Houston at Minnesota Odds, Free Pick & TV Info
Once again the Houston Rockets are the hottest team in the NBA as they enter this week on an eight- game winning streak behind MVP candidate James Harden. Houston plays the second of a back-to- back on Wednesday night, however, when it visits disappointing Minnesota. It’s the second meeting of the season between the teams. Let’s take a look at the current NBA betting lines for the game.
Houston at Minnesota Odds, Free Pick & TV Info
2 blocks & steals pic.twitter.com/IwW6ntoOb6
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) January 9, 2017
Why Bet on Houston?
The Rockets took an eight-game streak into Tuesday’s home game, a likely win vs. Charlotte. In Sunday’s very impressive 129-122 victory at Toronto, the second-best team in the East, Harden had 40 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his 10th triple-double of the year. Harden shot 13 of 26 from the field, finishing with 30-plus points and 10-plus assists for a league-leading 13th time this season. But he also had 10 turnovers to become the first player with a 40-point triple-double and 10 or more turnovers since turnovers became official in the 1977-78 season.
Harden has now recorded a double-double in 16 straight games, the longest streak in the NBA in five seasons. His 11 assists led to 26 points, meaning he scored or assisted on 66 points in the game. Harden is averaging scoring or assisting on 57.0 points per game this season. The NBA record over a full season is 56.8 by Tiny Archibald of the Kansas City-Omaha Kings in the 1972-73 season. Russell Westbrook also has a chance at this mark. He’s scoring or assisting on 55.4 points per game.
Montrezl Harrell had 28 points in 26 minutes off the bench on 12-of- 13 shooting, with Eric Gordon adding 19 more as Houston won consecutive games in Toronto for the first time in franchise history. Gordon was questionable to play Tuesday and likely will be here as well. He’s dealing with a sprained big left toe. If he’s unable to give it a go, look for Corey Brewer, Sam Dekker and K.J. McDaniels to pick up the slack. Harrell’s 28 points were the second-most he has scored in a game in his career (he had 29 against the Clippers on Dec. 30). Harrell has two 20-point games in his past six games after not having any in his first 63.
Injured Rockets center Clint Capela (knee) is on track to return to the court by mid-to- late January. Capela is currently in Wee -3 of his initial 4-6 week timetable, so if he meets the early end of the timetable we could see him back as soon as Jan. 17, with the latest possible return date being Jan. 31. The Rockets have a NBA-best 19-2 record since Dec. 1, and their eight-game streak is their second- longest winning streak over the last five seasons (won 10 from Dec. 1-17 this season)
Why Bet on Minnesota?
Minnesota took a four-game losing streak into this week as the Wolves just can’t get things going under first-year coach Tom Thibodeau. Minnesota owns the worst home record in the conference at 6-13, only Dallas is worse at home. The Wolves are also 0-10 this year in games decided by four points or less. They have lost 12 games in which they have led by double digits.
Zach LaVine scored a career-best 40 points Dec. 23 vs. Sacramento, becoming the third Timberwolves player to tally 40+ this season and 15th all-time. Minnesota is the eighth team in the past 20 years to have three different players score 40+ points in a game in the same season – and the first in NBA history to have three, all age 22 or younger, accomplish that feat.
The problem is that Minnesota is getting little from its few veterans. This offseason, the team signed three veterans – forward Jordan Hill, center Cole Aldrich and wing Brandon Rush. Hill, Aldrich and Rush were all solid players who contributed to winning teams at their previous stops. Aldrich is playing 11.6 minutes a game, his lowest mark since the 2013-14 season. Rush’s 10.9 minutes a game is the second-lowest mark of his nine-year career. He has played in just 13 games this season. His has played in just five games. All of this while all five of Minnesota’s starters are in the top 60 in the league in minutes per game, all averaging north of 31 minutes.
The Rockets have beaten Minnesota in 12 of 13 overall, including eight in a row since the Wolves’ 112-110 home victory on April 11, 2014. The first meeting this year was Dec. 17 and Houston won 111-109 in OT in Minneapolis. Harden tallied 28 points, nine rebounds and 13 assists while Houston erased a nine-point deficit in the final minute of regulation. Ryan Anderson scored 28 points for the Rockets, while Karl-Anthony Towns amassed 41 points and 15 rebounds for Minnesota and LaVine added 24 points.
Houston at Minnesota Free Pick: Minnesota Vikings
Take Minnesota on NBA odds because the Rockets will have heavy legs after playing Tuesday.