The trade deadline came and went without too much noise. Aside from the Big Baby signing by the suddenly-scary Los Angeles Clippers and the Jason Collins 10-day contract (news for mostly a non-basketball reason), the deadline garnered little attention.
Which meant the attention has instead whipped back around to the Miami Heat? With their dominant nationally-televised beatdown of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Lebron James reasserted his MVP-ness (dopey pun intended) and once again people are recognizing that the Heat are the team to beat come June.
They still have a few games to go to catch the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Standings, but it seems they are more interested in doing so that I originally thought they might be. It’ll be fun to watch over the last few months of the season.
It’s been a rough month for me NBA picks-wise, so I took a night off to dust off am ready to get back after it. Let’s take a look at a Western Conference matchup for tonight’s free pick.
Today’s Free Pick:
Minnesota Timberwolves at Phoenix Suns -3 (Total: 213)
The Suns, despite cooling off a bit going just 4-4 in their last eight games, are still holding strong in the Western Conference playoff positioning and still remain one of the best bets in the NBA this season. They are a blistering 36-18-1 ATS for an unheard of 67% winning clip, and enter tonight having covered three of their last four games.
They have been especially tough at home, going 19-10 on the season.
Enter the Timberwolves. For as much talent as they have amassed the past few years, they are still an abomination away from the Target Center. This season they are 11-18 on the road, and they will likely still be without the services of both Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin tonight.
Phoenix is 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games against a team with a sub-.400 road record. That description fits the Wolves perfectly tonight. They are also 6-0 ATS in their last six games overall against a team with a losing record. What those numbers tell me is that Phoenix is bolstering this surprising playoff run by seldom letting “should-win” games get away from them. The result is a team that has snuck plenty of underdog covers and yet continues to cover these three and four point home spreads, despite everything in their metrics and record indicating they should be a 5.5 to 6.5 favorite tonight.
I’ll take the extra few points of cushion and ride with the Suns tonight at home.