Youthful Timberwolves struggle to find wins on scoreboard in NBA
Daniel Coyle, American Sports Correspondent | January 12, 2016
Oklahoma City Thunder (-10.5) @ Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves continue the search for their first straight up win of 2016 on Tuesday, when they play hosts to Oklahoma City Thunder as 10.5-point home underdogs in NBA betting at Coral’s online sportsbook.
Led by 2015 rookie of the year Andrew Wiggins, and current sensation Karl-Anthony Towns, the T-Wolves opened the campaign on a solid 8-8 SU run, raising hopes among long suffering ball fans in the North Star State that the team had finally turned a corner after 10 straight losing seasons.
But the club has struggled enormously since the end of November, winning just four of 22, and one of their past 11 to tumble out of contention in the NBA’s Western Conference standings.
Point production has been an enormous problem for Minnesota, who have failed to crack the century mark since a 100-85 win in Brooklyn on December 20, averaging just 90.3 points in 11 games since.
That has translated into dismal results at the sportsbook, where the Timberwolves are winless in their past six against the spread, and 4-1 6-1 ATS in their past 21.
Thunder (8/1 with Coral to be NBA Championship winner) will be aiming to rebound from a stunning 115-110 loss in Portland on Sunday night, and extend their current win streak against Minnesota to eight games.
Favoured by 7.5 against the Trail Blazers, OKC looked poised to pick up the SU and ATS victory before getting rocked by Damian Lillard, whose five three-pointers in the final 3:07 sealed the win for Portland.
Oklahoma City is 1-1 SU on their current road trip, which ends in Minnesota, and 15-4 SU in their past 19, avoiding back-to-back defeats to move into third place in the West, while emerging as the Association’s second-highest scoring team, behind only Golden State.
Despite cracking 110 points in seven of their past 11, the Thunder have failed to live up to expectations, recording just three ATS wins during that stretch, and a disappointing 1-4 ATS record in their past five as double-digit favourites, but are a solid 4-1 ATS in their last five against Minnesota as 10+ point chalk.
San Antonio Spurs (-7.5) @ Detroit Pistons
Spurs (4/1 shouts for the NBA Championship) will look to stay perfect in 2016 when they battle the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night as 7.5-point road favourites in American basketball betting at Coral.
San Antonio have won eight straight since falling to rivals Houston Rockets on Christmas Day, covering in six of those contests, and are coming off a 106-79 demolition of the Nets on Tuesday, easily covering a 14.5-point spread.
Spurs have been a consistently strong bet this season, riding the NBA’s top-ranked defense to a league-leading 27-12 ATS record, 11-6 ATS on the road, and have failed to cover in back-to-back contests just once this season.
Pistons are on a tear of their own, winning three straight, SU and ATS, to grab a share of sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Detroit has also rewarded loyal sports bettors of late, covering in four of five, and are 9-3-2 ATS in their past 12, 5-1-1 ATS in their past seven at home, and have held opponents to 94 or fewer points in each of their past five, forcing the point total UNDER on four of those occasions.
Boston Celtics @ New York Knicks (-1.5)
In other NBA betting action at Coral on Tuesday, the Boston Celtics will look to halt their current three-game slide when they visit the New York Knicks as 1.5-point underdogs.
Boston has lost five of six SU to fall out of a playoff spot in the East, and have wasted fast starts in each of their past three contests, most recently blowing a 21-point third-quarter lead in a 101-98 loss to Memphis on Sunday night.
Knicks have won nine of their past 16 to surpass their win total for all of last season and move to within 1.5 games of eighth-place Orlando, but have lost four straight to Boston, and four of their last five home dates with the Celtics.
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