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Timberwolves Bet to Win Game 1 vs Mavericks

The Western Conference finals tip off on Wednesday night with a pair of teams that weren’t among the NBA expert picks for the NBA Finals at the beginning of the season squaring off. The fourth-seeded Dallas Mavericks will face the third-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves for the right to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals, with Game 1 being played in Minneapolis.

The Mavericks knocked off the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in the conference semifinals to make their second Western Conference finals appearance in three years. Dallas lost to the Golden State Warriors in 2022 before missing the postseason a year ago, and it hasn’t been to the NBA Finals since winning the title in 2011.

Timberwolves Bet to Win Game 1 vs Mavericks
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP

Minnesota won a playoff series this year for only the second time in franchise history with its victories over the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets this postseason. The only other time the Timberwolves have won in the postseason was in 2004, when they went to the Western Conference finals before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers.

 

Mavericks vs Timberwolves Game Information

  • Game: Mavericks (0-0) vs Timberwolves (0-0)
  • Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Day Game: Wednesday, May 22.
  • Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
  • Mavericks vs Timberwolves Live Stream: NBA Game Pass

 

The Timberwolves won three out of four regular-season matchups between these two teams, though all of them happened before the trade deadline, when the Mavericks reshaped their roster. The only other playoff matchup between these two franchises came in 2002, when Dallas swept Minnesota in three games in the first round of the playoffs.

The NBA lines for the series opener favor the home-standing Timberwolves, who are giving four points to the Mavericks. Minnesota is listed at -180 on the moneyline, while Dallas is getting +155 odds for a straight-up win.

The over/under for Game 1 has been set at 207½ points, with -110 odds on both sides of the wager.

 

Mavericks vs Timberwolves Head-to-Head

 

Mavericks vs Timberwolves Odds and Spreads

 

  • Dallas is 1-5 ATS in its last six games in the conference finals.
  • Minnesota is 2-4 ATS in its last six home games played on a Wednesday.
  • The under is 5-0 in the Mavericks’ last five games as a road underdog of ½ to 4½ points.
  • The total has gone under in eight of the Timberwolves’ last 12 games played in May.
  • Dallas is 4-1 ATS in its last five games on the road.

 

Mavericks Can’t Be Two-Man Show

The Dallas Mavericks were 28-23 when the trade deadline hit this season, and the organization picked up a pair of frontcourt starters in separate deals, acquiring P.J. Washington from the Charlotte Hornets and Daniel Gafford from the Washington Wizards. The team went 22-9 the rest of the regular season, and has gone 8-4 in the postseason since those additions, which really gave the team more balance.

Washington has been especially big for the Mavericks in the postseason, ranking second on the team in scoring in the conference semifinals win over the Thunder. Washington hit two key 3-pointers down the stretch of the Game 6 victory on Saturday, then was fouled on a 3-point attempt in the closing seconds, hitting two free throws to clinch the series for the Mavericks.

It’s a dream come true,

Washington said after the win in which he only scored nine points, all in the fourth quarter. “It feels great. Obviously, it was a rough game. I’m just glad we came out on top.”

“I was able to hit some clutch free throws. D-Live (Dereck Lively II) got some clutch rebounds. We all did a great job to close out a tough team.”

It will take that kind of all-around effort from the Mavericks to get past the Timberwolves, but especially from Luka Doncic. The NBA’s leading scorer in the regular season with 33.9 points per game, Doncic is obviously the key to any success Dallas is going to have. He’ll draw plenty of attention from a top Minnesota defense, but that’s where the rest of the team comes in, hitting open looks when he passes out.

It was Doncic’s pass to Washington from inside the lane that set him up to draw the foul for the winning free throws on Saturday. Doncic was second in the NBA in assists per game in the regular season (9.8) and is averaging 9.1 in the postseason, including double-figure assists in the last three games against Oklahoma City.

Doncic and Kyrie Irving are the stars of the Mavericks, but if they’re going to pull out a road win in Game 1, it will be all hands on deck.

 

Edwards, Defense Key to Timberwolves’ Success

Facing a 20-point deficit in the second half of Game 7 against the defending champion Nuggets, Minnesota turned up the screws defensively to rally for the series-winning victory. From 10:50 to go in the third quarter, the Timberwolves outscored Denver 60-32 to win easily. It’s the kind of defensive domination that has Minnesota on the verge of its first-ever NBA Finals appearance.

There’s offensive firepower for the Timberwolves as well, though, led by young superstar Anthony Edwards. The 22-year-old is averaging 28.9 points per game in the postseason and can take over a game when he gets hot, both from the perimeter and driving to the bucket.

And Edwards has skills at the other end of the floor too, locking down scorers on the perimeter. It will be interesting to see who he’s assigned to, Doncic or Irving, in Game 1, and whether that changes as the series progresses.

The interior duo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert will cause some problems for Dallas as well. The Mavericks like to throw lobs to their frontcourt players, but having a pair of 7-footers may change that strategy. Towns and Gobert must be active on the glass on the defensive end, however, as Dallas is very good at getting second and third shots off the offensive glass.

Towns will need to be on his scoring game, especially from the perimeter. The 28-year-old’s scoring is down to 18.8 points per game in the postseason, but he’s hitting 44% from 3-point range. He can help open some driving lanes for Edwards if he can continue hitting from the perimeter.

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Fade Mavericks in Game 1

The Mavericks are notorious for losing Game 1s, dropping the first game of 11 of their last 12 playoff series, including both series in this postseason. Minnesota is riding a lot of momentum after knocking off the defending champion Nuggets, and it will have the home crowd behind it.

This should be a low-scoring affair, with both teams going through a bit of a feeling-out process to start the series. Low scoring favors the Timberwolves, who should be among your NBA bets for Game 1.

 

 

Question of the Day

When did the Mavericks and Timberwolves last play in the postseason?


The only other time Dallas and Minnesota have met in the postseason was in the 2002 first round, a series won by the Mavericks in three games.

 

The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.

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