Rockets Are NBA Odds Favorites vs. T-Wolves on Thursday Night

Rockets Are NBA Odds Favorites vs. T-Wolves on Thursday Night

Written by on January 18, 2018

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets both made big offseason moves and are perhaps two top contenders in the Western Conference behind the Golden State Warriors. Somehow, the Wolves and Rockets will play for the first time in 2017-18 on national TV Thursday night. Let’s see where the NBA odds stand for tonight’s game.

How to Bet Timberwolves at Rockets NBA Odds & Game Info

When: Thursday, 9:30 PM ETWhere: Toyota Center, HoustonTV: TNTStream: NBA League PassRadio: WCCO-AM 830 (Minnesota) / Sportstalk 790 AM (Houston)Opening NBA Odds: Rockets -6

2016-17 Season Series

Last year doesn’t mean a heck of a lot because the Timberwolves are much better after acquiring Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague and a few others this offseason. The Rockets also are a bit different after adding Chris Paul in a big trade. That said, Houston won three of four last season.Rockets averaged 120.3 points on 43.9% shooting while the Wolves averaged 119.0 ppg on 50.8% FGs. Houston had more than twice as many made 3-pointers (73-35) in the four games. Minnesota outrebounded the Rockets by 13.3 rpg over the four games. James Harden averaged 28.0 points and 11.8 assists but also 6.0 turnovers. Ryan Anderson averaged 21.0 points. Karl-Anthony Towns averaged 32.3 points (61.6% FGs) and 19.3 rebounds for the Wolves. Andrew Wiggins put up 23 per game. The Rockets have scored 100+ points in each of the past 13 meetings, including 120+ five times.Houston has won nine straight at home in the series.

Why Bet on Minnesota?

The Wolves were clearly caught in a trap game Tuesday as their five-game winning streak was snapped at a bad Orlando team, 108-102. Statistically the worst rebounding team in the NBA, the Magic had a 51-37 edge on the boards and broke a seven-game losing streak.Butler had 28 points and seven rebounds for the Timberwolves, who had won their five preceding games by an average of 18.8 points. Teague hit 6-of-17 shots for 13 points, two rebounds, six assists and two steals. Teague hasn’t shot the ball particularly well since returning from his knee injury. Towns had a 15 & 12 double-double with three blocks, but the Wolves didn’t get much out of Wiggins, who had only nine points.While 23-6 against teams from the Western Conference, the Wolves fell to 6-11 against teams from the East. Minnesota slipped to 29-17 on the season but continues the 3rd-best start in franchise history (33-13 in 2003-04, 32-14 in 2001-02) and remains four games clear of Oklahoma City (24-20) atop the Northwest Division.“We need to humble our damn selves,” Butler said after the loss. “I’m glad we lost. Came in here on our high horse, thinking we’re a really good team, and we haven’t done anything yet. Good for us, man.”Tuesday’s loss dropped Minnesota to 11-9 this year in two-possession games (decided by six points or less). Minnesota is 11-11 away from Target Center, one of five Western teams sporting .500+ road marks.

Why Bet on Houston?

Will the Rockets get Harden back for this one? It’s looking good. Assuming no setbacks after Wednesday’s practice, Harden should return from his hamstring injury. That will push Eric Gordon back to the second unit. Gerald Green will also see a reduction in minutes with Harden back in action. Harden (hamstring) is expected to be on a 24-25 minute limit upon his return, according to coach Mike D’Antoni.Houston will be missing Trevor Ariza and Green due to suspension because of what happened following Monday’s 113-102 loss at the Clippers. Harden, Paul, Ariza and Green reportedly pushed into the Clippers’ locker room looking to confront Austin Rivers, but security intervened before anything physical took place. The Clippers’ coaching staff was in a separate room, heard the ruckus and rushed out — only to see its former point guard, Paul, getting pushed back out and into the hallway.Are the Rockets a safe bet on Thursday night?Ariza was isolated as the person most responsible for the Rockets’ postgame charge into the locker room in the NBA investigation. Paul and Harden reportedly tried to calm down Ariza, so apparently that’s why Paul and Harden weren’t suspended. Ariza will be missed. Dating back to 12/15, Ariza is averaging the most minutes (39.2 in 16 GP) of any player in the league. He has scored 15+ points in 8 of the past 14 games (13.7 ppg) after doing so six times his first 26 games played (11.6 ppg).Since losing a season-high five straight from 12/20-12/29, Houston is 5-3. The Rockets did not lose more than three consecutive games in 2016-17. Houston is 5-6 in the first game following a loss this season (22-5 in 2016-17). The Rockets are 2-3 over their past five home games after winning nine straight prior from 11/5-12/18 (longest streak since 11 games from 1/28- 3/27/14). Houston has lost consecutive home games twice this season after not doing so once in 2016-17.

Latest NBA Odds Trends

  • Minnesota is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Minnesota is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Minnesota’s last 11 games
  • Houston is 4-9 ATS in its last 13 games
  • Houston is 17-8 SU in its last 25 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Houston’s last 5 games at home

Expert Prediction & NBA Pick for Thursday

There won’t be a line until it’s clear if Harden plays. If Harden doesn’t play and/or the Wolves are getting more than 6 points, take them.