Timberwolves vs. Rockets: Game 2 Prediction, NBA Playoff Odds

Payton Matthews | Updated Apr 16, 2018

Utah Jazz v Minnesota Timberwolves

Andrew Wiggins and the Timberwolves put up a good fight, but fell short in Game 1. Minnesota opened as a big underdog for Wednesday's Game 2.

Minnesota
47-35
AT
April 18, 2018, 9:30 PM ET
Toyota Center
Houston
65-17
Pointspread +10.5 -110
Moneyline +500
Over / Under o +215.5

66%

Betting Action

34%

Pointspread -10.5 -110
Moneyline -680
Over / Under u +215.5

66%

Betting Action

34%

The favourites in the NBA’s eight playoff series went 6-2 straight up in the Game 1s. That includes the Western Conference top-seeded Houston Rockets beating the No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves. The two play in Game 2 of this NBA matchup in Houston on Wednesday night.

NBA Point Spread and Betting Analysis

Sometimes when a team takes its foot off the gas late in the regular season with nothing to play for and to coast into the playoffs, it can be a bit difficult to simply flip a switch and return to a high level of basketball immediately. The Houston Rockets, with the best record in the NBA, had easily handled the Minnesota Timberwolves in all four-regular-season meetings. However, the Wolves were much tougher in their Game 1 104-101 loss, easily covering an 11.5-point spread. One concern for Minnesota entering the postseason was that Coach Tom Thibodeau worked his guys so hard during the season, with stars Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns and Canadian Andrew Wiggins all ranking among the NBA leaders in minutes played per game. Plus, the Wolves played in a high-intensity inner-take-all game to close the regular season on Wednesday. Yet, the Game 1 upset was there for the tanking.

Houston remains No. 2 behind Golden State at +100 to win the West on the Sports Interaction futures as well as second on the NBA title odds at +137. Minnesota is +6600 and +15000, respectively.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Wiggins led the Timberwolves with 18 points in the opener and added six rebounds, but he largely disappeared late. Speaking of disappearing, Towns is a Top 10 talent in the NBA but attempted just nine shots to finish with eight points and was vastly outplayed by Houston centre Clint Capela. Towns was held to fewer than eight points only twice in the regular season, when he averaged 21.3 points per game. Expect a lot more of the Minnesota offence to run through Towns in Game 2. Butler, meanwhile, was held to 13 points and had to exert a lot of effort on defence chasing around James Harden. Minnesota had only 10 fast-break points while shooting 43.8 per cent from the field.

Houston Rockets

Houston shattered NBA records this season for 3-pointers attempted and made and is changing the way offence is played in the league. The team was rather fortunate to win Game 1 considering it shot just 10-for-37 from deep. Harden was spectacular with 44 points (one shy of playoff career high; he was 7-for-12 from deep – rest of team thus was 3-for-25) and eight assists, and Capela was a monster with 24 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. Chris Paul was so-so, and Houston really got little from anyone else. That might work against No. 8 Minnesota, but the Rockets won’t be beating Golden State without more contributions from others. Two players, Ryan Anderson (ankle) and Luc Mbah a Moute (shoulder), sat out Game 1. Mbah a Moute will miss at least this series. Anderson’s status is more day-to-day. The Rockets are now 43-3 this season when Capela, Harden and Paul all play in the same game.

Timberwolves vs. Rockets Prediction

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