Two of the top teams in the Western Conference meet on Thursday night in Houston, as the Minnesota Timberwolves visit the Houston Rockets on TNT, with the home team favored in NBA games betting odds. The Timberwolves are 29-17 and in fourth place in the West, while the Rockets are 30-12 and in second place. The Rockets have survived recently without leading scorer James Harden in the lineup, but there is a chance he may return for this contest. Let’s look at the matchup and NBA picks.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Houston Rockets
Date and Time: Thursday, January 18, 2018, 9:30 p.m. ET
Location: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
NBA Betting Online Odds at SBG:
Timberwolves +5 (-110) 222½ (-110)
Rockets -5 (-110) 222½ (-110)
Timberwolves vs. Rockets TV Coverage: TNT
The Timberwolves are coming off a bad loss on Tuesday, as they lost 108-102 in Orlando. Jimmy Butler said his team needs to start showing some humility. “We need to humble our damn selves,” Butler told reporters after the game, “I’m glad we lost. Came in here on our high horse, thinking we’re a really good team, and we haven’t done anything yet. Good for us, man.” Minnesota had won 12 of their last 15 before that defeat. Minnesota dropped to 6-11 against teams from the East, while they are 23-6 against Western Conference foes.
Minnesota is 11-10-1 ATS on the road, with 11 games going over the NBA games betting odds and 11 going under. They are scoring just over 108 points per game and giving up about 105 per contest.
The Rockets could get Harden back on Thursday night. He has been out since late December with a hamstring injury. He is listed as questionable for this contest.
Rockets guard James Harden upgraded to questionable to play against the Timberwolves on Thursday. Nene, Zhou Qi, Troy Williams, too. Rockets 4-3 in games without Harden.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) January 16, 2018
If Harden doesn’t return on Thursday then he should be back for the big game on Saturday against Golden State. Harden is averaging just over 32 points per game this season. The Rockets have survived without him, as Chris Paul has picked up the slack, but Houston is still a better team with Harden on the floor.
Houston is 8-12-1 ATS at home, with 14 games going over and 7 going under. They are scoring about 115 points per game and giving up 107 per contest.
The Timberwolves are 4-0 against the sportsbook spread in the last 4 meetings against Houston. The Timberwolves are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. Western Conference. The Timberwolves are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 vs. the Southwest. The Timberwolves are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Rockets are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. the Northwest. The Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games.
The Under is 5-0 in the Timberwolves last 5 road games. The Over is 8-0 in the Rockets last 8 home games. The Over is 7-0 in the last 7 meetings in Houston.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Houston Rockets NBA Games Betting Odds Picks
I think this is a great spot for Minnesota, as they are coming off a loss, while the Rockets could be looking ahead to Saturday’s game vs. Golden State. I will take the Timberwolves plus the points in this contest.
NBA Betting Online Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves
NBA Betting Online Score Prediction: Timberwolves 119, Rockets 115