WCF: Timberwolves are -4 vs. Mavs in Game 1

WCF: Timberwolves are -4 vs. Mavs in Game 1

Published on Monday, 5/20/24, at 7:30 a.m. Eastern.
Updated on Wednesday, 5/22/24, at 7:38 a.m. Eastern.

The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas opened Minnesota (64-29 straight up, 49-44 against the spread) as a 3.5-point home favorite for Wednesday’s Game 1 of the Western Conference finals vs. Dallas. By early Monday morning, the Westgate and most other books had adjusted the Timberwolves to 4.5-point ‘chalk,’ but the number moved back to four by early in the afternoon.

The total was 206.5 points at most spots, while Dallas was +155 on the money line.

UPDATE: As of early Wednesday morning, most shops still had Minnesota at -4 but the total was up to 208 or 208.5.

FanDuel has the Timberwolves as -180 favorites to win the series, leaving the Mavericks as +146 underdogs. Bettors can get back plus money (+118) by laying -1.5 games with Minnesota (to clinch the best-of-seven set in six games or fewer), with Dallas supporters at -144 for +1.5 games.

FanDuel’s odds for Minnesota to sweep (-3.5 games) net a +820 payout, and the T-wolves are -2.5 games for a +225 return.

Chris Finch’s team advanced to the West finals for only the second time in franchise history thanks to Sunday’s come-from-behind win at Denver in Game 7. Minnesota erased a 20-point third-quarter deficit by outscoring the Nuggets 28-14 in the third quarter and 32-23 in the final stanza to win a 98-90 decision as a 4.5-point road underdog.

The 188 combined points dropped ‘under’ the 201-point total, and the T-wolves hooked up money-line backers with a +160 payout.

Karl-Anthony Towns and Jaden McDaniels led six double-figure scorers with 23 points apiece. Towns buried 8-of-14 field-goal attempts and had 12 rebounds, two steals, two assists and one blocked shot. McDaniels made 7-of-10 FGAs and finished with six boards, two steals, one assist and one block.

Anthony Edwards struggled from the field, making merely 6-of-24 FGAs, but he pulled down eight rebounds and dished out seven assists compared to only one turnover. Rudy Gobert contributed 13 points, nine boards, two blocks and one steal, while Mike Conley had 10 points, eight rebounds, two steals and four assists without a turnover.

Denver’s Jamal Murray scored a game-high 35 points, while Nikola Jokic finished with 34 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists in the losing effort.

Minnesota improved to 8-3 both SU and ATS in the playoffs. Although the T-wolves have seen back-to-back ‘unders,’ the ‘over’ is still 6-5 in their 11 postseason games.

Minnesota owns a 33-13 SU record and a 22-24 ATS mark in 46 home games this year. Meanwhile, Dallas (58-36 SU, 55-39 ATS) is 29-18 SU and 31-16 ATS in 47 road assignments.

Dallas rallied from a 17-point third-quarter deficit to edge Oklahoma City 117-116 as a four-point home favorite in Saturday’s Game 6. The Thunder covered the spread, while the 233 combined points soared ‘over’ the 209-point tally.

With the Mavs trailing by one with 2.5 seconds remaining, OKC’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander fouled P.J. Washington on a 3-point attempt. Washington buried the first two free throws to give Dallas a one-point advantage.

With OKC out of timeouts, Dallas head coach Jason Kidd wisely instructed Washington to miss the third free throw on purpose. Therefore, the Thunder only had time to make a quick pass off the rebound and Jalen Williams’s 64-footer at the buzzer was way off the mark.

Luka Doncic led the winners by posting a triple double. He had 29 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and two steals, while Kyrie Irving and Derrick Jones Jr. scored 22 points apiece. Dereck Lively II drained 3-of-4 launches from 3-point range and finished with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists without a turnover.

These teams met four times in the regular season, with Minnesota going 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS. The ‘under’ cashed in all four head-to-head meetings that produced combined scores of 220, 228, 223 and 208 points.

On Dec. 14 at Dallas, Minnesota won a 119-101 decision as a two-point road favorite. The 220 combined points went ‘under’ the 231-point total in a game that Mavs’ star Kyrie Irving missed due to an injury.

Naz Reid paced the winners with 27 points on 7-of-11 makes from 3-point land. Doncic had 39 points, 13 assists and six rebounds in defeat.

Two weeks later in Minnesota, Finch’s team captured a 118-110 win but failed to cover the spread as a 12-point home ‘chalk.’ The 228 combined points slithered ‘under’ the 228.5-point tally.

Edwards scored a game-high 44 points, while Gobert added 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. Playing without both Irving and Doncic, the Mavs were led by Tim Hardaway Jr.’s 32 points.

On Jan. 7, Dallas captured a 115-108 win as a two-point home underdog. Irving was sensational with 35 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocked shots, while Doncic had 34 points, eight assists and six boards.

Edwards scored 36 points in the losing effort.

On Jan. 31, Minnesota blasted Dallas by a 121-87 count as a 13-point home favorite. Doncic, Irving, Lively and Jones did not play in this meeting. Town had 29 points and nine rebounds for the winners.

Wednesday’s series opener will tip off at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on TNT.