Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Western Conference Finals Game 2 Best Bet: Dallas Is Too Tough To Stop

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Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks shoots the ball against Kyle Anderson #1 of the Minnesota Timberwolves during the third quarter in Game One of the Western Conference Finals at Target Center on May 22, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. David Berding/Getty Images/AFP

Top-rated sportsbooks have released their NBA odds for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves.

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

Top NBA Pick: Mavericks +5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Mavericks +5 (-110)
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Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Friday, May 24, 2024 – 08:30 PM ET at Target Center

Game 1 Takeaway

The main takeaway from Game 1 is that Dallas won despite underperforming tremendously from behind the arc.

In Game 1, the Mavericks made six threes and shot 24 percent from deep. Conversely, Minnesota made 18 threes and shot 36.7 percent from deep.

This disparity, which benefited Minnesota tremendously in Game 1, cannot be expected to continue.

The counterpoint is that Minnesota’s top players did not perform nearly as well as Dallas.

However, the Timberwolves were also able to get big games out of Jaden McDaniels, Kyle Anderson, and Naz Reid.

Those players are unreliable on offense, though, as their game-by-game point totals show.

The Timberwolves are going to need big games from Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards, but I will argue that both players will disappoint.

Anthony Edwards’ Outlook

Putting aside the fact that he has been off offensively since his hard fall in the last round, Dallas presents a tough matchup for him.

On defense, it’s either him or Mike Conley who will try to guard Kyrie Irving.

Edwards is the best option, but Irving with his quickness and his overall motion is tiring to stick with.

Even if Edwards had unlimited endurance, Dallas’ defensive philosophy would hurt him. Edwards is known as a star because of his success inside the arc.

While he thrived from deep in Game 1 – and still failed to reach 20 points – he is a 35-percent career three-point shooter. He wants to attack the basket.

But Dallas is well-built to limit dribble penetration. The Mavericks wall off the paint.

This is why Edwards and company took so many threes in Game 1. McDaniels, Edwards, and Reid thriving from deep still wasn’t enough.

Karl-Anthony Towns’ Outlook  

Towns struggled because he shot poorly from behind the arc once again.

He also lacks the physical ability to punish smaller defenders in the post.

His ability to score around the basket will be minimized by a Dallas defense allowing the fewest field goals and the lowest conversion rate within five feet of the basket.

Dallas’ Stars 

Unlike Minnesota, Dallas is able to lean on its two top scorers.

Luka Doncic is difficult for any defender to try to contain, and Minnesota lacks a defender who can keep up with Irving – Nickeil Alexander-Walker is Edwards’ backup and is known as a good defender, but he brings nothing on the offensive end.

The main problem is Minnesota’s ball-screen defense.

Doncic and Irving easily navigate Minnesota’s various ball-screen coverage attempts.

The Timberwolves are limited by Rudy Gobert’s lack of versatility. Gobert is hapless on the perimeter, but drop coverage also makes it too easy for Luka and Kyrie to thrive in the mid-range.

Dallas also has too many counters for Minnesota’s attempt, which it tried late in Game 1 to no avail, to blitz Luka.

The Mavericks are used to seeing Luka blitzed, and they are well-prepared with numerous guys who can score at the basket or shooters who can attack close-outs from defenders rotating to them.


With stronger three-point shooting and more characteristically efficient bench play, the Mavericks will win Game 2 even if their two-star scorers were for some reason to decline. 

Whereas the Timberwolves were struggling to find an answer to Dallas’ pick-and-roll attack, Dallas with the versatile Dereck Lively II succeeded with various looks in its ball-screen defense, which befuddled the Timberwolves’ point guard.

I find both to be sustainable: Minnesota’s defensive struggles are rooted in Gobert’s longstanding versatility issues and in the incessant superior one-on-one play of Doncic and Irving;  its offensive problems are rooted in Edwards’ perpetual reliance on attacking the basket.

NBA Pick: Mavericks +5 (-110) at BetOnline

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Mavericks +5 (-110)
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