NBA Western Conference Odds: Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves

Kevin-Love-timberwolves-42Denver at Minnesota
Time: 8 PM ET, Feb 12, 2014
Spread: MIN -6.5
Total: 208

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

The Minnesota Timberwolves have lost its past four contests to fall to 24-28 on the season. The Timberwolves trail the 8th seeded Dallas Mavericks by 6.5 games, and will host the Denver Nuggets tonight in a game NBA oddsmakers are favoring the Wolves by 6.5-points.

Minnesota has lost to some quality opponents over its four game skid, including the Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder. In the loss to Houston on Monday (Feb 10) night, Kevin Love went for 31 points but the Wolves still lost 107-89. Love is making his first start in the All-Star game this weekend and took out a full page ad thanking the Minnesota fans for their votes.

Love is posting averages of 25.7 points and 13.3 rebounds per game, while managing a PER of 27.39. Love has played especially well over his last 10 contests, averaging 29.4 points and 14.5 rebounds per game. The Wolves will seek to retain his services when he becomes a free agent, but one executive said it is a foregone conclusion that Love will be a Laker.

For the present, he is pairing with seven-footer Nikola Pekovic to form a strong T-Wolves frontcourt. Pekovic is battling bursitis in his right ankle and there is no time table on his return. The Wolves are a quicker team without Pek, but need his presence against the big bodies the team will encounter.

The Wolves still need more consistent shooting from Ricky Rubio and to improve its transition defense, but the team is a legitimate squad that would be the third best team if it were in the East. Minnesota ranks 4th in the NBA in scoring, averaging 105.3 points per game, and though the defense is lagging (22nd in NBA), the team has the tools to be a playoff team.

The Denver Nuggets lead the Timberwolves by one game in the Western Conference standings, but the team was badly embarrassed by the Indiana Pacers on Monday (Feb 10) night. Ty Lawson, Andre Miller and Nate Robinson all sat the game out, which rendered the Nuggets playing big ball. Randy Foye was the only guard to get significant minutes, as Evan Fornier saw just 19 minutes off the bench. Foye shot 2-of-13 while the Pacers backcourt was 8-of-14 combined for 22 points. Foye also injured his ankle in the game, but he is expected to play tonight.

Lawson is still nursing the rib injury and Miller hasn’t played since January. Robinson is out for the season, along with likely JaVale McGee and Danilo Gallinari. The Nuggets are a banged up team and likely on the decline. With back-to-back losses to Charlotte and Toronto, the Nuggets are making its case for the 2014 lottery, which wouldn’t be all bad since having a worse record than the New York Knicks means the Nuggets will keep its selection (via the Dwight Howard trade).

DEN Trends: 0-4 ATS in last 4 after allowing 100 points or more in previous game; 0-4 ATS in last 4 playing on 1 days rest; 0-4 ATS in last 4 overall.

MIN Trends: UNDER 7-0 in last 7 on 1 days rest; OVER 6-0 in last 6 vs team with losing SU record; UNDER 5-0-1 in last 6 after allowing 100 points or more in previous game.

Head-to-head: OVER 5-0 in last 5 meetings in Minnesota; Nuggets 6-1 ATS in last 7 meetings; Nuggets 12-3-1 ATS in last 16 meetings in Minnesota.

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