February 25th 2014 - Posted 05:00 PM Eastern Time
Last night's Dallas bet was another great example of a solid pick which should have covered but suddenly didn't in the very final minute of the 4th quarter!
Tonight's card is tough and while we have some leans, there is only one team worth wagering on in our opinion.
Take Phoenix Suns at -3.5 spread against Minnesota Timberwolves risking 2%
This is an interesting matchup as both of these teams have won three of their last four games and are looking to make a late push to improve their overall records and secure their spots in the playoffs. This might prove to be easier for the Suns than for the Timberwolves however. Injuries have long been the story for Minnesota, even dating back to last season. They have rarely been given an opportunity to play with a fully healthy roster and at present, they're still not running at 100%. Injuries to Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic have recently hurt the Timberwolves and with them being one of the teams on the "bubble" at the moment when it comes to the playoffs, it may just be a little too late for them to make a push as they find themselves below .500 and on the outside looking in.
Minnesota comes into this game after blowing a sure win against the Portland Trailblazers. In a game they led by 18, the Timberwolves saw their lead vanish and became victims of a double digit loss. Kevin Love has taken it upon himself to be the star and carry the team, but even in his case, we have seen him try to do "too much" at times. Love is a great athlete but he can't do it all on his own. After the Portland game, even he admitted how demoralizing this defeat is. We wouldn't be surprised to see the Wolves come out in this game just a bit flat given the extreme letdown of the Portland game. While the Timberwolves offense has been solid this season, their defense has left a lot to be desired and will struggle to contain a Suns team that has scored just under 110 since January 15th ranking second behind only the Clippers in that span! The Wolves have had trouble defending the perimeter all season long and teams who have been able to shoot the 3 ball well have been able to take advantage of that. The Suns are actually one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the league, currently connecting on close to 38% from downtown at home!
Their shooting abilities from beyond the arc and the fact that the T-Wolves have a hard time defending it should be the difference-maker tonight.
The Suns are 10-1 ATS against Northwest opponents this season and are currently two games ahead of the Grizzlies for the final spot in the Western conference. They are in no position to fool around. The Grizzlies have gotten healthy over the last couple of weeks and are positioned to make a late surge for the playoffs this season. The Suns cannot afford to get complacent otherwise they may miss out on the playoffs in the ultra competitive Western conference. These are exactly the type of games that the Suns need to win with their opponents at less than 100%. The Suns have played as underdogs all season long and we have seen them embrace that role and play with a chip on their shoulder. They put up a solid effort against an extremely tough and high scoring Houston Rockets team their last time out, but managed to dispatch and not only win but blowout the San Antonio Spurs in their previous home game. Their defense had held opponents to 37% shooting recently until the game against Houston. Look for them to bounce back with a much better performance tonight and further dent any playoff aspirations the T-Wolves may still have.
Minnesota hasn't done well on the road all season and has dropped 4 of their last 5 games on the highway. Their only win during that period was against the last place Utah Jazz. Minnesota is one of the worst defensive teams in the league and allow opponents to score an astonishing 104 points per game on 48% shooting when they are on the road! Phoenix scored 104 points against Minnesota in their 1 point win against the Wolves back on Jan 8th in a game where both Martin and Pekovic were in the lineup, they should have similar if not more success tonight at home.
At this point in the season, the Suns are simply the more healthy and cohesive team in this matchup. They have shown their ability to beat anyone on their home court on any given night. The Suns have a stretch of very winnable games over the next week but their schedule gets progressively harder with games against Golden St, OKC and the Clippers coming up in the first week of March! In order to keep their playoff hopes alive and to keep a lead on Memphis, tonight's match up is the type of game that Pheonix needs to win. At this short line, the Suns should get the win and cover.
Other notable facts to consider:
- Suns are 15-4 ATS after allowing 105 or more points in their last game!
- T-Wolves are just 3-17 as an underdog this season!
- Phoenix is 29-12 ATS versus teams who attempt 18 or more 3 point shots/game on the season this season.
- T-Wolves are a terrible 0-9 ATS since Mar 24, 2006 as an underdog following a loss in which they led by 15+ points on the road!
- Rick Adelman's team is just 1-12 ATS when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 60% to 70%) in the 2nd half of the season as Minnesota coach!
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