It seems that the Rockets first round playoff series is a formality considering they are -10000 at Bovada to advance past the Timberwolves. Oddsmakers aren’t expecting much out of Minnesota tonight considering that they have made Houston -6 favorites on the road for the 4/21 NBA free pick. The Timberwolves were one of the best teams in the NBA at home for much of the regular season and Minneapolis hasn’t seen a playoff game at the Target Center since 2004 and the Kevin Garnett era. Does a raucous crowd throw the Rockets off their game or does James Harden and the gang shut them up early?
Houston Hasn’t Been a Bad Bet – To Say the Least
Oddsmakers have set tonight’s line at HOU -6 on the road. At first glance that doesn’t seem like a lot considering that the Rockets won Game 2 102-82 and to be honest the contest was never even that close. Then again, Minnesota was one of the best teams at home for a better part of the regular season with a 30-11 record at the Target Center this year. It was Houston however that broke the T’Wolves 13 game home winning streak back on February 13th. Does Houston simply have Minnesota’s number in the 4/21 NBA free pick or are the Wolves a different animal when they get back to their home court?
James Harden is a key for Houston tonight – ya think? The inevitable MVP went for 44 in the Rockets game 1 win but was held to just 12 in the Rockets game 2 victory. You can take that one of two ways – 1) Minnesota has found a way to shut down Harden and could be in line for a win in Game 3 or 2) Houston won by 20 without Harden having his best game and the T’Wolves are screwed either way. One of the biggest reasons Harden had such a small offensive output was because he only played 30 minutes due to the game being in hand. Plus Chris Paul had 27 points and Gerald Green chipped in 21 out of nowhere off the bench so the Rockets depth seems to be just fine.
Is Home Court Enough For the Wolves?
It’s hard to overlook how great Minnesota was at home for the better part of the 2017/18 season. Then again, they did go just 7-5 at the Target Center over the last 12 games of the season. A lot of that had to do with the absence of Jimmy Butler but at the same time it is what it is.Butler is averaging just 12 points per game through the first two games of the series but it’s been Karl-Anthony Towns’ basic nonexistence that is really killing Minnesota. KAT had just 8 points in Game 1 and with a controlled effort to get him the ball in Game 2 he came up with a whopping 5 on a -21 +/-. Will Towns be better on his home court? Probably – but will it be enough.
This series may have had Houston sweep written all over it considering the T’Wolves barely squeaked into the playoffs in an essential play-in game against Denver on the last day of the regular season. Nobody wanted to face the red hot Rockets in the first round but especially not the Wolves who are 0-4 against Houston this year. The four games include three 18 point losses and a 9 point defeat. It’s true that the Wolves have a home court advantage in the 4/21 NBA free pick but to be honest, the fans have written this year off already.
4/21 NBA Free Pick Betting
Let’s all look at this game for what it is – a series that is probably a sweep. Minnesota held it tight in Game 1, but are just beaten and broken down by coach Tom Thibodeau’s inability to delegate minutes. This game opened at HOU -3.5 and quickly jumped to HOU -6 but to be honest even a dozen points isn’t enough to give tonight. The Rockets are on a mission and they’ll take the next step tonight.
Free Pick: Houston Rockets -6