NBA Picks and Predictions: Minnesota Timberwolves at Utah Jazz

Kevin-Love-timberwolves-42Minnesota at Utah
Time: 9 PM ET, Jan 21, 2014
Spread: MIN -4
M/L: MIN -170; UTA +150
Total: 202.5

Betting odds courtesy of 5dimes

The Minnesota Timberwolves are 19-21 on the season and currently trail the Phoenix Suns by four games for the last playoff spot in the West. The Wolves are just 7-13 on the road this season and travel to Energy Solutions Arena to take on the Utah Jazz. Despite the road struggles, NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes still favor the Timberwolves by four-points over the the 14-28 Jazz.

Utah was not expected to be good this season after losing its starting frontcourt of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap to free agency. The team instead chose to work on developing its younger options of Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, but Kanter has disappointed.

The Jazz have been very impressed with 2013 draft pick Trey Burke, and Gordon Hayward is quietly playing himself into a very nice payday this summer. The Jazz chose not to extend Hayward before the season, but with averages of 17 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists, there will be teams interested in the Butler product this summer. The Jazz can match any offer, but it’s unclear how the team feels about Hayward’s worth.

The Timberwolves have been very effective offensively this season, ranking 2nd in the Association in scoring (106.4 points per game), but the defense has been middlingly effective (101.7 points per game). A large part of why is the T-Wolves frontline and rebounding.

Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic both like to crash the offensive boards and the Wolves are poor in transition consequently. Love is having another great season statistically with 25.1 points and 13 rebounds per game, but his days in Minnesota are likely numbered.

MIN Trends: OVER 4-0 on 2 days rest; 4-0 ATS in last 4 road games vs teams with losing home records; 0-4 ATS in last 4 following ATS win.

UTA Trends: 3-0-1 ATS in last 4 following SU loss; 4-0 ATS in last 4 following SU loss of 10 points or more; 5-1 ATS in last 6 following ATS loss.

Head-to-head: Timberwolves 1-6 ATS in last 7 in Utah; OVER 9-2 in last 11 in Utah; 2-7 ATS in last 9 meetings.

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