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Houston Ready to Create More Problems for Minnesota

Minnesota vs Houston Betting Odds

Fresh off laying an egg in Russell Westbrook's return to Oklahoma City, the Houston Rockets are primed for a bounceback – and they couldn't have asked for a more favorable situation as they host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday. Minnesota has lost 12 consecutive trips to the Toyota Center, with its last win in Houston coming way back in February of 2012.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Houston Rockets

Opening Odds Analysis

The Rockets opened as a double-digit favorite, but have failed to cover five straight games when favored by 10+ points. The total kicked off at 231.5.

Minnesota Timberwolves News & Notes

The Timberwolves have done well to rebound from a truly dismal stretch – having gone 5-3 SU and 6-2 ATS over their previous eight games – but that 11-game losing skid leading into Minnesota's short holiday break might just have torpedoed its playoff chances. And things don't get any easier, with the Wolves' next six games coming vs. teams at least six games above .500.

That said, the Timberwolves have made tremendous progress on the defensive end since putting together that double-digit losing streak. Minnesota enters the weekend having held six of its previous eight opponents to 106 or fewer points – a big step forward for a team that is allowing more than 114 points per game for the season (fifth-most in the Western Conference)

Houston Rockets News & Notes

Fans at Chesapeake Energy Arena were treated to a less-than-vintage Westbrook performance Thursday; the talented guard, who spent his first 11 seasons with the Seattle/OKC franchise, had 34 points but added just five assists and two rebounds. The boards total matched a season-low for Westbrook, who averaged a triple-double in each of his last three seasons with the Thunder.

Even more alarming for Rockets fans was James Harden's complete no-show. The league scoring leader was held to a season-low 17 points in the one-sided loss, marking just the second time all season he has been held below 20 points. But you can count on an emphatic bounce-back from Harden, who is averaging an incredible 43.0 points on Saturday's this season.

Betting Pick: Houston -11

That stinker in Oklahoma won't sit well with the Rockets, who have made life miserable for Minnesota over the past eight years and should continue to do so this weekend.

Shark Bites
  • Minnesota is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games.
  • Houston is 15-0 SU in its last 15 home games vs. Minnesota.
  • The UNDER is 9-3 in Minnesota's last 12 games.