NBA Postseason Best Bets (5/24)


Welcome to Hoops with Noops! We have another NBA conference finals Game 2, which means there is another chance for a series to be changed drastically.

The Dallas Mavericks took control early by winning Game 1 and can now advance to the NBA Finals if they win their three games at home. If they can win again Friday, the Mavericks will be prohibitive favorites to win the series and could close things out without ever having to return to Minnesota. That means the Timberwolves are playing close to a must-win game here. If Minnesota can’t win Friday, they will have to win at least two of the three games played in Dallas.

A lot is on the line Friday, and that’s before we even make a bet. Let’s review Game 1, look ahead to Game 2, and try to find some value in the betting markets. Of course, since it’s Friday you can watch a video version of Hoops with Noops on the FTN YouTube channel. If you have any questions about something I missed or bets of your own, leave them in the comments section of that video and I’ll reply there.

NBA Best Bets for Friday

Dallas Mavericks at Minnesota Timberwolves

Current Line – Timberwolves -5.5, 207.5
My Projection – Timberwolves 107, Mavericks 100
Key Injuries – Maxi Kleber is out. Mike Conley is questionable.

Game 1 was a tightly played ,contest and the team with more experience in the playoffs was able to win. Kyrie Irving has won a title. Luka Doncic has been to the Western Conference Finals, won the EuroLeague championship at age 19 and has carried the Serbian Olympic team for years. Both guys know how to play in big games, and we saw why that experience matters. Kyrie attacked early and often keeping the Mavericks in the game and allowing Luka to save some energy for the end of the game. Doncic scored 15 points in the fourth quarter and carried Dallas to victory. The Timberwolves looked a little hungover from Game 7 in Denver against the Nuggets. Anthony Edwards had arguably his worst game of the playoffs and never took over the game the way we’ve seen him do this postseason. Jaden McDaniels was a -4 in 39 minutes despite scoring 24 points. Naz Reid and Karl-Anthony Towns combined for a -16 in their minutes played. One team must be very pleased with Game 1 and the other team needs to wake up and play some great basketball soon before things slip away from them.

Minnesota was favored by 4.5 points before Game 1 tipped off, and the total was 207. Friday’s odds are more or less the same, which seems fair to me. The total went over by six points, and the pace was a little higher than expected, but neither is enough to justify moving the number. The Timberwolves opened as 3.5-point favorites and have been bet all the way out to the 5.5 we see now. Teams playing at home after losing Game 1 historically do very well. The road team lets up a little knowing they’ve already taken homecourt advantage while the home team makes adjustments and plays their best knowing they have to win before heading on the road for Games 3 and 4. I tend to agree with that idea and even before considering that I show a little value on Minnesota against the spread.

My edge against the full game spread isn’t big enough for me to bet, but looking further down the board I see another bet I like enough to make. The Timberwolves were not a good first-quarter team throughout the regular season, but we’ve seen that change in the postseason. Minnesota has won and covered against the spread in the first 12 minutes of most their games in the first few rounds. They are favored by two points and I think that number is too low by at least a point, almost two points. Dallas has struggled to start games and has no reason to try to change their scheme for the first quarter. I’ll lay the points with Minnesota in the first frame of the game.


Minnesota Timberwolves 1st Quarter -2 (-110, DraftKings Sportsbook)

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