Houston Rockets vs Minnesota Timberwolves

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The Houston Rockets will travel to the Target Center on Saturday night to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in a Western Conference matchup. This will be the second of three matchups this season as the Timberwolves won 107-101 yesterday. The Houston Rockets are 14th in the West with a 12-32 record while the Minnesota Timberwolves are 11-34 this season.

These teams are very similar on both sides of the floor so it will be interesting to see which team can go on a run in this game. Let’s take a deeper dive into the matchup to decide where we should be placing our wagers.

Young Players Need to Step Up

The Houston Rockets have been depending on small forward Jae’Sean Tate to carry the offensive load so far this season. He is averaging 10.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 steals in 28.2 minutes per game. He is continuing to improve his shooting as he is 52.1 percent from the floor, 32.7 percent from beyond the arc, and 69.9 percent from the charity stripe. In the game against the Timberwolves, Tate played 39 minutes and finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks, two steals, and a pair of turnovers before fouling out. Tate needs to score more if he wants to take that next step as a pro.

The Houston Rockets have been one of the worst defensive teams this season as they are the 23rd-ranked defense by giving up 113.6 points per game. In their last game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, they allowed 101 points on 37-of-87 (42.5 percent) from the floor, 17-of-44 (38.6 percent) from deep, and 13 free-throw attempts. They need to defend the three-point line better if they want to win here.

Young Players Need to Step Up

The Timberwolves have been depending on shooting guard Malik Beasley to carry the offensive load in the beginning stages of the season. He is averaging 20.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 0.8 steals in 33.1 minutes per game. He is continuing to improve his shooting as he is 45.5 percent from the floor, 40.6 percent from beyond the arc, and 84.7 percent from the charity stripe. In the game against the Bulls, Beasley played 37 minutes and finished with 25 points, two rebounds, an assist, and a pair of turnovers. Beasley needs to score more effectively as he did in this game if the Timberwolves want to win here.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been one of the worst defensive teams this season as they are the 28th-ranked defense by giving up 117.3 points per game. In their last game against the Houston Rockets, they allowed 107 points on 39-of-103 (37.9 percent) from the floor, 10-of-38 (26.3 percent) from deep, and 24 free-throw attempts. They need to limit the number of fouls they commit if they want to be competitive in this game.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Assist percentage is a good number to look at as a higher percentage equates to the ball going to the open man. The Rockets are ninth in the league with 61.9 percent while the Timberwolves are 23rd in the league with 57.9 percent of all field goals ending with an assist. Steal percentage is a huge number that is undervalued as steals lead to transition points and leaving zeros for your opponent. Minnesota is fourth in the NBA with 8.5 percent of defensive possessions ending in steals while Houston is 11th in the NBA with 7.8 percent of defensive possessions ending in a steal. Minnesota is the better team so go with them to cover the spread at home in this game.

Prediction:
Minnesota -5

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Looking at the pace so far this season is a way to tell as more possessions equals more points. The Rockets are fifth in the league with 101.1 possessions per 48 minutes while the Timberwolves are sixth in the league with 101.5 possessions per 48 minutes. These teams are also terrible defensively as they are both bottom-10 in the NBA. Houston is 23rd with 113.6 points per game allowed while Minnesota is 28th with 117.3 points per game. The over as hit in 20 in the last 29 games between these two teams so go with the OVER in this game as well.

Prediction:
Over