NBA

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

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

Teams who trail 0-2 in the NBA playoffs have won only 7.3% of all-time series. After carrying +490 odds to win the series with a 0-2 deficit, the Denver Nuggets have new life after winning back-to-back games on the road versus the Minnesota Timberwolves. Denver is the favorite to advance to the Western Conference Finals once again, touting -176 odds when looking at FanDuel Sportsbook's NBA playoff odds.

While the Nuggets seem to be back in the driver's seat, the road team has won each contest thus far. Despite being 4.5-point underdogs, the T-Wolves are still an intriguing pick considering their previous success in Denver.

Will this series continue to swing in the Nuggets' favor, or will Minnesota get back on track with another win as the visitor? Let's dive into the odds, stats, and the best bet for Game 5 of the Timberwolves-Nuggets.

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

NBA Playoffs Betting

Timberwolves-Nuggets Betting Odds

Date and Time: Tuesday, May 14th at 10:30 p.m. ET

Spread: Nuggets -4.5 (-108)

Total: 206

Moneyline:

  • Timberwolves: +164
  • Nuggets: -196

Timberwolves vs. Nuggets 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
  • Nuggets:
    • nERD: 65.9 (4th)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 118.3 (4th)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 112.9 (9th)
    • Pace: 97.1 (27th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 37-42-3

Timberwolves vs. Nuggets Best Bet

Timberwolves +4.5 (-112)

This has become a very difficult series predict. While most expected this to be a close series, few probably saw it unfolding like this. Not only has each team succeeded on the road, but they've also dominated at times. For example, the T-Wolves won 106-80 in Game 2 while the Nuggets came out on top 117-90 in Game 3.

We can't ignore that all of the momentum has swung back to Denver following consecutive wins on the road. However, I also cannot overlook Minnesota's success in the Mile High City. The Timberwolves are 3-1 outright and against the spread (ATS) in Ball Arena this season.

Ultimately, I'm siding with the models for this pick. Massey Ratings has a 3.5-point spread with the Nuggets winning 108-105. numberFire is expressing the same sentiment with Denver winning by about three points. This model is giving Minnesota a 54.7% chance of covering the spread versus the implied odds of 52.8%. The spread could be a close one.

The Wolves were simply outmatched in Game 3; it felt like a no-show. However, Game 4 was interesting. Denver held a double-digit lead for most of the fourth quarter, but there were some encouraging signs from Minnesota. For instance, the T-Wolves lost the rebounding battle 40-32 in Game 3. They were back to controlling the glass in Game 4, totaling 42 boards to the Nuggets' 31.

Minnesota outshot Denver 82 to 79, won the rebounding battle, had 1 fewer turnover, and attempted 12 more free throws. About 9 times out of 10 this would likely be enough to win in the playoffs, especially for a pair of teams that were among the top 10 slowest paces during the regular season. How did the Wolves still manage to lose?

The efficiency from the Nuggets' offense couldn't be much better, for they shot 57.0% from the floor and 44.8% from three-point land. This is probably not sustainable as the Timberwolves still have one of the most daunting defenses in the Association (lowest defensive rating in regular season).

Even against the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver did not shoot over 50.0% from the floor in any contest during the five-game series. The Nuggets shot a combined 40.5% over the first two games against Minnesota. This spiked to 55.3% over Game 3 and 4. The Wolves boasted the lowest mark in opponent effective field goal percentage (eFG%) during the regular season. I don't expect this kind of efficiency to keep up for Denver in Game 5.

I'm willing to hang my hat on the possession battle. Minnesota won the rebounding, turnover, and field goal battles in the previous meeting. They even got to the charity stripe more often. These categories typically hold a ton of weight in slow-paced games. Barring another absurd shooting performance from Denver, I'm confident in the T-Wolves covering 4.5 points.


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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.