The Minnesota Timberwolves (15-29), who are currently on a seven-game skid, look to get back in the win column when they square off against the Houston Rockets (27-16) at Target Center. The game’s Over/Under (O/U) opened at 234.5 points with Houston set as a 5-point favorite. Action starts at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, January 24, 2020, and it can be seen on ATTSN Southwest.
Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves Betting Preview
The Rockets were victorious over the Denver Nuggets in their last game, 121-105, covering as 10-point favorites. Russell Westbrook was the game’s high scorer with 28 points on 11-for-25 shooting. Houston dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a solid free throw rate of 0.270 (above their season average of 0.226) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 40.0 (above their season average of 23.8). Denver put up marks of 0.120 and 27.1, respectively, for those same stats. The two teams combined to put up 226 points, which finished just under the O/U total of 226.5.
The last time the Timberwolves were in action, they were beaten by the Chicago Bulls, 117-110, and failed to cover as 1-point underdogs. Karl-Anthony Towns was the top scorer from either team with 40 points on 16-for-24 shooting. Chicago did an excellent job of converting from the free throw line (30-37; 81.1 percent). Minnesota, on the other hand, had an effective field goal percentage of 0.564 (above their season average of 0.501). Combined, the two teams scored 227 points, which came in over the O/U total of 219.
These two teams have already met twice this year, with the Rockets winning both. In the most recent game, Westbrook had 30 points, 10 assists and six rebounds and the Rockets defeated the Timberwolves 139-109, covering as 11-point favorites. The two teams combined to score 248 points, which was 16 points above the projected point total of 232 points. Houston’s 0.611 effective field goal percentage was its largest advantage over Minnesota, who had a mark of 0.447.
Of Houston’s 43 games, 25 have finished under the O/U total, while 24 of Minnesota’s 44 games have finished over the projected point total. Looking at straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records, the Rockets have a substantial advantage. They are 27-16 SU and 21-22 ATS, while the Timberwolves are 15-29 SU and 17-25-2 ATS.
There could be plenty of transition action in this battle that features two of the NBA’s more up-tempo teams. Minnesota currently ranks fourth in possessions per game (106.2) and Houston is fifth (106.2). Moreover, the Rockets are among the league’s elite at getting to the line, ranking fourth in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.227). The Timberwolves, meanhwile, rank 22nd at keeping opponents off the charity stripe with an opponents’ FTA rate of 0.213.
Houston Rockets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ATS Prediction
Prediction: SU Winner – Rockets, ATS Winner – Rockets, O/U – Under
The Timberwolves rank 10th in assists allowed per game (23.4) while the Rockets rank 28th (25.6).
Minnesota averages 48.5 points in the paint per game, which ranks 10th in the league. Houston ranks 24th in points allowed in the paint per game (50.6).
Minnesota averages 14.3 second chance points per game, which ranks sixth in the NBA. Houston ranks 22nd in second chance points allowed per game (13.7).
Minnesota ranks fourth in blocks per game (6.0) while Houston ranks 15th (4.9).
Houston is 10-11 ATS on the road with 14 unders and 7 overs.
Minnesota is 5-15-1 ATS at home with 11 unders and 10 overs.
Houston is 3-0 when they allow less than 100 points, while Minnesota is 2-1.
In games where they score over 100 points, the Rockets are 27-14 and the Timberwolves are 14-22.
The Timberwolves average 8.5 steals per game, which ranks fifth in the league. The Rockets rank 19th in steals allowed per game (8.1).
Minnesota averages 39.5 three pointers per game, which ranks third in the NBA. Houston ranks 27th in three pointers allowed per game (35.8).
The Rockets rank fifth in rebounds per game (47.4) while the Timberwolves rank 29th in rebounds allowed per game (48.3).
The Rockets average 17.8 points off turnovers per game, which ranks eighth in the league. The Timberwolves rank 20th in points off turnovers allowed per game (17.4).
Houston ranks eighth in fast break points per game (14.5) while Minnesota ranks 28th (10.1).
Minnesota is 1-4 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in its last five games.
Across its last five outings, Houston is 1-4 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over.
The Timberwolves’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 6.2, up from 3.5 for the season.
During their last five games, the Rockets have scored an average of 112.0 points per game (6.4 below their season average) and allowed an average of 115.8 points per game (1.8 above their season average).