Apr 11, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler (23) reacts to a call in the fourth quarter against Denver Nuggets at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
- The Timberwolves have been dealing with a lot of drama lately thanks to Jimmy Butler's behavior and trade demands.
- Public bettors are shying away from Minnesota tonight in its opener in San Antonio (8:30 p.m. ET).
- Historically, the public has done very poorly in the first few games of the season, so it may not be all doom and gloom for Minnesota.
The NBA is an interesting league that oftentimes epitomizes the teenage angst of a high school clique more so than a collection of grown men playing basketball.
The most recent dose of drama has been up in Minnesota, where Jimmy Butler is throwing fits in practice, among other outbursts.
Butler wants out of Minnesota, but he’s going to have to play there for the time being. It must be tough playing basketball for millions of dollars each year …
This turmoil is causing many bettors to look upon the Timberwolves with pessimism. Their win total under is one of the most popular win total bets, and that same mindset is leaking over to Minnesota’s season opener in San Antonio.
So far, just 27% of spread bets are on Minnesota, which opened between +1 and +2.5 around the market. The line is now +2.5 at most books.
>> All odds as of 9:30 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets
So is this an easy W for the Spurs?
Using Sports Insights’ Bet Labs software, I analyzed how teams have performed against-the-spread (ATS) historically in lopsided season openers.
Let’s just say the public has been very wrong.
- Teams with at least 65% of bets: 23-35-2 ATS
- Teams with at least 70% of bets: 10-20-1 ATS
Hmm. Not great. Well, perhaps focusing only on season openers can’t be relied upon due to its small sample size.
How about the first three games of the season?
- Teams with at least 65% of bets: 82-119-4 ATS
- Teams with at least 70% of bets: 37-75-1 ATS
Unfortunately, there is no filter in Bet Labs called “star player being a big baby,” so we can’t solely rely on the data here, but there is plenty of value on the Timberwolves.