NBA Playoffs Series Preview: Mavericks vs. Timberwolves


Welcome to Hoops with Noops: Playoff Series Edition! We’re deep into the postseason and have more opportunities to find value in the betting markets. Not only do we have games to bet on, but also series prices, series props and other futures.

The betting menus are big, which means there is more opportunity to make some good wagers. Let’s dive into this series by looking at the season’s head-to-head matchups, review key injuries that require our attention, and pick a winner and place some bets.

Minnesota Timberwolves (3) vs. Dallas Mavericks (4)

Season Head-to-Head Matchups

Key Injuries to Watch

Maxi Kleber

The Mavericks’ backup might be able to play at some point during this series after dislocating his shoulder in Game 6 of Round 1. Although Kleber isn’t a starter for Dallas, he is key to the Mavericks’ lineup flexibility. Kleber can defend bigger players while also shooting well on offense. which allows Dallas to play smaller lineups. The Mavericks can win this series without Kleber. It’s just going to be a little more difficult than it would be with him. He still might miss the series, but keep an eye on his status as we progress.

Who’s Going to Win the Series?

Series Price: Timberwolves -175, Mavericks +145

The Mavericks have won two tough series without their best player, Luka Doncic, playing his best basketball. Doncic looked much better at the end of Round 2 but is still shooting well below his season averages. He’s been struggling with injuries despite not missing any games and hopefully will be in better shape after a few days rest. Kyrie Irving has raised his game in big moments and is managing the offense well, but it’s the defense that has been the key for the Mavericks. Dallas has held their opponents to an average of just 103 points per game in the playoffs. Daniel Gafford and Dereck Lively II are taking turns protecting the rim and cleaning the glass while the rest of the team rotates quickly and keeps the other team from finding space to operate. If they can continue to defend at a high level and Luka Doncic gets back to playing well, the Mavericks will be a dangerous adversary for any team.

The Timberwolves knocked off the defending champion Nuggets. After sweeping the Suns in Round 1, they went into Denver and won both games by 33 points combined. The Nuggets were able to win three games in a row, but they would never win for a fourth time in the series. The Timberwolves won Game 6 by 45 points and held Denver to just 70 points. The7 went into halftime of Game 7 down 15 and still won the game by 8. Anthony Edwards is getting the shots he wants, playing great defense, and talking a lot of well backed up trash to some of the NBA’s best players. It’s truly incredible to see this from a 22-year-old who once had to answer questions about his commitment to basketball. Minnesota’s defense has been fantastic like we saw all season. They have a roster full of big athletes that defend well. The Timberwolves frustrate ball handlers, challenge shooters and clean the glass to ensure their opponents don’t get any extra chances. Everything is shaping up for this team to be great this year and for years to come.

Game 1 will be the fifth time these teams have played each other this season, but the first time since the Mavericks changed their roster at the trade deadline and learned how to play defense. It’s an interesting matchup on both sides. Minnesota has plenty of good defenders to throw at Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, but this will be the first series in which the Timberwolves face a team with two good offensive creators. Any trapping will be much harder because that leaves Luka or Kyrie and some shooters to attack an unbalanced defense. Minnesota will have to be careful with how aggressive they are when guarding Dallas. At the same time, the Mavericks’ much-improved defense will have challenges of their own. Anthony Edwards is a tough cover for any team and Dallas is no exception. P.J. Washington and Derrick Jones Jr. will likely start on Edwards, but I’m not sure either is fast enough to stay in front of him. The other issue for the Mavericks is dealing with the Timberwolves size. Gafford and Lively have been good but they haven’t faced anywhere near the quality of big man that they’ll see in this series. It should be a competitive series with each team responding to the other’s adjustments.

The market makes the Timberwolves favorites, as do I. Minnesota has homecourt advantage and is the younger, healthier team in a series that will play every other night. The best player in the series could be Luka Doncic, Anthony Edwards or maybe Kyrie Irving. I think it will be Edwards, but Luka could easily dominate how games are won. Chris Finch is a better coach than Jason Kidd, although Kidd hasn’t made many glaring mistakes this postseason. The final thing to consider is which team is most likely to dictate terms in one phase of the game and that, to me, is Minnesota’s defense and size. Dallas has yet to face a team with this many good big men who can defend well and win the rebound battle. If the Mavericks can’t adjust to those changes, the Timberwolves will be able to control how these games are played. I like Minnesota and especially early in the series while they are at home. The Timberwolves to win Game 1 and win the series is priced at +100 or better which looks like a great bet to me. Minnesota has played well at the beginning of every round of the playoffs, and I see no reason that changes against a Dallas team that started slow. Give me the Timberwolves to win the first game and then advance to the NBA Finals.


  • Minnesota Timberwolves To Win Game 1 and Series (+100, BetMGM), 1U
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