Houston Rockets (42-13) at Minnesota Timberwolves (35-24)
Last night we did something that I very rarely like to do, and that is lay a huge number. I backed the Golden State Warriors -15.5-points, which is the biggest number I have laid all year long. But when I looked at the matchup, I just didn’t see any way that this was going to be a competitive game and expected the Warriors to win by thirty.
Well, they didn’t let me down, and they won’t by almost fifty! After a fairly competitive first quarter, the Warriors took charge and had the number covered by halftime. The Warriors didn’t let up and eventually took the game 129-83 in a spectacular blow out.
Giving the other team double digit points is rarely a good idea in the NBA, but every once in a while, all signs point to a blowout and you gotta lay some heavy wood. In the end, it worked out, and we chalked up another victory.
Today we shift focus from the NBA’s best team, the Golden State Warriors, to what is likely its second-best team, the Houston Rockets, as they play the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Houston Rockets will travel to Minnesota to play the Timberwolves Tuesday night. The Rockets are on absolute fire right now, having won eight straight games and twelve out of their last thirteen. Houston is now just one game back of the Golden State Warriors for the NBA’s best record.
The Wolves are a bit of an enigma this year as they are a bad team on the road and elite at home. The Wolves 23 home wins are tops in the league. The Rockets are -2.5-point favorites. The game total over-under is set at 222.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:00 PM PST from the Target Center.
The Houston Rockets might be the best team in the NBA right now. They are certainly the hottest team in the association at the moment. If you take into account, the fact that Chris Paul missed a big chunk of games early in the season and that they have been elite ever since, you could argue that Houston should be the favorites in the Western Conference. James Harden and Chris Paul fit together much better than I thought they ever would.
I expected a situation like they had in Cleveland where Isaiah Thomas and Lebron James had to fight over the ball all game long. But that just hasn’t happened at all. Paul is getting fewer assists than he has in recent years with Harden controlling the ball so much, but you can’t argue with their results.
This team is really good and playing very well at the moment. They will need to play their “A” game tonight if they want to win at a place very few teams can this season, in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Wolves are bad on the road. They are just 12-18 away from the Target Center this season, and it is a bit of a mystery as to why. They have a ton of talent with their version of the big three, Wiggins, Towns, and Butler. They just can’t seem to get things together on the road. But at home? The Wolves are amongst the absolute best.
Minnesota is 23-6 at home this season. Those 23 wins are tied with Toronto for the most home wins in the league this year. That’s what makes this last few weeks of the season so important for the Wolves. Right now, Minnesota is in fourth place in the Western Conference. They are on a collision course with the OKC Thunder in the first round. Entering play today the Wolves are just a half of a game back of the Spurs for the three seed.
The difference between playing a very talented OKC team and a meh Portland Trailblazers team in the first can’t be understated. Quite simply the Wolves must have home court advantage to win a playoff series, that means tonight’s game means a lot. If they slip to the five seed in the West and have to play on the road they aren’t winning in the first round.
It is really hard to position yourself on the other side of the hottest team in the NBA, but that is exactly what I am going to do tonight. I get it, the Rockets are really good. But you can’t deny the fact that the Wolves are the best home team in the Western Conference and given an opportunity to back them at home, as underdogs, is too good of a situation to pass up on.
I don’t love it, but I have no choice but to take Minnesota tonight at home. Will they win the game outright? That is hard to say. But by snatching up the 2.5 points they can lose at home, something they almost never do anyway, and I can still cash my ticket if they lose a close one.
Give me the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight as home dogs getting +2.5 points.