Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Pick for December 3rd

by Taylor Smith
on December 3, 2018
3

Minute Read

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Houston vs Minnesota Live Odds and Betting History

The following odds are courtesy of Live Odds feed:

Betting Data Rockets Timberwolves
S/u record 11-11 11-12
Home record 5-5 9-4
Away record 6-6 2-8
ATS record 9-13-0 12-11-0
ATS home record 4-6-0 8-5-0
ATS away record 5-7-0 4-6-0
O/u record 14-8-0 8-15-0
O/u home record 7-3-0 6-7-0
O/u away record 7-5-0 2-8-0

Rocky Starts

The Rockets and Timberwolves were both playoff teams last season, but the 2018-19 campaign hasn’t been a breezy one thus far for either side. Houston stormed its way to the No. 1 overall seed in the Western Conference last season by winning 65 games during the regular season.

However, injuries and the disastrous Carmelo Anthony tenure have combined to result in an underwhelming 11-11 start for the Rockets through 22 games.

The Timberwolves, meanwhile, were mired in the ridiculous Jimmy Butler drama. Butler told the team that he wanted to be traded about a week before training camp began, which led to a strained relationship between Butler and his teammates. His presence was clearly wearing on the rest of the Timberwolves as the team stumbled its way to a 4-9 start.

This will be the first meeting between the teams this season. This was a series the Rockets absolutely dominated a year ago. Houston swept the 4-game regular season series between the teams before disposing of the Timberwolves in 5 games when they met in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. The Rockets scored at least 116 points in all 4 regular season matchups between the clubs, as well.

Free Rockets-Timberwolves Bet Prediction

As mentioned, the Rockets have dealt with some injuries early in the season. James Harden and Chris Paul, the team’s unquestioned star attractions, have missed a combined 8 games so far to injury. The Rockets have gone just 1-7 in those games, which isn’t all that surprising. Everything Houston wants to do offensively centers around those 2. Houston is a much more respectable 10-4 with both star players healthy and in the lineup.

Barring some sort of unknown injury situation, both are expected to see the floor tonight in Minneapolis. Harden hasn’t gotten nearly as much buzz early this season after winning the MVP last year. The team’s rocky start surely has plenty to do with that, but Harden’s individual numbers remain stellar.

The Beard is averaging 30.6 points, 8.7 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game to this point. He’s coming off of back-to-back strong efforts in wins over the Spurs and Bulls, putting up 23 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds in just 28 minutes against San Antonio before following it up with 30 points, 7 assists and 6 boards against Chicago. He needed just 30 minutes to do that, as well.

CP3 has played well, too. The Point God is averaging a tidy 17.3 points, 8.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds himself to this point despite the fact that a lingering elbow issue has led to some subpar shooting by his standards.

Houston is also getting a career year out of Clint Capela, who inked a lucrative new contract to stick around over the summer. The big Switzerland native is averaging nearly 18 points along with 12 rebounds and just over 2 blocks a game thus far.

Capela will have his hands full tonight, as he’ll be tasked with defending arguably the best offensive big man in the game, Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns’ scoring numbers dipped last season when Butler joined the team, but one would imagine they’ll go back up now that he’s the unquestioned No. 1 option offensively.

KAT is going for 20.3 points and better than 12 rebounds per game on the season, but he’s been upping his scoring average steadily in the weeks since Butler’s departure.

A lot of Minnesota’s offense also runs through the rejuvenated Derrick Rose. Rose still isn’t back to being the MVP-caliber player he was during his heyday with the Bulls, but he’s put himself squarely into the Sixth Man of the Year conversation so far by averaging nearly 20 points per game off of the Wolves’ bench.

I know the Rockets have endured their fair share of troubles so far this season, but they have looked like a well-oiled machine with Paul and Harden in the lineup. The Timberwolves may have more on-paper talent than Houston, but the Wolves certainly didn’t show us last year that they’re capable of getting good results in this matchup.

The Rockets’ guards routinely sliced their way through a middling Minnesota defense last season, and the Timberwolves haven’t exactly solved their woes on that end of the floor. The Wolves have allowed 107.3 points per 100 possessions so far this season, which is just the 18th-best defense in the league.

I like Houston here. You can get the Rockets as 2 point favorites over at SportsBetting.ag, which is a bet I would happily take. The Rockets seem to have hit their stride while the Wolves are still working through some of the kinks. I don’t hate the value that comes with betting the over on 221 points (-110), but the safer play seems to be just to take Houston to cover the spread, which looks too small. Give me the Rockets -2 in this one.

Pick: Rockets -2
-107

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