four-game winning streak that includes a 101-99 victory over Portland as 12.5-point road underdogs this past Saturday night. They have covered as underdogs in all four wins, and the total has stayed “under” in three of the contests.
Minnesota at Philadelphia Betting Storylines
Win or lose, the Timberwolves know how to put points on the board. They are ranked second in the NBA in scoring with 106.8 points a night, and they have hit or exceeded this number in six of their last eight games with an average of 112.2 points during this stretch. They are shooting just 43.4 percent from the field and 33.7 percent from 3-point range, but they get quite a few second chances with an average of 13.8 offensive rebounds a game. Overall, Minnesota is pulling down 45.8 rebounds a game, which is the fourth-highest total in the league.
The man behind most of this production has been Kevin Love with 26.4 points, 13.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists a game. He is shooting 46.8 percent from the floor and 38.2 percent from beyond the arc. The T-Wolves have also gotten some solid support from Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic, who have combined for 37.8 points and 12.6 rebounds. The final two starters, Corey Brewer (12 points) and Ricky Rubio (9.0 points), round out the bulk of the scoring, and the combined five players are scoring 80 percent of the team’s total points. Rubio leads the team in assists with 8.3 a game.
Philadelphia continues to go through its growing pains with a talented but youthful roster that has had major struggles with consistency from one game to the next. That is what makes this current four-game run all the more impressive. This is another team that can light up a scoreboard with an average of 103.3 points a game, but the Sixers have had trouble keeping opponents from doing the same. They are ranked dead last in the NBA in points allowed (110.6), and the 99 points they gave up to Portland was just the fourth time this season they held a team to less than the century mark.
Evan Turner leads the team in scoring with 19.8 points a game, but the player fans are turning out to see in Philly is Michael Carter-Williams. The rookie point guard out of Syracuse is averaging 17.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and a team-high 7.2 assists. Thaddeus Young is chipping in another 18.3 points, and Spencer Hawes leads the team in rebounds with 8.8. Manning the boards has been a strong suit for Philadelphia with an average of 45.5 rebounds that is ranked fifth in the NBA.
Minnesota at Philadelphia NBA Odds and Betting Trends
The Timberwolves are 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games and 22-7-1 ATS in their last 30 games following a SU loss. The total has stayed “under” in seven of their last 10 games against a team from the Eastern Conference.
The 76ers are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games and 2-6 ATS in their last eight games playing on one day of rest. The total has gone over in seven of their last nine games at home.
These two met in mid-December, with Minnesota coming away with a 106-99 victory as a 12.5-point home favorite. It has now won the last four meetings SU, with a 3-1 record ATS. The total has stayed under in three of those contests.
Free NBA Picks: Minnesota at Philadelphia Betting Predictions
As well as Philly has been playing as a late, I just do not have the confidence it will be able to keep its current streak alive against a solid Timberwolves team that is coming off a tough loss. I would still be tempted to play the over in this matchup between these two scoring machines despite the ridiculously high total line, but my top pick is Minnesota covering the 6.5 points on the road.
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