Timberwolves vs. Nuggets: Betting Picks, Player Props and Prediction for Game 1

Gabriel Santiago
Gabriel Santiago@gps_onthemic
Timberwolves vs. Nuggets: Betting Picks, Player Props and Prediction for Game 1

In a rematch of last season's first round, the (3) Minnesota Timberwolves and (2) Denver Nuggets will meet in the upcoming Western Conference semifinals. A year ago, the Nuggets eliminated Minnesota in an expeditious five games, but something tells me we'll see a different outcome this time around.

Denver advanced to the current round be rolling over the Los Angeles Lakers (also in five games). Across the court, the Wolves are here after sweeping the Phoenix Suns in definitive fashion. Still, if you are looking for an entire MIN-DEN series overview, my colleague Riley Thomas has you covered.

For the sake of this piece, let's focus on Game 1 at Denver's Ball Arena. Arguably, we are looking at the two best teams in the conference here, and the analytics don't deny that. However, Minnesota head coach Chris Finch notably underwent knee surgery after on-court play collided with him last Sunday. Finch is traveling to Denver with the team but it remains unknown if he will be present courtside.

Pertaining to the players, both sides here are as healthy as you could hope to be in the month of May. Thankfully, all marquee names appear ready to go.

Before Saturday's pivotal meeting, let's discuss the advanced stats and highlight the best bets for the opening bid between the Nuggets and Timberwolves.

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: Saturday, May 4th, 7 p.m. ET

Spread: Nuggets -4.5 (-110)

Total: 207.5 (-110/-110)


  • Timberwolves: +154
  • Nuggets: -184

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: 113.5 (23rd)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 113.7 (10th)
    • Pace: 97.1 (24th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 44-40-2
  • Nuggets:
    • nERD: 65.9 (4th)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 116.9 (5th)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 114.2 (18th)
    • Pace: 96.8 (27th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 40-45-2

Timberwolves vs. Nuggets Best Bet

Over 207.5 Points (-110)

The defending-champion Nuggets are obviously one of the top offensive units in the Association. They play a little slower than most high-scoring teams, but the Nuggets have still done well to produce 114.9 PPG this season. Upon seeing the Wolves play since entering the playoffs, I believe Denver and Minnesota will combine for over 207.5 points (-110 odds) this weekend.

We know the walking bucket that is Nikola Jokic. The Joker averaged 26.4 PPG this past year, which was a top-15 figure. However, right behind him was Minnesota shooting guard Anthony Edwards at 25.9 PPG. Obviously, we are looking at these two to power the scoring efforts.

It will be intriguing to see how Jokic clashes with fellow big men Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, but I trust in the two-time MVP's facilitating abilities. That, and Nuggets guard Jamal Murray is back in playoff mode. Over the final three games versus Los Angeles, Murray went for 25.3 PPG. From there, forward Michael Porter Jr. is shooting at a scalding 48.8% clip from three-point range this postseason.

As a team, the Timberwolves have ramped up the scoring since entering the playoffs. Throughout the opening round against Phoenix, Minnesota compiled 118.25 PPG (wherein they were actually better on the road). Notably, Edwards is leading the charge with 31.0 PPG since the regular season concluded. Harmonizing length, athleticism and a killer instinct, "Ant-Man" looks unguardable right now.

According to numberFire's NBA game projections, Denver is estimated to win on Saturday by an approximate score of 106.80-103.38. That's a narrow margin, falling just inside the home team's spread of Nuggets -4.5. At the same time, that score approximates to 210.18 total points.

Over the 2023-24 regular season, these sides met in four head-to-head contests wherein 214.5 PPG was the average combined total. Simply, I am confident we'll have a fantastic game, but let us root for rampant scoring in the Mile High.

Timberwolves vs. Nuggets Prop Bet

Karl-Anthony Towns Over 7.5 Rebounds (-122)

When it comes to basketball props, I like to keep it simple, so I'm wagering on Towns (-122 odds) to collect eight or more boards in Game 1 of the Western Conference semis.

KAT will need to battle Jokic and Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon in this market, but I still think he has a solid shot to do the deed. After the "Eiffel Tower" Gobert, Towns has been the Wolves' second-best rebounder in 2024, coming down with 8.3 RPG. In his lone appearance versus Denver this campaign (November 1st), KAT logged exactly eight rebounds.

Towns has been building steam since returning from meniscus surgery last month. He's played in all six of Minnesota's games over that span, including the opening series against the Suns. Since the current postseason commenced, KAT is showing 9.5 RPG. Obviously, a result like that would work wonderfully.

The 2016 Rookie of the Year has matched up with the Nuggets in 23 games throughout his career, grabbing 11.0 RPG in that split. In five playoff bids last season versus Denver, Towns went over 7.5 rebounds on four occasions. Here's to him doing so again on Saturday evening!

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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.