Timberwolves vs Rockets – NBA Pick for February 23rd

by Kevin Roberts
on February 23, 2018
All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from 5Dimes at 9:42 am CT on 2/23/2018. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing.

The Washington Wizards stepped up their game on Thursday night, as Bradley Beal and company stormed into Cleveland and upset the Cavaliers.

Cleveland entered the night as solid -7 favorites, but I loved the value I was getting with the Wiz and backed them to beat the spread.

Washington did more than that, as they ended up topping the Cavs by seven. Obviously, in hindsight I wish I had the guts to ride them as a straight up underdog, but I’ll take the win and run. My latest victory pushed my season NBA picks record to 51-38-2 and has me on a small two-game winning streak.

I’m looking for a third win in a row tonight as I approach a loaded 11-game NBA betting schedule. There are numerous options to consider on Friday’s slate, but the game that stands out the most to me resides in Houston, where the Rockets prepare to host the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Houston is the obvious favorite, as 5Dimes and just about every other NBA sportsbook online hand them an -8 point spread or better.

It’s hard to argue against that logic, either. Houston is an absurd 23-6 on their home floor this year and come out of the NBA All-Star break riding a nasty 10-game winning streak.

I’m afraid of sleeping on the T’Wolves, though. Minnesota has morphed into a legit contender in the Western Conference, as they tentatively hold onto first place in the Northwest Division. They have not been good on the road (12-18) and are down 2-0 in this season series, but this could be a statement game for them.

Minnesota Timberwolves (+8.5)
Houston Rockets (-8.5)
Total: 226

I see the writing on the wall here. Houston is red hot and at home. They’ve also taken both of the first two meetings in easy blowouts.

Everything says take the Rockets here, but I can’t ignore the elite value the Timberwolves offer as a +328 straight up underdog bet at 5Dimes tonight. You’re getting about +300 or better just about anywhere you look online, but from what I can tell, 5Dimes has everyone beat.

That is a staggering price for a very good Minnesota team that absolutely has the goods to take Houston out. Jimmy Butler, in theory, can score on the Rockets at will and help contain James Harden.

I’m not sure the T’Wolves have another elite perimeter defender that can also slow down Chris Paul, but stifling Harden even a little bit gives them a real shot here.

Beyond that, Minnesota is equipped to compete in a shootout with Jeff Teague and Andrew Wiggins providing perimeter scoring and Karl-Anthony Towns doing damage down low.

Speaking of KAT, the Rockets have not had an answer for the big man this season. Towns has crushed Houston, dropping in 22 points and 16 boards in their first meeting and going off for a 35-12 line in their second game.

This is a matchup Towns can dominate, clearly, and if the rest of the T’Wolves show up, I think Minnesota has a shot at providing elite value.

The main problems for Minnesota in this matchup have been consistent defense and finishing out the game. Houston shot nearly 50% from the floor (and from deep) the last time these two sides faced off just 10 days ago and the Rockets blew up (42 points) in the fourth quarter to close out the game.

If Minnesota can rally around Towns and tighten things up in the final stanza, they could be an interesting upset pick. I already like the Wolves to keep this third meeting close. If you want to play it safe and roll with their +8.5 spread at 5Dimes, I don’t blame you.

This is already a dicey spot, though, so I’m aiming high and backing the Timberwolves to get the road upset win.

Pick: Timberwolves

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