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Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Game One Prediction: Winner Goes to the NBA Finals

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published May 22, 2024
6 min read

The Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves will meet in Minneapolis for Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals on Wednesday night.

The Mavericks knocked off the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in six games in the conference semifinals to move within four wins of their first NBA Finals appearance since 2011. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving both were not anywhere near their best in the last series, but the contributions of the team’s role players were enough to help them advance.

The Timberwolves shocked the defending champion Denver Nuggets by winning three of four road games, including a Game Seven during which they trailed by 20 points in the second half, in their last series. They have proven to be as headstrong and as confident of a team as there is in the entire playoffs and are rearing at the opportunity to play in front of their home fans again.

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite pick for Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Game One.

Mavericks vs Timberwolves Prediction

Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Game One Betting Odds for Wednesday, May 22

The Mavs are 55-39 (58.5 percent) against the spread, the second-best mark in the league. They’re also 11-11 (50 percent) ATS as a road underdog and 7-5 (58.3 percent) ATS in the playoffs.

The Wolves are 48-43-2 (52.8 percent) ATS and 17-23-2 (42.5 percent) ATS as a home favorite. They covered in eight of 11 (72.7 percent) playoff games and two of four meetings with Dallas, though that was before the latter made moves at the trade deadline and also included games in which Doncic and Irving did not appear.

TeamsSpreadMoneylineTotal
Dallas Mavericks+4.5 (-110)+150Over 206.5 (-110)
Minnesota Timberwolves-4.5 (-110)-185Under 206.5 (-110)

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Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Game One Prediction

Dallas Mavericks Preview

This is the best Mavericks team Doncic has been a part of, that much is clear. If it wasn’t he’d likely be at home watching the conference finals on TV.

Doncic averaged just 24.7 points against the Thunder, 9.2 fewer than he did during the regular season. Irving also added just 15.7 points per night, which highlighted the importance of players such as P.J. Washington, Dereck Lively II, and Derrick Jones Jr., among others.

The Mavs have a +3.3 net rating in the playoffs and are used to playing within tight margins. Only four of their eight wins came by double digits, including just one of four in the most recent round.

While Dallas isn’t dominant on the boards, they do a solid job, especially with Washington now making a huge contribution. Their defense was also elite when it needed to be more times than not and is one of the main reasons they are a legitimate threat to win the title as opposed to years past.

The team’s length and physicality give them a chance to match the Timberwolves’ level of intensity from the jump. The Nuggets needed a couple of games to discover that physicality was the way to go back at the Timberwolves, but that shouldn’t be an issue for the Mavs.

Doncic and Irving both need to play better, but both are capable of doing just that. If they can get their perimeter shots to fall, they’ll be able to attack the Minnesota defense in ways that Denver couldn’t in the decisive final games.

Bet on Dallas Mavericks at BetMGM 

Minnesota Timberwolves Preview

The Wolves have the second-best net rating in the playoffs (+8.5) and started both of their series with wins (as opposed to Dallas, who started both with losses).

Their defense continued its regular season brilliance, while the offense underwent a noticeable uptick in efficiency, particularly in the halfcourt. The veteran experience of players such as Mike Conley showed, while Anthony Edwards was brilliant more times than not and played Nikola Jokic to a draw, if not outplayed him in the last round.

Minnesota is down to 35.8 percent three-point shooting in the postseason after being among the league leaders at 38.7 percent during the regular season. Dallas, for comparison, is at 36.6 percent.

The Wolves are probably going to cross-match on defense and start with Jaden McDaniels on Doncic and Edwards on Irving. Their biggest concern will be finding a way to keep both Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns on the floor, as Dallas’ guards are going to draw them out and test their ability to defend in space.

A secondary matchup to keep an eye on is the battle of the bench, particularly between Naz Reid and Tim Hardaway Jr. While Hardaway Jr. shot the ball horribly in the playoffs (but can still get hot), Reid was excellent in most games and was a driving force in their comeback in Game Seven against Denver.

Bet on Timberwolves at BetMGM 

Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Game One Betting Pick

Game One is going to set the tone for the series and should answer a lot of questions. Will Doncic and Irving be able to force mismatches with Gobert or Towns on the perimeter? Will the Mavericks blitz Edwards and take the ball out of his hands? Will Hardaway Jr. find his rhythm and give his team an extra 15 points per night?

Minnesota spent a lot of energy rallying against Denver, but it also picked up a ton of confidence and will be excited to be back in front of its home fans. The Mavs, meanwhile, have one Game One just once in Doncic’s career and are used to playing from behind in series.

Although we expect this to go seven games, we like the Timberwolves to start the series out by winning and covering at home. Their spirit and energy following a historic Game Seven should make the difference.

Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Game One on 5/22/24

  • When: Wednesday, May 22 @ 7:30/8:30 p.m. CT/ET

  • Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

  • TV: TNT

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Grant Mitchell

Sports Betting Analyst, Content Specialist & On-Air Host

Expertise:
NBA
NCAAB
NCAAF
NFL
Online Sports Betting
Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field. In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor in Sports Media and Analytics
Favourite Sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: FanDuel Casino
Experience:
4 years
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