Can Timberwolves Upset the Rockets at the NBA Odds for Game 2?

Posted by Eric Williams on Wednesday,April 18, 2018 4:24, EDT in

Sure-fire MVP winner James Harden and the Houston Rockets may have managed to get the win in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series against the mostly young Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, but the top seed and NBA odds favorite in the west never came close to covering the chalk as an 8.5-point home fave in their series opener.

Now, the Rockets are even a bigger favorite heading into Game 2, NBA betting buffs across the globe need to know if Harden and the loaded Rockets can cover the spread as an even bigger favorite in Game 2. Let’s find out right now.

Minnesota at Houston NBA Odds & Betting Prediction

  • When: Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 9:30 PM ET
  • Where: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
  • TV: TNT, FSN, AT&TSN
  • Radio: TuneIn
  • Live Stream: NBA League Pass
  • NBA Odds: Houston Rockets -10.5 (Over/Under at 214.5)

NBA Lines & Game 2 Preview: Utah at Oklahoma

Recent Head to Head (Last 10 Games)

  • Record: Houston Rockets lead 9-1
  • Score: Minnesota Timberwolves 111.00 / Houston Rockets 120.50
  • Field Goal Percentage: Minnesota Timberwolves 47.71 / Houston Rockets 48.27
  • Rebounds: Minnesota Timberwolves 40.20 / Houston Rockets 46.10
  • 3 Point Shots: Minnesota Timberwolves 167-433 / Houston Rockets 82-230
  • Steals: Minnesota Timberwolves 9.20 / Houston Rockets 7.40

Why Consider the NBA Odds for Minnesota?

Why should you consider betting on Minnesota in Game 2? Well, that’s obvious. Because the Timberwolves covered the chalk in their 104-101 Game 1 loss despite getting a poor outing out of their best player in all-star center Karl Anthony Towns. The T-Wolves actually had a chance to send the game to overtime with 1.5 seconds left on the clock, but all-star guard Jimmy Butler’s last-second attempt came up short.

“Came up short,” Butler said. “But I’d shoot it again if I had the opportunity.”

The Timberwolves had a one-point lead with about seven minutes remaining when Houston went on a 9-0 run that was fueled by seven points from Harden. Still, Minnesota was in the game throughout despite getting just eight points from Towns who averaged 21.3 points per game this season to lead the Wolves to their first playoff appearance since 2004.

“He’s got to be more active,” Thibodeau said of his gifted young big man. Said Towns: “I’ve got to be better all-around.”
Andrew Wiggins scored a team-high 18 points to lead Minnesota while Derrick Rose came off the bench to add 16 points. Minnesota got double-digit scoring from five players in the loss.

Why Consider the NBA Odds for Houston?

Why should you consider betting on Houston as a 10.5-point home favorite? Well, because they beat Minnesota three times this season by an eerily identical 18 points.

Houston got a game-high 44 points from Harden in the win and watched their leader take control in the fourth quarter with a scoring spurt that put Houston ahead late.

“We were struggling to make shots, struggling to really have any kind of rhythm and James put us on his back,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He’s been doing it for a while now.”

According to the NBA Odds, the Rockets are huge favorites to take a 2-0 lead against Minnesota.

The Rockets managed to get the win despite the fact that Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza, Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker shot a combined 3-for-22 from beyond the arc.

“We’ve had games like this throughout the season and the biggest thing that I’ve learned, that I think our teams knows is that we don’t stop shooting,” Paul said. “We still take the shots that we get and coming into Game 2 guess what? We’re going to shoot them again because we have that confidence.”

Latest NBA Playoffs Betting Trends

  • Minnesota is 7-5 against the spread versus Houston over the last 3 seasons
  • Houston is 13-5 ATS against Northwest division opponents this season
  • Houston is 11-1 straight up against Minnesota over the last 3 seasons
  • 8 of 12 games in this series have gone Over the Total over the last 3 seasons

Expert Analysis and Prediction

I don’t see a whole lot of sense in beating around the bush with my pick on this contest especially since I don’t see a whole lot of sense in Houston being a double-digit favorite.

The Timberwolves are 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Houston while the Rockets have gone 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games
and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.

I’m fully expecting Minnesota to get a better effort out of Karl Anthony Towns and for the T-Wolves to keep the final score inside double digits for the third straight time against Houston dating back to the regular season. Simply put, Minnesota covers the chalk, although the Rockets win outright!

Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves +10.5