NBA, College Basketball Betting Odds February 2

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
NBA, College Basketball Betting Odds February 2

Carrie Stroup here with a look at two NBA games this evening and a College Basketball game for all your wagering needs.


Minnesota -5, Total: 204.5

The Lakers will be looking to avoid an 11th consecutive loss when they host the Timberwolves on Tuesday.

Both the Timberwolves and the Lakers are struggling mightily entering Tuesday’s meeting. Minnesota is coming off of a 96-93 loss in Portland on Sunday and the team has now lost four straight games. The Timberwolves have been lousy defensively, allowing their opponents to shoot 50% or better from the field in three of the past four games and they will need to be a lot better moving forward.

The Lakers, meanwhile, have now lost 10 straight games and this team has been a disaster on both ends of the floor. Los Angeles has scored over 100 points in just one of the past 10 games and its opponents have scored over 100 points in all but one of those contests.

These two teams have met twice this season and the Timberwolves have won both meetings SU. They even won 112-111 as three-point underdogs at Staples Center on Oct. 28.

One trend favoring Minnesota in this one is the fact that the team is 10-2 ATS in road games after playing two consecutive games as an underdog this season. The Lakers, however, are 9-1 ATS after a game with five or less offensive rebounds over the past two seasons.

Both C Nikola Pekovic (Foot) and SG Kevin Martin (Wrist) are expected to miss this game for the Timberwolves and SG Kobe Bryant (Shoulder) is questionable for Los Angeles.

The Timberwolves have a ton of young talent, but they just have not been able to put it all together. They do have a chance to get back into the win column on Tuesday, though. This Lakers team is extremely beatable and has not had a match for C Karl-Anthony Towns (16.6 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 1.8 BPG) on the year. In two meetings with Los Angeles, Towns is averaging 20.0 PPG and 13.0 RPG on 58.6% shooting from the field. He has also been on fire recently, averaging 26.5 PPG and 12.5 RPG over the past two games. He should be able to dominate on Tuesday, especially considering he’ll get a bump in minutes with some of the Timberwolves’ big men out with injury.

One guy that will need to be much better for this Minnesota team is SF Andrew Wiggins (20.4 PPG). Wiggins has been a disaster over the past two games, averaging just 10.0 PPG on 5-for-29 shooting from the field. If Wiggins does not start playing better then the Timberwolves will be destined for another pick at the top of the draft, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He should, however, get back on track against the Lakers.

The Lakers are one of the worst teams in the league on both ends of the floor, but they will need to dig deep and end their losing streak at Staples Center on Tuesday. One guy the Lakers will be riding in this game is PF Julius Randle (10.9 PPG, 9.7 RPG).

Randle has been playing some of the best basketball of his career these past few weeks, averaging 14.8 PPG and 10.6 RPG on 50.9% shooting from the field over the past five games. Randle has been aggressive going to the rim and will need to continue to take good shots the rest of the season.

SG Kobe Bryant (15.9 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.0 SPG) played very well in a loss to the Hornets on Sunday, finishing with 23 points, eight boards, three assists and two steals in 23 minutes of action. He would provide a major spark for the Lakers if he can suit up for the team on Tuesday.

One guy that must step it up on Tuesday is C Roy Hibbert (6.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.7 BPG). Hibbert is averaging 10.0 PPG, 8.5 RPG and 1.5 BPG in two meetings with Minnesota this season. He’ll be asked to guard Towns for a large majority of this one and must hold his own if the Lakers are going to win.


Houston -4, Total: 209

Dwyane Wade and the Heat will be going for their fifth straight factory when the team faces the Rockets in Houston on Tuesday.

Miami has been playing extremely well and most recently defeated Atlanta 105-87 as a three-point home favorite. The Heat have won-and-covered in four straight contests and the team has been good on both ends of the floor, shooting 45% or better from the field in four straight games and holding opponents to less than 40% shooting in two of those games. The Heat will, however, need to show that they can get the job done consistently. They have been far too streaky this year and if they can’t right the ship then they likely won’t be playing with home court advantage in the postseason.

On the other side of things tonight, the Rockets have been playing poorly over the past week. This team is coming off of a 123-122 home loss against the Wizards as a four-point favorite and have now lost three straight games. Houston will be hungry to come out and get a win in this one, but the team did lose 109-89 as a four-point road underdog versus Miami on Nov. 1.

It hasn’t all been bad for the Rockets in this series, though. Houston is 3-2 both SU and ATS versus Miami over the past three seasons and that includes two win-and-covers at the Toyota Center. Both of those games in Houston went Under the total and four of the five games played between these teams in the past three seasons went Under as well.

One trend that is worth noting in this one is the fact that the Rockets are a miserable 1-8 ATS off an upset loss as a home favorite this season. C Hassan Whiteside (Oblique) is listed as doubtful for Miami in this one. C Dwight Howard (Suspension) is out for Houston.

Miami had been struggling in the month of January and SG Dwyane Wade (18.7 PPG, 4.8 APG, 4.1 RPG, 1.0 SPG) took it upon himself to get his team back on track. The Heat have rattled off four straight victories and Wade is averaging 24.0 PPG, 7.0 APG, 2.0 SPG and 1.8 BPG over the course of the winning streak. He is being aggressive going to the basket and that is allowing him to finish at the rim or kick the ball out to open shooters. It also helps that he has been locked in defensively, as he’ll need to do a good job of containing James Harden on Tuesday.

PF Chris Bosh (19.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG) will likely see some time at the center position with Whiteside out for Miami. Bosh has also been playing well for the Heat recently, averaging 21.8 PPG and 6.4 RPG over the past five contests. Bosh will need to knock down some outside shots for floor spacing purposes offensively and defensively he should be dominant with Howard out.

PG Goran Dragic (12.2 PPG, 5.1 APG, 1.0 SPG) could provide a major spark for Miami in this game. Dragic used to play for the Rockets, so he should be more than comfortable playing in this building. He will need to push the pace and get some easy buckets in transition for the Heat.

The Rockets have lost three straight games and will be playing like a desperate team when they host the Heat on Tuesday. One guy that they can count on to play well is SG James Harden (27.9 PPG, 7.0 APG, 6.3 RPG, 1.5 SPG). The superstar was on fire in a loss to Washington on Saturday, finishing with 40 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and four steals in 37 minutes. Harden went 12-for-20 from the field and 6-for-9 from the outside in that game and is shooting 44.1% from three over the past five contests. If he can stay hot then it will be a huge boost for his team against a sizzling Heat squad.

One guy that will be counted on with Howard suspended is PF Josh Smith (6.2 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 1.1 BPG). Smith has seen plenty of minutes with the Rockets and he is averaging 10.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG and 2.0 APG over the past five contests. Houston will play a lot of small ball with Smith at the five and it’s difficult to imagine the Rockets winning if he does not play extremely well on both ends of the floor.

INDIANA HOOSIERS (18-4, 8-1 Big 10) at MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (17-5, 7-2 Big 10)

Michigan -2.5, Total: 148

Two of the top-four teams in the Big Ten standings will collide on Tuesday night when No. 22 Indiana visits Michigan.

The Hoosiers (11-11 ATS overall) have won 13 of their past 14 games with the lone loss coming one week ago at Wisconsin; dropping the team to 2-7 ATS away from home this season.

The Wolverines are also red-hot with four straight SU wins, but are 1-4 ATS in the past five contests since upsetting Maryland (currently ranked No. 4 in nation) on Jan. 12. However, they are a near-perfect 11-1 SU at Crisler Center this season with a strong 6-4 ATS record at home.

These schools met only once last season, a 70-67 Indiana home win where both teams shot at least 49% FG, 41% threes and 75% FT. The last meeting in Ann Arbor on March 8, 2014 was also close, as Michigan prevailed 84-80. That was the only time in the past five meetings where the Hoosiers have lost.

There are plenty of reasons for bettors to take either side on Tuesday, as Indiana is 14-3 ATS versus very good teams (8+ PPG margin) after 15+ games in the past three seasons, while its opponent is just 3-12 ATS in this same three-year span versus dominant rebounding clubs (7+ RPG margin).

On the other hand, the Wolverines are 8-1 ATS versus great offensive teams (77+ PPG) in the past three seasons, and 34-16 ATS versus good three-point shooting teams (37%+ threes) under head coach John Beilein.

Indiana can put up points in bunches with 85.2 PPG (6th in D-I) on 51.7% FG (2nd in nation) and 43.2% threes (3rd in D-I). The team makes 10.0 threes per game this season (11th in nation) and shoots a solid 71.8% FT (94th in D-I). The Hoosiers are an excellent rebounding team as well with a +8.2 RPG margin (19th in nation), but they commit way too many turnovers (14.6 TOPG, 311th in D-I). But the defense has been able to force nearly that many miscues (14.2 TOPG, best in Big Ten) by racking up 7.4 steals per game (also tops in Big Ten).

Despite a strong 4.3 blocks per game (87th in D-I), opponents are still scoring 68.5 PPG (109th in nation) on 43.4% FG (186th in D-I) and 33.3% threes (122nd in nation).

PG Yogi Ferrell (17.5 PPG, 5.7 APG, 4.3 RPG, 1.2 SPG) is clearly the engine of this offense with a sparkling 2.1 Ast/TO ratio in his nearly 34 minutes per game. Ferrell has been on fire in Big Ten play with 19.3 PPG and 55% threes, and had a well-rounded 18 points, six assists and four rebounds in the win versus Michigan last season.

Another Hoosiers player that has really stepped up recently is freshman C Thomas Bryant (12.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.2 BPG), who leads the nation with a 73% FG clip (107-for-147). In Saturday's win over Minnesota, Bryant poured in a career-high 23 points on 11-of-13 shooting, while adding eight boards.

Two other Indiana players are also averaging double-figure scoring this season, injured G James Blackmon Jr. (15.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG) and junior F Troy Williams (13.1 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.2 SPG). Williams has put up 14.5 PPG in the past four games and was the star of the matchup with the Wolverines last year when he dropped 20 points (6-of-9 FG, 8-for-8 FT) with eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Like Indiana, Michigan also knows how to light up the scoreboard with 77.4 PPG (93rd in nation) on a blistering 48.6% FG (17th in D-I) and 41.2% threes (8th in nation). These numbers climb to 79.9 PPG, 50.3% FG and 42.9% threes at home. The Wolverines love shooting from long range with 10.6 made threes per game (6th in D-I), and also know how to protect the basketball with a mere 9.8 turnovers per game (6th in nation) and a stellar 1.63 Ast/TO ratio (also 6th in D-I).

The defense is also top-notch, holding opponents to 64.4 PPG despite allowing a pedestrian 42.4% FG (129th in nation) and 33.5% threes (133rd in D-I). During the club's four-game win streak, opponents have made only 26% threes. Michigan doesn't record many steals (5.7 SPG, 232nd in nation) or blocks (2.5 BPG, 285th in D-I), but it also plays clean with a paltry 15.5 personal fouls per game (5th-fewest in nation). Rebounding could be a problem on Tuesday though, as the Wolverines hold a slim +1.2 RPG margin (160th in D-I).

With leading scorer, G Caris LeVert (17.6 PPG), still out with a leg injury, three players have picked up the slack in replacing LeVert's points.

Sophomore G Duncan Robinson (12.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG) is shooting an impressive 50% threes (72-of-145), 49% FG and 96% FT (26-of-27) this season, and has scored at least eight points in 18 straight games.

Junior G Derrick Walton Jr. (11.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.5 SPG) is shooting a career-best 45% threes and has been outstanding over the past five contests with 16.8 PPG, 7.0 RPG and 4.8 APG. He produced 13 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and three steals in Saturday's win over Penn State.

Junior F/G Zak Irvin (10.6 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.4 APG) has also been red-hot with 14.7 PPG over the past six games, including 20 points on Saturday. In last year's loss to Indiana, in which both LeVert and Walton didn't play because of injuries, Irvin kept his team in the game with 23 points (9-of-16 FG) and three steals.

- Carrie Stroup, Senior Reporter

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