Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Western Conference Finals Game 1 Best Bet: Minnesota Is Hard to Figure Out

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Rudy Gobert #27 of the Minnesota Timberwolves dunks the ball during the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets in Game Five of the Western Conference Second Round Playoffs at Ball Arena on May 14, 2024 in Denver, Colorado. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

Top-rated sportsbooks have released their NBA odds for Game 1 of the Western Conference finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves.

For your best bet, I recommend investing in Minnesota for this matchup. And if you want extra NBA coverage, check out our YouTube channel.

NBA Pick: Timberwolves -4 (-115) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Timberwolves -4 (-115)
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Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 – 08:30 PM ET at Target Center

Game 1 Trend 

Under Jason Kidd, Dallas has perpetual problems in Game 1.

Two years ago, the Mavs lost Game 1 at home to Utah by six; they lost at Phoenix by seven and at Golden State by 25.

This year, the Mavs lost Game 1 at the Clippers by 12 points and at OKC by 22 points.

Minnesota’s Head Coach 

Even later in a series, Minnesota’s head coach is smart enough to make decisive in-game adjustments.

In Game 7 against Denver, the Timberwolves allowed 37 second-half points because of defensive adjustments that Chris Finch made.

I see the Timberwolves as having a tremendous coaching advantage against Dallas, who is led by a guy in Jason Kidd who consistently needs time to figure opponents out, whereas Finch reliably has his guys well-prepared to start out a series and excels at making in-game adjustments.

Minnesota’s Defense 

Minnesota’s top-caliber defense has proven tough for teams to figure out, with both Phoenix and Denver requiring multiple games to find ways to score.

The Timberwolves are tough to score on because they simply have so many solid individual defenders. Center Rudy Gobert is a four-time Defensive Player of the Year.

He struggled somewhat in his last series because Nikola Jokic is an MVP-caliber player who has a ton of finesse moves that Gobert will struggle against.

Gobert gets a much softer test from Dallas’ bigs. The Mavs miss a versatile big, like the still injured Maxi Kleber, who can prevent Gobert from camping in the paint.

On the perimeter, Jaden McDaniels and Nickeil Alexander-Walker have faced well-reputed scoring guards from the Phoenix series, in which they contained Devin Booker and Bradley Beal, onwards.

Dallas’ perimeter-oriented, guard-centered offense will thus face very tough individual tests.

Moreover, Minnesota is characteristically long. The Timberwolves rank 24 spots ahead of Dallas’ last opponent, Oklahoma City, in defensive rebounding.

They are built to do a radically better job than the Thunder at limiting Dallas’ second-chance scoring opportunities.

Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns

Whereas Minnesota has the defensive personnel to limit Dallas’ scoring, the Mavs lack the defenders to limit Minnesota’s top scorer.

MVP-caliber star Anthony Edwards is going to be too tough to stop.

He also has a deep supporting cast, with teammates and a bench that will exploit a Dallas defense that has lost defensive depth – quality defenders in Reggie Bullock and Dorian Finney-Smith – in recent years.

One key player to support Edwards’ scoring will be Karl-Anthony Towns, who has an excellent history when guarded by his counterpart PJ Washington going back to when Washington played for the Hornets.

The Verdict 

Minnesota will be better prepared and, with its stronger coaching, superstar play, and supporting cast, will win by double digits.

NBA Pick: Timberwolves -4 (-115) at BetOnline

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Timberwolves -4 (-115)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.