Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Houston Rockets, 4-15-2018 – Expert Prediction
Game Snapshot with Current Line
Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 9:05pm
Image licensed from USA Today Sports
47 – 35
65 – 17
No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves (47-35) at No. 1 Houston Rockets (65-17)
When and Where: Sunday, April 15, Houston, Texas, 9:00 P.M. EST
The Minnesota Timberwolves will take a trip to Houston this Sunday to take on the NBA best Rockets in Game 1 of the opening round of the NBA Playoffs. The Timberwolves just squeaked into the playoffs and are on a three game winning streak. The Rockets earned the number one seed by seven games. They dropped their last game in a meaningless tilt with the Sacramento Kings.
Timberwolves make the playoffs for the first time in 14 years
The Minnesota Timberwolves have had an up and down season and just squeaked out a playoff birth for the first time in 14 years by defeating the k from injury. Butler averages a team-leading 22.2 points per game along with 4.9 assists. He has proven his ability to step up in crunch time, scoring 31 points in the all-important season finale against the Nuggets. He is the leader of an offense that scores an average of 109.5 points per game which is
igh draft picks that the Timberwolves received in the past are proving to pay off. After Butler, have been great this season, scoring 21.3 and 17.7 points per game apiece. Towns also averages 12.3 rebounds per game. He had 26 points and 14 rebounds against the Nuggets and was dominant in overtime. Despite their surging offense, the T-Wolves have just an average defense to go along with it. They allow 107.3 points per game which could be dangerous against the excellent offense of the Houston Rockets.
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Rockets come in as the NBA favorite
The Houston Rockets put together an incredible season as the only team in the NBA with over 60 wins. They finished seven games ahead of the second place Golden State Warriors. While most focus on their offense, the Rockets have a solid defense that allows 103.9 points per game for best in the NBA. When combined with their great offense that scores an average of 112.4 points, behind only the Warriors. This shows their dominance all season as they averaged an almost nine point margin of victory. This 8.5 margin is the largest average margin in the league.
The leader of the Houston Rockets offense is none other than He puts up an average of 30.4 points and 8.8 assists per game. He also averages 1.8 steals per game. James Harden will need to be dominant to get past this surging Wolves team but there is no reason to think he won’t be. Harden is complemented by who is finally healthy. Paul scores 18.6 points and adds 7.9 assists per game. Paul obviously has tons of experience and will not be intimidated as the favorite in the playoffs. He also shoots 91 percent from the free-throw line which could come in handy if this game is close to the spread.
- 4-0 ATS in last four Western Conference games
- 0-6 ATS in last six Western Conference games
The Houston Rockets are clearly the better team and James Harden will be determined to play big in the playoffs. The Timberwolves, however, are surging and look far better with Jimmy Butler back on the floor. Their young players are stepping up late in the season as well, making the line that is bouncing above and below 10 points seem a bit large. The Timberwolves will cover if they play to their fullest potential.