The Timberwolves host the Mavericks in the NBA playoffs on Wednesday in Game 1! This series has the makings of a great series with the Mavericks having the best player in Luka Doncic, but the Timberwolves just pulled off a massive upset over the defending champion, Denver Nuggets. We now continue our NBA odds series with a Mavericks-Timberwolves prediction and pick.

The Mavericks have done wonders with their dynamic duo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. The key will once again be where the scoring comes from after those two. PJ Washington has been that third scorer, but Derrick Jones Jr. and Dereck Lively II have also been big keys for the Mavericks and their play so far in the postseason. The Timberwolves have been more battle-tested, but the best player in this series is Luka Doncic and whenever a team has that, they have a chance to win no matter what. The combination of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving is the best dynamic duo left in the playoffs, with the only team with a duo that comes close is the Celtics with both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

The Timberwolves have been the biggest story in the NBA playoffs so far with a sweep of a Suns team that was a potential super team on paper and then they beat the defending champion Denver Nuggets in seven games. The key has been a combination of relentless defense and an emerging superstar in Anthony Edwards. Edwards is the biggest key for the Timberwolves, but they also rely on their big men down low with Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert. They are here because of their defense and they will need to be as good as they have ever been against the Mavericks and their offense. This series is a clash of styles and it will be interesting to see where their defense can carry them. 

Here are the NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

NBA Playoffs Odds: Mavericks-Timberwolves Game 1 Odds

Dallas Mavericks: +4 (-108)

Moneyline: +148

Minnesota Timberwolves: -4 (-112)

Moneyline: -174

Over: 207 (-112)

Under: 207 (-108)

How to Watch Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Game 1 

Time: 8:30 pm ET


Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial)

Why The Mavericks Could Cover The Spread/Win

The Mavericks have been one of the best offensive teams in the NBA this season thanks to their main duo. They were 7th in scoring offense at 117.9 points per game. They were also 11th in total field goal percentage and 13th in three-point percentage at 48.1% and 36.9% respectively. In the postseason, the Mavericks are averaging 105.7 points per game, 44.8% from the field, and 35.2% from behind the arc. Four Mavericks are averaging over double digits in scoring with Luka Doncic leading the way at 27.3 points per game. Doncic does everything for the Mavericks because he also leads the way in rebounding at 9.7 per game and then in assists at 9.1 per game. Doncic does everything for the Mavericks, but the key is going to be how much help he has from Kyrie Irving and anyone else who can step up.

The defense for the Mavericks has struggled this season but has been improved in the postseason. They were 20th in the league in scoring defense, allowing 115.6 points per game. They were also 20th in field goal percentage at 47.5% and 18th in three-point percentage at 36.8%. In the postseason, their defense has stepped up and they are allowing 103.2 points per game, 44% from the field, and then they are allowing 35.4% from behind the arc. Three Mavericks average over one steal per game with Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic leading the way at 1.4 per game. Derrick Jones Jr. is tied for the lead in blocks with Daniel Gafford at 1.4 per game and is one of three players that average over one block per game. Their defense is a massive key against a Timberwolves team that has been great on that end.

Why The Timberwolves Could Cover The Spread/Win

The Timberwolves have been the best defensive team in the NBA and that has translated well in the postseason. In the regular season, they were first in scoring offense at 106.5 points per game, and first in field goal percentage at 45%, but they were allowing 36.8% from behind the arc. In comparison during this postseason run, they are allowing 99.4 points per game, 44% from the field, and 35.4% from behind the arc. Two Timberwolves players average over one block per game with Jaden McDaniels leading the way 1.2 per game. Four players average over one steal per game with Anthony Edwards leading the way at 1.7 per game. The Rudy Gobert acquisition has also paid off very well with him leading the way in rebounding at 10.9 per game.

The offense for the Timberwolves has been inconsistent. They were 18th in scoring offense, averaging 113.0 points per game. They were also 10th in total field goal percentage in the NBA at 48.5%, and then they were the third-best three-point shooting team with 38.7% from behind the arc. In the postseason, they are averaging 108.4 points per game, 47.2% from the field, and 36.6% from behind the arc. Six Timberwolves are averaging over double digits with Anthony Edwards leading the way 28.9 points per game. Mike Conley then leads the way in sharing the ball at 6.5 assists per game. The offense has been much better in the postseason.

Final Mavericks-Timberwolves Prediction & Pick

This game is going to be a clash of styles overall. The Mavericks have the advantage of one extra day of rest and that will be the difference. The Mavericks should cover in this game and keep it close thanks to Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and the rest of their offense. This game will be close and I would not be surprised if the Mavericks stole Game 1 outright.

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Final Mavericks-Timberwolves Prediction & Pick: Mavericks +4 (-108)