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NBA Preview: 19th January

IT’S a rare two-game slate in the NBA as we look to find a bit of value on the board for punters.

Here’s today’s best from our analyst:

Minnesota TimberWolves @ New York Knicks

The Minnesota TimberWolves head to Maddison Square Garden to take on the Knicks as they set out on another quick road trip.

Minnesota have gone 5-2 in their last seven games as they start to build some continuity & consistency with their lineups. During this run, they are second in offensive efficiency and own a +12.0 point differential.

New York has seen similar success over the past fortnight as they too try to find a groove to propel them back above .500 on the season. RJ Barrett has been the point of focus for the team of late, with his consistent scoring becoming a much needed boost for a team that can struggle at times to get baskets.

These teams met in Minnesota last month as the Knicks emerged fairly comfortable winners against a COVID depleted Wolves roster that was missing its entire starting five.

This however provides an intriguing matchup now that both sides are fully healthy. Both have been aggressive on the offensive glass of late, creating plenty of second chance opportunities for their respective offences to thrive. If either team is able to assert themselves on the glass they should give themselves the best chance in securing an outright win.

So far this season, the Knicks have lost all 10 of their games where opponents held a significant edge on the offensive glass.

Offensively, Minnesota takes a high percentage of their shots from beyond the arc and while they aren’t making them at a high rate; coupling this high volume three-point approach with elite offensive rebounding is a strategy that is paying off.

The Timberwolves also play at a high pace and look to push the ball in transition. They are second in the league for transition frequency off steals and convert their opportunities putting pressure on their opponents with easy transition buckets.  New York are in the bottom 10 for points allowed in this situations so it would come as no surprise to see Minnesota really push the pace in this game and force turnovers with active hands.

One of the biggest points of emphasis of late for New York has been the resurgence of their three-point shot. In their last four wins they’ve shot at over 42% from deep and now get to have a Minnesota team that is fifth in the league in three-point shots allowed per game; if they can find their range again here they’ll be able to generate plenty of good looks on a defence that doesn’t do a great job closing out and rotating on the perimeter.

This game figures to be a little more uptempo than the market is suggesting and I have this priced around 216.5 points, leaving us with some neat value on the full game Overs here as a result.

Our best bet: Over 214.5 points $1.90 at PlayUp


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