Mavericks vs. Timberwolves: Betting Picks and Prediction for Game 5

Riley Thomas
Riley Thomas_riley8
Mavericks vs. Timberwolves: Betting Picks and Prediction for Game 5

The Minnesota Timberwolves live to fight another day after winning Game 4 against the Dallas Mavericks. Minnesota gets to go back home for Thursday's Game 5 and are favored by 4.5 points. The T-Wolves have new life, but do they have enough to push the Mavericks to the brink?

Keep in mind that teams who led a series 3-0 are 155-0 all-time in the NBA playoffs. Minnesota emerging from this series is still highly unlikely as they are +450 to win the series when looking at FanDuel Sportsbook's NBA odds.

Will we see the Timberwolves win their second consecutive game of the series, cutting the lead to 3-2? Let's break down the matchup and circle the most promising game line for Thursday.

All NBA odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook and may change after this article is published.

NBA Playoffs Betting

Mavericks-Timberwolves Betting Odds

Date and Time: Thursday, May 30th at 8:30 p.m. ET

Spread: Timberwolves -4.5 (-110)

Total: 209.5


  • Mavericks: +158
  • Timberwolves: -188

Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Advanced Stats Breakdown

nERD via numberFire. Adjusted offensive/defensive ratings and pace via DunksAndThrees.

  • Mavericks:
    • nERD: 57.1 (12th)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 117.5 (7th)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 115.3 (18th)
    • Pace: 100.4 (8th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 48-34
  • Timberwolves:
    • nERD: 70.9 (3rd)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 115.0 (17th)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 108.9 (1st)
    • Pace: 97.7 (22nd)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 40-41-1

Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Best Bet

Timberwolves -4.5 (-110)

For the first time in the series, the under hit in Game 4. Karl-Anthony Towns also finally stepped up, recording 25 points while making 9 of 13 field goal attempts (69.2%). KAT was red-hot from beyond the arc, making four of his five three-point attempts (80.0%).

If Towns keeps up this kind of production, this series could quickly flip. He totaled only 15.0 points per game (PPG) with a 27.8% field goal percentage (FG%) in the previous three games of this series. The ghost act from the Timberwolves' star center was one of the glaring problems contributing to a 0-3 deficit.

Minnesota has also seen another one of their stars consistently increase their production as the series progresses. Anthony Edwards was disappointing through two games, logging 20.0 PPG with a 33.3 FG%. This has spiked to 27.5 PPG paired with a 44.9 FG% over the previous two contests.

With ANT and KAT hitting their strides, the Wolves' glimmer of hope is slowly increasing in luster. I'm far from sold that Minnesota can overcome a 0-3 deficit, but winning Game 5 looks quite likely.

The Timberwolves moneyline (-188) is far from intriguing, so let's look elsewhere. How about Minnesota covering the spread?

Initially, this may seem like a questionable side as Dallas won outright as five- and six-point underdogs in the first two games of the series. However, a key injury could change the tone of this series.

After losing the paint battle by an average margin of 18.0 PPG over the first two games, the Wolves have won the paint battle by 10 points in back-to-back matchups. They've also held the Mavs to only 38.0 points in the paint per game during the span compared to their 58.0 average over Game 1 and Game 2. This has been a big key for Dallas' success, for they are allowing the fourth-fewest points in the paint in the postseason.

Why could this trend continue? Dallas' Dereck Lively left Game 3 with a neck sprain and missed Game 4. The Mavericks finally returned Maxi Kleber -- who had not played since the final game of he first round -- from injury on Tuesday. Kleber played for only 13 minutes in Game 4 and lacks the defense to replace Lively's role as he has a 117.7 defensive rating in the postseason compared to Lively's team-best 107.1.

Daniel Gafford will have to shoulder the load. He's been exceptional in this series with 10.8 PPG and 6.3 rebounds per game (RPG) compared to his playoff average of 9.1 PPG and 5.7 RPG. However, he's in the same boat as Kleber and does not provide intense defense like Lively with a 116.1 rating.

I can't ignore that Lively's absence could leave the door wide open for Towns and Rudy Gobert. Ahead of Game 5, Shams Charania reported that Lively has "a chance" to play on Thursday.

My pick will likely hinge on the status of Lively. If Dallas has the rookie's defensive presence, I like their chances of closing with a win (+158). The Mavs would have the interior defense to win the paint battle once again. Until I see Lively is cleared, I'm firmly backing the Timberwolves to cover the spread. With Towns producing -- which is directly impacted by Lively's status -- Minnesota is a different team.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.