The New Orleans Hornets will be out to snap a four-game losing streak when they face the injury plagued Minnesota Timberwolves. What gifts have the odds makers left us, and where can we find the best value with our NBA picks?
Sportsbooks opened with the Timberwolves favored by -9 with the total at 189. While the Timberwolves are clearly the better team in this matchup, will the Minnesota's injury report lead most bettors to hammer the Hornets with their NBA picks? Lets decide where we can find the best NBA betting value here.
The T-Wolves were without Kevin Love
(back spasms) in Friday night’s 105-102 loss to the Lakers and could very well
be without point guard Ricky Rubio (knee injury) for an even longer time. Rubio
suffered what team officials say was a torn knee ligament after a collision
with Kobe Bryant with 16.4 seconds remaining.
While Love is listed as
day-to-day with the minor back ailment, the extent of Rubio’s injury is
believed to be serious, perhaps season ending. More will be known after an MRI.
If both players are sidelined, that’s potentially great news for the Hornets
who are looking to avoid a winless road trip (0-3).
In last night’s 110-97 loss in Denver,
Lance Thomas, a non-drafted free agent from Duke, scored 18 points to lead
the Hornets while Jarret Jack added 17 points and Xavier
Henry and Marco Belinelli had 12 points apiece for New Orleans.
The Hornets are now 9-31 SU including 5-15 SU on the road. New Orleans is also
19-21 ATS overall, including a profitable 13-7 on the road.
Minnesota (21-20 SU, 22-19 ATS) had its five-game home
winning streak snapped with the Friday night loss to the Lakers. LA has now won
18 straight over the Timberwolves since a 117-107 double-overtime loss March 6,
2007. It’s the NBA’s longest active winning streak by one team over another.
In Love’s absence, rookie Derrick
Williams turned in another stellar effort scoring 22 points and pulling down 10
rebounds. Nikola Pekovic added 25 points and 13 boards for the Wolves. Kobe led
all scorers with 34 points while Andrew Bynum had 26 points and 10 rebounds.
Pau Gasol who has been the subject of daily trade rumors that have him playing
in either Minnesota or Houston, has a double-double with 12 points and 11
Let’s Make a Deal
One of the pivotal plays in the Lakers
and T-Wolves game came when Gasol blocked Williams’ layup attempt with seven
seconds remaining. Ironically one of the trade scenarios would have Williams,
Michael Beasley, draft picks and a point guard headed LA’s way for the talented
Spaniard. However Rubio’s injury, could affect any deal for Gasol.
Strictly by the numbers
Love is averaging 25.5 points and 13.8
rebounds per game this year and 33 points per game over his last four outings.
Love had 34 points with 15 rebounds and Rubio added 12 points, nine assists and
six rebounds as the Timberwolves survived 34.3-percent shooting and 16
turnovers in an 87-80 victory at New Orleans on Jan. 13.
Minnesota has taken three of four in
this series following a six-game losing streak. The Hornets have won eight of their last
10 visits to Minnesota, but they arrive this time as losers of four in a row
The Hornets are 2-7 ATS in the last nine
series meetings but are 7-2 vs. the number in their last nine games overall.
The ‘under’ is 8-1 in the last nine
series matchups while Minnesota is 13-9 to the low side at home this year.
Harvey’s Take: I realize the Hornets are bad but
doesn’t -9 points seem like a high number for the T-Wolves? Rubio is out of the
lineup as is his backup JJ Barea. Love’s back spasms could keep him out again,
so this game breaks down as the Minnesota reserves against the New Orleans
starters. It’s a small play on the Hornets but a bigger play on the ‘under’