We’ve got a showdown in the Wild Wild Western Conference tonight as Houston travels as -2.5 favorites to take on the Timberwolves. The Rockets sit in 2nd place in the West, are just a game back from Golden State for 1st, and have gone 9-1 in their last 10. The Timberwolves are tied with Toronto for the most home wins in the NBA and have won 13 in a row at the Target Center. For the 2/13 NBA free pick, get your popcorn ready.
— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) February 13, 2018
Houston Becoming Favorites in the West?
Until the champs are knocked off, it’s still Golden State’s conference to win and oddsmakers have the Warriors at -286 to win the West. Houston is knocking on the door however, listing at +450 right now which offers some great value. The Rockets have won their last eight games including four straight road contests and Chris Paul seems to finally be getting comfortable running the Houston offense. Paul has 20+ points in four of the last five games and Houston is a whopping 16-2 when the point guard goes for 20 or more. Speaking of that offense, it’s clicking with 100+ points in 10 straight including six games with 110 or more.
The big question for the 2/13 NBA free pick will be Houston’s defense as Minnesota does present some matchup problems for the Rockets. Houston did win the first matchup of the season between these two teams on January 18th as the Rockets won 118-98 as -5 point home favorites. In that game however Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler scored 23 points while Karl-Anthony Towns added 22 points and 16 rebounds. Houston’s James Harden was limited to 10 points, but the Rockets were bailed out by 50 combined from Clint Capela and Eric Gordon off the bench.
Is Minnesota Simply Indestructible at Home?
Hopefully the Timberwolves last performance was just an indictment of looking forward to the 2/13 free NBA pick against Houston because they put together a very lackluster game against Sacramento. Granted Minnesota still captured their 13th straight win at the Target Center, but needed 13 points from Butler in the 4th quarter to beat the Kings 111-107 as 13 point home favorites. That game followed a 113-114 loss at Chicago on Friday and a 138-140 defeat in Cleveland on Wednesday. Taking a look at Minnesota’s 4-6 record over their last 10 and it doesn’t look so good – except for the fact that all six of those losses were obviously on the road.
The Timberwolves are just an amazing 23-6 at the Target Center this year and have revenge on their mind after that earlier loss to the Rockets. The teams meet three times before March 18th so they’ll be plenty familiar with each other come playoff time. The Wolves have had some road woes, but they’re only half a game behind San Antonio for third place in the West. Plus coach Tom Thibodeau’s game plan in that first game against Houston was flawless holding Paul and Harden to 29 total points – they just have to watch out for the bench in this contest.
2/13 NBA Free Pick – Betting
For the Timberwolves to run their home win streak to 14-games tonight (would tie 2nd-longest in team history) they have to either slow down… or run with… the supercharged Houston Rockets.https://t.co/ce0qUf06Y6
(Also included – a chat w ’17 1st rd draft pick Justin Patton)
— KSTPSports (@KSTPSports) February 13, 2018
If you’re a trend bettor you’re pulling your hair out at this game as something has to give – either Houston’s eight game overall win streak or Minnesota’s 13 game home contest. Both teams are playing on just 1 days rest so that equalizes the fatigue factor – we may just have two great teams in a prize fight. There’s been minimal line movement (.5 a point from the HOU -2 open) but 74% of the public like the Rockets on the road. Have to go with the minority in this one as the Timberwolves just are a tough matchup personnel-wise against Houston.
Free Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves +2.5