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Minnesota’s Last Stand? NBA Betting Insights for West Finals Game 3 vs. Dallas

The Dallas Mavericks have taken over the Western Conference finals, heading into Sunday’s Game 3 with a 2-0 series lead over the favored Minnesota Timberwolves, with the next two contests to be played in Texas. Dallas beat the NBA odds once again on Friday night, winning on the road for the second straight game in this series, 109-108.

The fifth-seeded Mavericks have made a living in this postseason winning on the road, taking four of six games as a visitor in the first two rounds to upset the fourth-seeded LA Clippers and top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder. Dallas will try to take a 3-0 lead on its home floor, where it has also gone 4-2 in the playoffs.

Minnesota’s Last Stand? NBA Betting Insights for West Finals Game 3 vs. Dallas
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks-Stephen Maturen/Getty Images/AF

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Minnesota’s Last Stand? NBA Betting Insights for West Finals Game 3 vs. Dallas

Minnesota is facing a must-win game on Sunday night, though it has been very good on the road this postseason, going 5-1. The Timberwolves were on the other side of this situation in the second round against the defending champion Denver Nuggets, taking a 2-0 lead in the series on the road before the Nuggets rallied to take a 3-2 advantage, so Minnesota knows the series isn’t over just yet.

Timberwolves vs Mavericks Game Information

  • Game: Minnesota Timberwolves (0-2) vs Dallas Mavericks (2-0)
  • Date/Time: Sunday, May 26, 8 p.m. ET
  • Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
  • Live Stream: TNT

Minnesota won the regular-season series between these teams, winning three of the four matchups, including splitting a pair of games played in Dallas. The Mavericks won the previous playoff matchup between these teams, sweeping the Timberwolves in 2002.

The Las Vegas NBA odds for Game 3 have the Mavericks giving three points to the Timberwolves. Betting on the moneyline will get you Dallas at -145 for a straight-up win, while Minnesota is listed at +125.

The over/under for Sunday’s contest has been set at 208½, with odds of -110 for either side of that wager.

  • Minnesota is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games.
  • Dallas is 11-3 straight-up in its last 14 games at home.
  • The total has gone over in 11 of the Timberwolves’ last 16 games against a Western Conference opponent.
  • The Mavericks are 6-2 straight-up in their last eight games when playing at home against Minnesota.
  • Minnesota is 5-1 ATS in its last six games on the road.

Stars Must Shine For Timberwolves

The Timberwolves are in a hole, and they need their star players to show up in a big way for Game 3. That didn’t happen in the first two games of this series, as Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns have had a pair of disappointing performances.

Edwards, who was just named to the All-NBA second team, averaged 31 points in the first-round sweep of the Phoenix Suns and 27.7 points in the second-round win over the Nuggets. But he’s averaging just 20.0 points per game in this series, shooting 33.3% from the floor. Over his last five games, dating back to Game 5 of the second-round series, Edwards is averaging 20.2 points.

“I don’t think anybody in the locker room is panicking,” Edwards said after Game 2. “I hope not. Just come out and play our brand of basketball.”

Towns played just 26 minutes in Game 2, but not because of foul trouble. He finished with 15 points on 4-of-16 shooting, so his time was given to reserve Naz Reid. The Sixth Man of the Year kept the Timberwolves in Friday’s contest with 23 points off the bench, including hitting 7-of-9 from 3-point range.

Towns scored under 20 points for the fifth time in the last seven games, which isn’t the kind of production the Timberwolves need from him. With Dallas stars Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving doing their thing on the defensive end, Minnesota needs production from its Big Two, and neither has been doing it in this series.

Instead, it’s been others, from Jaden McDaniels scoring 24 in the series opener, or Reid, who looked like Caitlin Clark from 3-point range in Game 2. Still, if Minnesota is going to win this series, it needs those kinds of contributions from the role players to supplement Edwards and Towns’ output, not replace it.

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Doncic Powering Mavericks So Far

Players’ reputations are made in the postseason, and Doncic has forged his as a clutch performer in the playoffs since he came into the NBA. But this postseason, he’s been on another level, and because of that, the Mavericks are just two wins away from their third NBA Finals appearance in franchise history.

Doncic had his fifth triple-double of this postseason with 32 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, including the game-winning 3-pointer over Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert with three seconds to play. The 25-year-old made sure to let Gobert and everyone else in the arena know what he’d done as well, exuding supreme confidence.

Having Doncic on the floor gives the entire Mavericks squad a lot of confidence, enough that the team didn’t fold after falling behind by 18 points in the first half and still trailing by 16 midway through the third quarter.

“As you’ve seen with Luka, he loves that stage. He doesn’t run from it,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said of his star. “I thought he was great the whole game, keeping guys together, his energy.”

Minnesota’s defense had no answer for Doncic, who has been fighting through multiple nagging injuries through the postseason. His backcourt mate, Irving, also gives the team reason to feel good, especially with his clutch shooting down the stretch, as he scored 13 of his 20 points in Game 2 in the fourth quarter.

Doncic brings an attitude as well, which the Mavericks have taken on in this postseason. That should continue in Dallas, with the team wanting to make sure not to give the TImberwolves any life.

“First to four (wins). Nothing’s won,” Doncic said. “You’ve just got to think about the next game — not in the future, just this game.”

Doncic, Mavericks Take Commanding Lead

The Timberwolves were facing a must-win situation in Game 2, and they came out strong, but they just couldn’t hold onto the lead they forged. Dallas has played with a lot of confidence this postseason, and that should continue in Game 3.

Minnesota must come up with a huge effort just to stay with the Mavericks on Sunday, but even that won’t be enough. When making your NBA bets, put your money on Doncic and the Mavericks to come up big again, winning and covering the three-point spread.

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