Miami Heat at Minnesota Timberwolves – Target Centre at 01:00
Thursday night / Friday morning 1am UK time, sees the Miami Heat (2-2, 40/1 for Championship) travel to Minnesota to face the Timberwolves (2-1, 500/1 for Championship) in a fixture where both teams face challenges for widely varying reasons.
The Timberwolves have had to deal with the tragic death of Head Coach Flip Saunders last week after a period of illness with Hodgkins Lymphoma. Monday night saw their first home game since the passing. In a emotionally charged evening, the weeks events clearly took its toll on the squad resulting in a 106-101 defeat to the Trail Blazers.
Wolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns was quoted “I was crying the whole pregame. I was emotionally drained coming out. I just tried to use my energy in a good way.”
It showed on Monday night as a clearly disruptive prep had an adverse effect, with shooting percentages way down on their previous two victories. If any team can be thankful of a 3 day gap to regroup and recover, it’s the Timberwolves.
The Miami Heat come into the match with two issues of a very different kind.
Heat guard Gerald Green was taken into hospital on Wednesday night with ‘an illness’ with no further explanation offered by the organisation. The Twitter rumour mill is in overdrive but all that counts for purposes on a betting perspective is that he will not be available on Thursday night.
Just as concerning for the Heat is the reoccurrence of migraine issues for star Guard Dwayne Wade. Wade was unable to complete the match against the Hawks on Tuesday night and although is scheduled to play against the Timberwolves, his effectiveness is in serious doubt.
During his previous blights of the condition, it has taken Wade between 1-2 weeks to regain full fitness. A 2 day gap is a massive issue.
Wether the Heat choose to rest Wade or give him court time, either way, it will have a big impact.
The Timberwolves are way stronger than their comically poor 2014-15 season which saw them go 16-66. First round pick Karl-Anthony Towns is already living up tot the hype with 28 points against the Nuggets last week to rack up their first back to back opening road wins in franchise history.
With 3 days rest to regroup for the T-Wolves, and the ongoing illness issues for the Heat, the home team should be favourites here. They’re not. Get on the Minnesota to get the job done on Thursday night and wake up to a winner on Friday morning.
Handicap Betting Recommendation: Minnesota Timberwolves +3.5 at 1.95
Prices correct at time of writing.
По @ ChrisOgle2.
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