By: Trent Pruitt
Even amongst the Herculean efforts of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, the TWolves find themselves on an eight-game losing streak and it doesn’t get any easier Saturday evening where they’ll host the surging Thunder. OKC enters on the back end of a back-to-back in which they dropped 140 on the Hawks last night.
Spread: OKC -1
Money Line: OKC -115, MIN +105
Over/Under: 225.5 (-110)
Tip: 7:00 CST, Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder are 12-4 over their last 16 games and currently reside in the 7th spot in the Western Conference. To be honest, I texted my buddy who’s a fan at the beginning of the year and predicted them to finish the year in 11th in the WC so they’re certainly exceeding my expectations. Starting with individual efforts, OKC is led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who is scoring 19.8 ppg while grabbing 6.0 boards per game with 3.1 assists. Shai put up 24 last night against Atlanta, shooting 7-16 from the field and hitting 10 of 13 free throws. As a squad, they’re dead middle in scoring, putting up 111 points per contest while shooting 47.2% from the field (5th).
Oh boy, Minnesota. I faded them last Saturday on Brunch, Bets, & the Boys when they played the Raptors and once again throughout the week. Point being, I saw this losing streak coming from a mile away. Minnesota’s bench and role players are just terrible. Like I said in the intro, KAT and Wiggins are ballin but everyone else is brutal. Other than those two, Minny only has one player averaging double-digit points that have played at least 15 games. Jarrett Culver is decent as a rookie out of Texas Tech but he’s only shooting 39.2%. It’s a down year for the TWolves and it’s no surprise why Jimmy Butler wanted to get the hell out of there.
Analysis & Prediction
It’s hard not to ride the hot hand here that is the Oklahoma City Thunder. So… I’m going to take the Thunder tonight -1 for a one-unit wager. They’ve been a sports betting anomaly this season, covering the spread in 31 out of 46 games (67.4%) and 17 out of 22 games on the road (77.3%). Not to mention, they are riding a 7-0 ATS streak on 0 days rest (back-to-backs). Play the trends, folks and don’t overthink it.
If you have been following my plays over the last two weeks, I’ve told you I’m testing a system that grades teams based on their performance ATS. Blah, Blah, Blah – long story short, Thursday night featured the second-highest differential in “scores” per teams that had the Mavs graded at 60.1 and Blazers at 32.8, a difference of 27.3. This was a winner as Dallas won by 8 with a spread of -2.5. About a week and a half ago I had the highest differential in numbers when the Heat scored 31.3 points higher than the Spurs and covered by as -5 point favorites by a score of 106-100. Now that we have some context, tonight’s OKC calculation comes out to 73.0 with Minny coming in at 35.4. That’s a difference of 37.6 and the highest separation I’ve recorded. So like I always say, there is no such thing as a lock in sports betting but the algorithm is damn confident. Let’s make some money this weekend!
Trent’s Record on NBA Picks in ‘19-’20
7-3 (+3.43 units). A $100 bettor is up $343.
For more sports talk, follow me on Twitter – @the_real_pruitt