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Minnesota Timberwolves vs Denver Nuggets: betting odds and predictions for May 19

Publish Date: 05/19/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

Facing elimination on Thursday, the Minnesota Timberwolves came out and blew the doors off the Denver Nuggets by 45 points to set up a very intriguing Game 7 to decide who's heading to the Western Conference Finals.

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Given the Timberwolves match up quite well with the Nuggets, is there cause for concern here on the Denver side of things? Was Game 6 a fluke offensively for Minnesota, or is this repeatable?

Let's get into the best way to bet on Timberwolves vs. Nuggets on Sunday, May 19.

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES VS. DENVER NUGGETS FANDUEL ODDS FOR MAY 19

MONEY LINE

  • MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES: +164
  • DENVER NUGGETS: -196

SPREAD

  • MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES: +4.5 (-106)
  • DENVER NUGGETS: -4.5 (-114)

OVER/UNDER (TOTAL)

  • OVER 198 (-110)
  • UNDER 198 (-110)

BEST ODDS FOR MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES VS. DENVER NUGGETS

  • The best odds on the Minnesota Timberwolves are over at DraftKings, who are offering Timberwolves +5 (-110).
  • You'll find some different numbers on Denver, but the best odds on Nuggets -4.5 (-110) are over at Caesars.
  • The best odds on the Over are at BetRivers, who has Over 197 (-113). The best odds on the Under can be found at FanDuel, who are hanging Under 198 (-110).
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MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES VS. DENVER NUGGETS INJURY REPORT

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES INJURY REPORT

  • MIKE CONLEY - QUESTIONABLE - LEG

DENVER NUGGETS INJURY REPORT

  • JAMAL MURRAY - QUESTIONABLE - CALF

WHY MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES WILL COVER THE SPREAD

It's hard to find arguments against the Timberwolves here given what we saw in Game 6. Minnesota entered the playoffs as one of the top teams in the NBA when it comes to protecting the rim and shooting the 3, and they excelled in both of those areas by holding Denver to 36 points in the paint while shooting 37.5% from outside.

Now, it's hard to say the Nuggets will shoot under 20% from 3 again as they did in that game, but given the nature of the Timberwolves' defense, which has been good both inside and out, I do think a similar challenge will present itself here for Denver.

The Timberwolves still have Rudy Gobert, who makes this team one of the toughest in the league to score on within four feet, and that should really help contain what Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon can do inside. To make things even more encouraging, the Timberwolves have shot 38.5% from 3 on the road during the playoffs to just 34.5% at home, so there's plenty of reason to believe they can shoot close to 40% again from outside. They did experience a few off shooting nights in a row, but Minnesota is too deadly from outside to remain quiet given the Nuggets aren't exactly elite against the 3.

WHY DENVER NUGGETS WILL COVER THE SPREAD

Denver's just going to hope that Game 6 was a punch in the mouth from a team feeding off of its home crowd, and nothing more.

The thing is, the Nuggets were always going to struggle early in this series with the way the Timberwolves protect the rim, considering they not only lean on Jokic for a ton of production but also had the luxury of facing a weak interior defense in the first round when they played the Lakers.

They managed to figure things out against Minnesota in the middle three games, and while the offensive performance wasn't exceptional it was more than enough given Denver was able to hold Minnesota at bay from 3. The Nuggets have now held their opponents to 34% from outside during the playoffs which is certainly encouraging, and perhaps there's a pattern developing here.

The tough news here is that the Nuggets floundered offensively in Game 6 against arguably the best defense in the league, but the good news is that they should see some shooting variance swing their way and the 122 Defensive Rating they posted certainly isn't horrific.

FINAL TIMBERWOLVES-NUGGETS PICK & PREDICTION

It seemed to me, heading into this series, that the Timberwolves weren't getting enough respect. They can match the Nuggets just about everywhere on the floor, and in defending the rim with such excellence have the ability to take away Denver's biggest weapon in Jokic. Though the series got away from them briefly after taking a 2-0 series lead, there were still a lot of positives to take away with the production at the rim from Denver's side never getting too strong and the rebounding battle remaining with Minnesota.

We normally see a pretty similar pattern develop in Game 7; these deciders are often dictated by defense with a painstakingly slow pace as each possession is critical. We see that in the total here, and I think this type of game should decidedly favor Minnesota given it's been the stronger of the two teams on that end of the floor.

Sure, Denver should hit more 3s, but Minnesota has every chance to keep up its shooting from Game 6 given how well it's fared on the road. I'm willing to bet on this frontcourt to stymie Denver, and while we can't get 6.5 points like we could early in the series I still don't see five as very fair.

FINAL TIMERWOLVES-NUGGETS PICK & PREDICTION: MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES +5 (-110)

To keep yourself updated on the newest happenings, be sure to check out our Betting News Section. We've organized all the updates so you can find all you need, in one convenient location.

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