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NBA preview and tips: Philadelphia 76ers at Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves (34-32) host the Philadelphia 76ers (42-22) in what promises to be another intriguing NBA encounter at Target Center.

While the Wolves have just had two days to rest up, Philly flew in from Indiana overnight, where they won an insane 147-143 shootout. 

On a personal level, I successfully backed Indiana plus the points in that game, and I won't hesitate to go back to opposing the 76ers here. It was a real end-to-end contest and that's been a common theme in Philly games of late.

On Sunday, they beat the Bucks 133-130 just two days after going down 133-126 to the Mavericks. 

This is their fifth straight road game and all in the space of a week for Philadelphia. After this, they get to head home and rest for a few days, and I think they need it.
The spread opened at 76ers -2.5, with the total set at 236.5, but I'm prepared to push the line a little higher than that.

While they've continued to pick up some wins along the way, defensively they've been a world away from what we have become used to. 

It's been a tough schedule and they've had to rely on their scorers to do just that, with James Harden and Joel Embiid playing extended minutes above their season average.

It remains to be seen if this is a game too far, but it feels like one of their toughest assignments of this road trip. 

Minnesota are just going about their business lately, picking up wins and playing well, and they just wrapped up a tricky road trip themselves in which they saw off the Sacramento Kings, as well as beating the Clippers and the Lakers in Los Angeles.
They covered the spread in all three and managed to shoot 60% in their last win against the Kings. Equally, the 76ers shot 58% in their win last night.
So, would you expect some regression here? Naturally, yes. But we have to remember the 76ers are a tired team that is relying on their extremely dangerous offence right now, so I think the circumstances are unique.
Sacramento have put up between 110-138 in their last five wins and average 117 points per game (ppg) here at home. However, they also give up 115ppg.

Going back to the fact I see no reason for the 76ers to try and make this game about defence, ballpark 230 feels an achievable number on an average day. 

I don't think a total of 236 accounts for the circumstances well enough, and we've seen much, much higher totals in the NBA this season.

The Over is 6-2 when the Timberwolves are playing on two days of rest, and 4-0 in their last four against teams winning above .600% of their games. 

In terms of numbers, just about everywhere you look points to Over for Philly, but there are still some trends of real note.

The Over is 7-0 after the 76ers allowed 125+ points in their previous game, and is also 27-12 when Philly are a road favourite.

From an ATS (across the spread) point of view, Philly are also just 2-6 ATS after allowing 125+ points in the previous game, and Minnesota are a solid 12-4 ATS against winning teams, and 7-2 ATS against teams winning above .600% of games.

There are some off-putting trends. For example, Minnesota being 1-4 ATS in their last five games at home on the back of a five-game road trip. 

But…they haven't had a road trip this successful, and they haven't had a tired team on a back-to-back on any of those previous occasions.

Suggested bets

Over 237.5
Minnesota Timberwolves +2.5

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