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Timberwolves vs. Nuggets Game Two Prediction: Champs on the Back Foot

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

The Minnesota Timberwolves are back on the road to take on the Denver Nuggets following an upset victory in Game One of the Western Conference semifinals.

The Wolves are still yet to lose in the postseason and are being led by the outstanding play of 22-year-old Anthony Edwards, who lit up the Nuggets for 43 points and seven rebounds in Game One. Minnesota was criticized for its roster construction at different points over the last two years but is built to match up with Denver, which is part of what makes this series so competitive. 

The Nuggets did not do much to support Nikola Jokic (32 points, nine assists, eight rebounds) in Game One. Only Michael Porter Jr. managed to score 20 points, while Jamal Murray was held to 17 with only six made field goals. 

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite pick in Game Two of the Timberwolves vs. Nuggets series.

Timberwolves vs Nuggets 2024 05 06

Timberwolves vs. Nuggets Game Two Betting Odds for Monday, May 6

The Timberwolves are 45-40-2 (52.9 percent) against the spread and 11-9 (55 percent) ATS as a road underdog. They covered in every game of the playoffs, including Game One, when they were also a road dog.

The Nuggets are 40-46-2 (46.5 percent) ATS and 21-22-1 (48.8 percent) ATS as a home favorite. They covered in just one of five meetings with the T-Wolves thus far, the standout being the third-to-last game of the regular season game.

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TeamsSpreadMoneylineTotal
Minnesota Timberwolves+5.5 (-110)+180Over 206.5 (-110)
Dallas Mavericks-5.5 (-110)-225Under 206.5 (-110)

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Timberwolves vs. Nuggets Game Two Prediction

Minnesota Timberwolves Preview

The Timberwolves needed to take on the role of the aggressor in this series to upset the establishment which is the defending champs. They did just that in Game One, commanding the respect of Denver from the onset and holding onto their lead late down the stretch.

The Wolves are a tremendous defensive team and allowed the fewest points per 100 possessions during the regular season. They’re only fifth in the playoffs (partly because of the strength of their opponent), but what’s more important is that they skyrocketed to first in offensive efficiency, above even the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, and the Nuggets.

Edwards’ red-hot streak from beyond the arc is a major catalyst in the team’s ascension on offense. They shot 37.3 percent from beyond the arc as a team, which ranks third amongst teams still left in the postseason.

The Wolves still turn the ball over too much, but they force turnovers of their own and rank second in points off turnovers. Denver normally has a solid transition defense but struggled to cope with Edwards when he was headed downhill in Game One. 

General manager Tim Connelly was responsible for assembling the Nuggets' core roster and built the Timberwolves in the exact mold needed to take them down. The presence of Rudy Gobert roaming behind Karl-Anthony Towns when he’s guarding Jokic combined with the length of Jaden McDaniels on the perimeter make them one of the only teams in basketball that can go size-for-size with Denver.

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Denver Nuggets Preview

The Nuggets needed to abandon the lackadaisical approach they showed early in the regular season and repeatedly during their series with the Lakers. Game One should hopefully have served as a gut punch since they aren’t playing with championship-level effort.

Evidence of their lack of effort manifested itself on the glass. Minnesota, which ranks first in rebound rate in the postseason, outrebounded them 42-34 with seven offensive rebounds in Game One.

There’s no doubting Denver’s ability on its best day, but it’s only seventh in net rating (+1.9) in the postseason and looked flat in Game One. The team’s poor offense off the bench also means Jokic needs to assert himself as the best player in the world every night he’s on the court, which he has not done up to this point.

While Porter Jr. has been brilliant up to this point, Murray has not made his customary leap in the postseason. He averaged 22.5 points, 6.7 assists, and 4.0 rebounds on 40.3 percent shooting compared to 26.1 points, 7.1 assists, and 5.7 rebounds on 47.3 percent shooting when the Nuggets won the title last year.

While he needs to play better, so too does Aaron Gordon, especially if he wants to unlock the T-Wolves’ defense. Gobert wants to roam the dunker spot and make plays behind Towns whenever Jokic is in the post, and Gordon is going to need to either command enough respect at the three-point line to draw Gobert out, or outmuscle him on the interior and win the battle for second-chance points.

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Timberwolves vs. Nuggets Game Two Betting Pick

This is going to be a great series. Minnesota has its flaws but is playing beyond them thus far, while Denver is still yet to get out of the blocks in the series.

Game Two is a night on which Jokic needs to dominate. The Nuggets still only lost by seven points despite everything said above, and they were outstanding in clutch situations in the first round against LA.

We like the Nuggets to battle back and to tie the series at one game apiece—however, we have too much respect for Minnesota’s drive and desire to lay the five and a half points, which is why we’ll take the underdogs on the spread.

How to Watch Timberwolves vs. Nuggets Game Two

  • When: Monday, May 6 @ 8:00/10:00 p.m. MT/ET

  • Where: Ball Arena, Denver, CO

  • 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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