Timberwolves vs. Mavericks: Betting Picks and Prediction for Game 2

Zack Bussiere
Zack Bussiere@ZackBussiere
Timberwolves vs. Mavericks: Betting Picks and Prediction for Game 2

After their 108-105 victory in Game 1 on Wednesday, the Dallas Mavericks have a 1-0 lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Mavericks now have -164 odds to win the Western Conference Finals and +350 odds to win the NBA Finals, according to the NBA odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

The Timberwolves are +138 to win the WCF and +480 to win the NBA Finals.

Let's take a look at the odds for Game 2 and break down Friday's matchup.

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

NBA Playoffs Betting

Timberwolves-Mavericks Betting Odds

Date and Time: Friday, May 24th at 8:30 p.m. ET

Spread: Timberwolves -5.0 (-114)

Total: 207.0


  • Timberwolves: -210
  • Mavericks: +176

Timberwolves vs. Mavericks Advanced Stats Breakdown

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

  • 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:
    • 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 vs. Mavericks Best Bet

Mavericks +5 (-106)

In Game 1, the Timberwolves' defense succeeded in forcing the Mavericks off the three-point line, but they got absolutely destroyed in the paint. Dallas' 62 points in the paint were well above their playoff average (43.0) and regular season average (47.4) and well above what the Timberwolves allowed in the regular season (46.1) and first two rounds of the postseason (42.2).

Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic were a combined 3-13 from behind the arc, but they still combined for 63 points. Irving's 20 points in the paint were more than double his regular-season average (9.5). Off the bench, Dereck Lively was incredibly effective, with 8 points in the paint and a plus/minus of +19 in 27 minutes.

Dallas averaged 39.5 three-point attempts per game in the regular season, second-most behind only the Boston Celtics. Their 25 three-point attempts in Game 1 were well below that, but they showed they could adapt. Now Minnesota's defense has to do the same.

The Mavericks' defense, which has been greatly improved since after the All-Star break, also succeeded in forcing Minnesota into an unfamiliar game plan -- a heavy reliance on 3-pointers. In Rounds 1 and 2, 39.3% of Minnesota's shot attempts and 32.0% of their points came from behind the arc. In Game 1, 55.1% of their shot attempts and 51.4% of their points came from three.

Minnesota's 49 three-point attempts were their most in any game, regular season or playoffs, this season. In their nine regular season games with 41 or more attempts from behind the arc, the Timberwolves were 4-5, including a loss to the Mavericks.

Dallas' adapted well on offense and executed well on defense in Game 1. With all that going their way, the game was still very close. Minnesota has relied on their defense all season, and I expect them to adjust for what feels like a must-win Game 2.

That said, with how impactful their defense was in Game 1, I expect Dallas to once again be competitive in Game 2, and I like taking them with the points.

Timberwolves vs. Mavericks Prop Bet

Luka Doncic Threes Made Leader (+280)

Anthony Edwards is the favorite in this market (+240) with Doncic behind him in second. After that duo there is a drop-off before Irving (+500) and Karl-Anthony Towns (+500) in a tie for third.

As I mentioned above, Game 1 was an anomaly for both teams in terms of their three-point attempts. Dallas' 25 three-point attempts were their lowest in any game this season, while Minnesota's 49 three-point attempts were their highest in any game this season.

Despite those extremes, Doncic still reached 10 three-point attempts, slightly below his regular season average (10.6) and slightly above his postseason average (9.5). Edwards' 12 attempts were well above both his regular season average (6.7) and postseason average (7.9).

After their loss in Game 1, I'm expecting Minnesota to adapt on both ends of the court. On offense, that could mean fewer threes. On defense, they want to continue to limit Dallas' three-point attempts, a strength of the Mavericks' offense, but after allowing 62 points in the paint in Game 1, they will need to make some changes.

Regression to the mean for both teams should work in Doncic's favor. Looking at both regular season and postseason averages, Doncic has the edge on all players in three-point attempts per game. His 9.5 attempts per game are the second-most in the playoffs, but his makes per game (2.8) are down due to poor efficiency (30.1%). In the regular season, Doncic ranked second among all players in both three-point attempts (10.6) and threes made (4.1), shooting 38.2% from behind the arc.

Edwards has been shooting the three well this postseason (40.0%), but Doncic was second to only Stephen Curry in attempts and makes this season. Coming off an extreme outlier of a Game 1, I like getting him to lead Game 2 in threes at +280.

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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.