Timberwolves vs. Mavericks Game 3 NBA Best Bet: Minnesota Embraces the Road Atmosphere

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Anthony Edwards #5 of the Minnesota Timberwolves passes the ball during the third quarter against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Two of the Western Conference Finals at Target Center on May 24, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images/AFP

Top-rated sportsbooks have released their NBA odds for Game 3 between the Timberwolves and Mavericks.

For your best bets, I will recommend investing in the Timberwolves.

NBA Pick: Timberwolves +3.5 (-114) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Timberwolves +3.5 (-114)
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Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Dallas Mavericks

Sunday, May 26, 2024 – 08:00 PM ET at American Airlines Center

Home and Away

Minnesota is dogged because it is playing on the road. This is generally fair because this is just what oddsmakers do, but it’s also wrong in this specific instance.

The Timberwolves actually play better on the road than they do at home: in Round 1, they beat Phoenix twice on the road; in Round 2, they beat Denver three times on the road. Moreover, Dallas has already lost two games at home. The Mavs won two other home games by a combined total of five points.

With both Game 1 and Game 2 of this current series having been close – Dallas won both by a combined total of four points – I am eager to play the underdog in this game because playing on the road is not the obstacle – for Minnesota, specifically – that oddsmakers are treating it as.

Star Players

Minnesota has led for much of Game 1 and Game 2 and nearly won both games despite the fact that its top two scorers failed to show up.

With the demonstrable shooting potential of guys like Jaden McDaniels and Naz Reid, Minnesota clearly has the depth of scoring talent to make up for bad games from Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns to the extent that they can stay within three points.

However, while Minnesota will continue to draw strength from its supporting players, it will also be able to rely at least on Edwards to finally step up.

Edwards is just too good to keep playing poorly, especially with the world shining this negative light on him after his poor performance in Games 1 and 2 – superstars tend to respond to this criticism. At his best, he makes very tough shots. He takes games over with his driving, finishing and pull-up abilities.

Minnesota has shooters like McDaniels and Mike Conley and the floor-spacing potential with guys like Towns and Reid to open up the interior for the rim-attacking Edwards to rediscover his best self.

Minnesota’s Defense

On defense, the Timberwolves have achieved long stretches of scoreless play. They held the Mavericks to below 110 points in both games. While the defense can certainly do better, let’s not act like it’s been catastrophic.

Third-place Coach of the Year finisher Chris Finch will make schematic adjustments. The team will rotate better. The defense, overall, will overcome matchup difficulties, just like it did in the first round against a Phoenix team that had swept it in the regular season because of its matchup advantages.

Minnesota has too many good pieces in defense to not play better: a characteristically excellent on-ball defender in Jaden McDaniels, who helped lock down Devin Booker in the first round, for example; guys like Mike Conley who ably fight through screens; four-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, who is an elite rim protector.

Frankly, Minnesota will still win if Edwards or Towns plays better. Improving on defense will only increase the margin of victory.

NBA Pick: Timberwolves +3.5 (-114) at BetOnline

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Timberwolves +3.5 (-114)
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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.