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Suns vs. Timberwolves Prediction: Wolves Lead Series 1-0

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published April 23, 2024
12 min read

The Phoenix Suns are looking to avenge a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game One of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs when they meet in Minneapolis on Tuesday.

The Suns won the season series with the T-Wolves 3-0 and did a tremendous job of guarding Anthony Edwards, though they let him score 33 points in a 25-point loss on Saturday. Kevin Durant dazzled while Devin Booker struggled and Bradley Beal failed to push the team over the edge. 

The Timberwolves are 31-11 at home in the regular and postseason combined and have the length and physicality required to disrupt three elite scorers in Durant, Booker, and Beal. They totally dominated the boards and also won the bench battle in Game One, which should give them even more confidence heading into the rematch.

Here are the odds and our best betting picks for Game Two of the Suns vs. Timberwolves series on Tuesday.

Suns vs. Timberwolves Prediction 2024 04 23

Suns vs. Timberwolves Betting Odds for Saturday, April 23

The Suns are 35-46-2 (43.2 percent) against the spread, the fifth-worst mark in basketball. They are 9-7 (56.3 percent) ATS as a road underdog and covered in two of their last six games.

The Wolves are 41-40-2 (50.6 percent) ATS and 15-21-2 (41.7 percent) ATS as a home favorite. They only covered in one meeting with the Suns as well as just one in their last five games, both being the Game One victory.

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Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Phoenix Suns +3.5 (-115) +125 Over 211.5 (-110)
Minnesota Timberwolves -3.5 (-105) -155 Under 211.5 (-110)

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Suns vs. Timberwolves Prediction

Phoenix Suns Preview

The Suns have to win a championship for their season to be a success. The star trio of Durant, Booker, and Beal was assembled with the vision of creating the most unstoppable offense in the NBA, complemented by the league’s leading three-point shooter, Grayson Allen, and other scoring wings off the bench.

Phoenix somewhat turned that dream into reality over the course of the season. The starting lineup of Durant, Booker, Beal, Allen, and Jusuf Nurkic posted a net rating of +12.3, the ninth-best rating of any five-man lineup that played at least 200 minutes together. That group’s offensive rating of 124.5 was also the fourth-highest in the league.

Despite the strong numbers, the Suns’ starters were dominated in Game One. Nurkic made no impact in the paint or on the glass, Beal only scored 15 points, Allen went 0-3 from deep, and Booker shot just 5-16 from the field for 18 points.

The Suns as a whole shot 9-28 (32.1 percent) from three and collected 28 rebounds. For comparison, Minnesota went 12-32 (37.5 percent) from beyond the arc and hauled in 52 rebounds (13 offensive).

It’s unlikely that the Phoenix offense struggles as much as it did in Game One for the rest of the series. The bigger concern is their lack of execution on defense, which had been a growing strength of theirs. The team still ranks 11th in points allowed per 100 possessions over its last 15 games (111.2).

The Suns’ road rating of +3.3 was the seventh-best in the league. They’ll have to regain their road solidarity to have a chance against a confident and prepared Timberwolves squad.

Minnesota Timberwolves Preview

Minnesota spent more time leading the West than any other team over the course of the season, yet series odds still favored the Suns.

A large part of why the oddsmakers didn’t view the Timberwolves in a favorable light was because of their struggles with this opponent, which is why the Game One result was so important.

Not only did Edwards completely kick his woes, but Karl-Anthony Towns (19 points, seven rebounds) shot better than 50 percent from the field for the first time since his return from injury, while Rudy Gobert dominated the interior with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Naz Reid also led a strong effort by the second unit, which scored a total of 41 points.

The Timberwolves proved why they had the best regular-season defense in basketball with their performance over the weekend. They opted to play Durant straight-up and instead focused on sending size and length at Devin Booker, a decision that ended up paying dividends.

It’s a tall task asking any team to stay in front of the Suns for 48 minutes for an entire seven-game series, but Minnesota has as good a chance as anyone else. 

The Wolves ranked fourth in home net rating (+8.2) but were one of the worst teams in clutch time based on net rating (though they went 21-15 straight-up).  They’ll want to get off to a hot start and use their defense to open up a lead the same way they did in the series opener.

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Suns vs. Timberwolves Betting Pick

The Suns have a few of the best shot-makers in the world, and when they’re on, there’s nothing opposing teams can do to stop them. Ask the Denver Nuggets how Games 3 and 4 went in the second round last year.

The Timberwolves also don’t have an extremely prolific offense, though they can shoot the three efficiently and have an MVP-level scorer in Edwards. They’ll still want to win this game on the back of their defense, which they showed they are capable of.

We ultimately settled on the Timberwolves for the second time in two games. The Suns haven’t shown enough urgency, consistency, or chemistry all year long and have found themselves in front of a team that is desperate to break into the top tier of contenders.

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How to Watch Suns vs. Timberwolves

  • When: Tuesday, April 23 @ 6:30/7:30 p.m. CT/ET

  • Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

  • TV: TNT

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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

528 Articles

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.

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