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Timberwolves vs. Suns Free NBA Pick (Jan. 16)

NBA Friday – Suns take on red hot T-Wolves

BetUS NBA Basketball Betting Odds: PHOENIX -8, Total 214.5

Here are some of the NBA pro basketball sports betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* MINN has won five of its last six games SU
* MINN is 6-1-1 ATS in its last eight games   * MINN has played eight of its last ten games OVER the total
* MINN has lost eight of its last 11 road games SU
* MINN has covered seven of its last eight road games
* PHX has won six of its last eight games SU
* PHX has covered three of its last ten games
* PHX has won eight of its last ten home games SU
* PHX has covered one of its last five home games
* PHX has played five of its last seven home games UNDER the total

Also….

* PHX has won and covered five of the last seven meetings SU
* Six of the last nine meetings have gone OVER the total
* PHX has won the last five meetings SU as the home team
* PHX has covered the last four meetings as the home team
* PHX has had the shooting edge in each of the last seven meetings
* MINN has had the rebounding edge in seven of the last eight meetings * PHX has made more three-pointers in seven of the last eight meetings

Shaquille O’Neal sat out last night’s game against Denver, where Phoenix lost to the Nuggets in overtime. That’s significant to the Suns because it will make him available for this game. O’Neal has, for the most part, been withheld from the lineup in back-to-back situations, either on the front or back end. here, it’s the front end. Last night the Suns had three players with 20 or more points, including Grant Hill, who had 25. Robin Lopez started in Shaq’s place and had four points with two rebounds. O’Neal is an improvement, obviously, shooting 59% and averaging almost 18 points in 30 minutes.

With or without Shaq, this is a bad scheduling situation for Phoenix. Last night’s contest, in the altitude of Denver, went into the extra period, and now they turn around and face a team that has been going through its best stretch of the season, all of a sudden. The T-Wolves actually had a five-game winning streak until the Heat came to the Target Center and scored a 99-96 win on Tuesday. With two days off, Minnesota is refreshed. Randy Foye has become a key element to this “success,” averaging 23 points in the last five, and giving Minnesota a legitimate companion to Al Jefferson (22.2 ppg, 10.4 rpg) as a go-to scorer.

Minnesota is now 8-1-1 ATS in its last ten games, and Foye has noticed the difference between the style of McHale and that of former coach Randy Wittman: “The biggest difference to me is right now we’re just playing,” he told the St. Paul Pioneer-Press. “We’re not worried about mistakes. We’re not worrying about anything. We’re just focused on playing basketball and trying to win the game, and that’s it.” Since McHale took the reins, Foye has hit almost 42% from three-point range.

Meanwhile, the Suns have covered three of their last nine games at the US Airways Center. There is no guarantee Shaq won’t have quite a bit of difficulty dealing with Jefferson, who had 28 points and 17 rebounds in the previous meeting, a 110-102 Phoenix win on November 26. We’ll take the points with the Wolves, the eight-point underdog in the BetUS NBA betting odds.

Our PLAY: MINNESOTA +8 **

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