T-Wolves vs. Rockets Game 1 Prediction
For all intents and purposes, the Minnesota Timberwolves have already won their first playoff game of 2018, winning an essential play-in game over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night. Can the T-Wolves pull off a big upset tonight in Game 1 of the Conference Quarterfinals or will the Houston Rockets roll?
515 Minnesota Timberwolves at 516 Houston Rockets
Sunday, April 15, 2018
TV: TNT, 9:00 p.m. ET
Public Betting Information
According to oddsmakers from online sportsbook YouWager, the Rockets are 11-point home favorites to beat the Timberwolves while the over/under sits at 216.5 points. As of this writing, 59% of the betting tickets wagered at online sportsbooks are on the Rockets to cover the spread. Meanwhile, 80% of the betting tickets are on the over.
Jimmy Butler coming off excellent performance in win over Nuggets
Jimmy Butler helped the Wolves get to the playoffs with 31 points during a 112-106 overtime win against the Nuggets on Wednesday, adding five rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer.
The 13-year streak of not making the playoffs is finally over as the Wolves were able to get in the playoffs in thrilling fashion. This game was the first time since 1997 that two teams were playing in a season finale that would put one team in the playoffs and send the other team home, and it's only the fifth time ever. As for Jimmy, his minutes were slightly dialed back in the first quarter, but that changed as the game went on.
Rockets likely to be without Ryan Anderson for Game 1
Coach Mike D'Antoni said that he doesn't think Ryan Anderson (ankle) is "quite ready" for Sunday's Game 1 vs. the Timberwolves. D'Antoni told reporters that Anderson was able to do some on-court work in practice on Friday and that he will be dressed on Sunday, but that Rockets would be "cautious." Encouragingly, D'Antoni said he believed Anderson be ready "soon after" Game 1.
Anderson has been sidelined since initially injuring his ankle back on April 3rd, which cost him the final four games of the regular season. Luc Mbah a Moute (shoulder) has already been ruled out of Game 1 and is expected to miss the entire first-round series, which means the Rockets will have limited depth up front on Sunday. Expect P.J. Tucker, Gerald Green and Joe Johnson to soak up additional minutes.
The Timberwolves are winless at the betting window in their last four games against the Rockets but have covered the spread in five of their last seven games in Houston.
The favorite is a perfect 4-0 against the spread in the last four meetings between these two teams.
This game should be high-scoring throughout. The over is 14-3 in the last 17 meetings between these two teams and is 7-2 in the last nine meetings in Houston. The over is also 5-2 in the Rockets' last seven games versus an opponent with a winning record and has cashed in five of Houston's last six games coming off a loss of more than 10 points.
NBA Prediction: Timberwolves/Rockets over 216.5