The NBA season is nearing the All-Star break with teams battling for position in the playoff races. Tonight two of these teams face off in Minneapolis when the Houston Rockets visit the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Houston has played better as the season has progressed and is 34-17 SU and 26-23-2 ATS. On the road, the Rockets are 13-10. In their 51 games, the OVER has cashed 23 times, the UNDER 26 and there have been 2 pushes.
Minnesota has not played as well as Houston and is fighting to qualify in the eighth and final spot of the Western Conference. Minnesota is 24-27 SU and 26-25 ATS. At home, the Timberwolves are 14-10. In their 51 games this season, the total has cashed 24 times on the OVER, 25 on the UNDER with 2 pushes.
Minnesota has lost three straight and hopes to have its top scorer and rebounder Kevin Love back in the lineup. Houston matched its longest win streak of the season, but was not happy with the way they played versus an inferior opponent.
The Rockets won their fifth straight on Saturday but by just 6 points over the worst team in the league, the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Rockets have averaged 111 points per game during their past four games, while Minnesota is giving up 107 per game over their three-game losing streak.
Love has missed two of the past three Minnesota games. He missed last Wednesday’s game with a stiff neck and Saturday’s with a strained quadriceps.
Love said he hopes to play on Monday. Over his past six games, Love is scoring at a 31.5 points per game clip and pulling down over 15 rebounds per game over that same period.
Love has scored 25 points or more in five of the past six games the Timberwolves have played Houston. In their last matchup, Love scored 27 versus the Rockets in November.
If Love returns, the Timberwolves will still be without Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin. Pekovic has a bruised ankle and will likely not return until after this weekend’s All Star break. Martin broke his thumb Friday night and is out indefinitely.
Love, Pekovic and Martin make up close to 60% of Minnesota’s scoring per game. Ricky Rubio has picked up his scoring since the injury bug hit Minnesota.
Houston is currently 8th in the futures for the NBA Championship on Bovada and sportsbook.com, while Minnesota is 12th on topbet and betonline.
Head to head
In the past four games between the two teams, the UNDER is 4-0.
Houston is 9-2 against the number in the past 11 games played in Minnesota.
Houston is 2-5 ATS over the past 7 games played versus Minnesota.
The team on the road is 11-4 against the spread in the past 15 games between Houston and Minnesota.
The line on this game has not been released by take Houston as the Timberwolves are fighting through injuries.