NBA Western Conference Odds: Minnesota Timberwolves at New Orleans Pelicans
Betting Odds courtesy of Bovada
Minnesota and New Orleans both sit on the outside looking in, if the Western Conference Playoffs began today. Minnesota is 4.5 games behind the Dallas Mavs for the 8th seed, while New Orleans trails by a full seven games. The New Orleans Pelicans are 12-12 at home where it will host the Timberwolves in a game NBA oddsmakers are projecting to be dead even, with the spread a Pick ’em.
The Pelicans have won six of its past 10 games and were victorious 105-100 over Atlanta on Wed (Feb 5) night. Anthony Davis had 27 points and 10 rebounds and he was just selected as a Western Conference All-Star replacement for Kobe Bryant. The lanky Kentucky product has grown immensely in his second season in the league, and he leads the Pelicans in scoring and rebounding with 20.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Power forward Ryan Anderson has also thrived in New Orleans and is averaging 19.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
The Pelicans are still hoping for more from Eric Gordon, whose 15.5 PER in no way substantiates his massive contract. Jrue Holiday has also taken a step back in production in New Orleans, but he’s redefining his role as a pure distributor with a more talented cast. Holiday is averaging 14.3 pints and 7.9 rebounds per game. Tyreke Evans contributions have been far too meager for a player who averaged 20/5/5 as a rookie. Evans is contributing just 12.5 points per game in 24 minutes a night.
Minnesota has been a very potent team but isn’t getting it done defensively. The Timberwolves rank 3rd in the NBA in scoring (105.8 points per game) but are nearly in the bottom-third defensively, allowing 101.7 points per game. A large part of the defensive struggles can be traced to Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic crashing the offensive glass and rendering the transition defense as poor, though. The caveat is that the tandem combines for 7.4 offensive rebounds per game, and it creates second shots for the Wolves.
Love will start for the Western Conference All-Stars and the UCLA product is averaging 25.6 points and 13.2 rebounds per game this season. Kevin Martin has been a nice addition and if nothing else, Martin can shoot and score. He’s posting the second highest scoring mark on the team at 19.1 points per game, and is a perfect complement to Ricky Rubio in the backcourt, given the Spaniard’s lack of shooting ability. Rubio is averaging 8.5 points and 8.3 assists per game, and he also comes up with 2.6 steals per game, while playing just 31 minutes per contest.
MIN Trends: UNDER 3-0-1 in last 4 after allowing 100 points or more in previous game; UNDER 5-0 in last 5 on 1 days rest; OVER 4-0 in last 4 vs teams with losing SU records.
NO Trends: 4-0 ATS in last 4 vs teams with losing SU records; UNDER 6-0 in last 6 after scoring 100 points or more in previous game; 6-1 ATS in last 7 after allowing 100 points or more in previous game.
Head-to-head: 4-0 ATS in last 4 meetings; OVER 5-1 in last 6 meetings; UNDER 6-2 in last 8 meetings in New Orleans.