Feb 2 NBA Action: Nuggets @ Timberwolves
Photo credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Nuggets @ Timberwolves PICK
Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
February 2, 2019, 6:00PM PDT
Our sim work favors the home team to secure the win this evening. Accordingly, we are backing the Wolves (we got PICK, but are OK with -1).
Both rosters are facing personnel availability issues, which always makes handicapping a bit tricky (euphemistically, that is). Most notably, per Rotoworld.com, the Nuggets will be without starting point guard, Jamal Murray, and shooting guard, Gary Harris, while Jeff Teague, the Wolves' primary floor general, has also been ruled out of tonight's proceedings.
Nonetheless, we perceive this to be a good spot for the home team, as, in addition to the indications from our computer simulation routines, we note that, teams on the road after winning their last five SU have struggled historically, amassing an ATS record of 151-180-5 since 2005. This system is 10-6 ATS so far this season.
Also, the aforementioned uncertainty regarding has resulted in a significant line movement since the open. SportsInsights reports that Bookmaker.eu opened this contest at Nuggets -1, but the current line is set at +1.5. We leveraged the BetLabsSports database to examine ATS outcomes in instances when teams flip from short dogs to short favs, as Minnesota has for tonight's action.
We found that since 2005, teams that opened as 1-2 points underdogs but closed laying 1-2 points are an uninformative 50-51-3 ATS in aggregate. However, this flat performance has been anything but consistent over the years. Specifically, from 2005-2012 such teams are 18-30-3 ATS (38%), but are 32-21 ATS (60%) since, including a 3-0 run this so far this year. Given the momentum this system as demonstrated in recent years, we regard this signal as another modest support for the Timberwolves win/cover.
Bottom line: The combination of our sim work, plus the favorable betting trends we identified leave us comfortable laying the short chalk and siding with Minnesota at home, facing a depleted Nuggets team.