Suns vs Timberwolves Predictions, Picks, Odds for Today’s NBA Playoff Game

The Timberwolves are the NBA's best defense, but the Suns can attack them in ways most teams wouldn't choose to. See why our NBA picks think that will be the X-factor today.

Apr 20, 2024 • 09:14 ET • 4 min read
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This article contains predictions for an old game!

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There is perhaps no first-round series where both teams have more at stake than the Phoenix Suns against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Both teams are built to win right now, and both face a precarious future if they suffer a first-round exit.

Despite coming in as the lower seed, the NBA odds now favor the Suns to win the series against the defensively-minded Minnesota. 

My NBA picks and Suns vs. Timberwolves predictions dive deep into the season series and why Phoenix has dominated this matchup, and whether it should continue in Game 1.

Suns vs Timberwolves predictions

My best bet
Suns moneyline (+114 at Pinnacle)

My analysis

This is a fascinating matchup. The Minnesota Timberwolves have been the NBA’s best defense, and they’ve been much better than the Phoenix Suns overall.

And yet, the Suns are one of the favorite upset picks of the first round. They have two All-NBA caliber offensive threats in Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, and a third banana in Bradley Beal who flirted with leading the league in scoring just three seasons ago.

The Timberwolves dominate by forcing opponents into low-value shots. Rudy Gobert denies the rim, and they have other strong perimeter defenders, including Jaden McDaniels, Anthony Edwards, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker to body opponents.

That might seem like a strong matchup against the Suns, who sometimes wilt against physicality, but in practice, it has not worked. The Suns dominated the regular season 3-0 straight up and against the spread with an average margin of victory of 15.6 points.

While the Wolves concede “difficult” shots, but they are precisely the ones that Phoenix is comfortable taking. Per Cleaning the Glass, the Suns take more midrange shots than any team in the NBA. Their expected field goal percentage overall ranks 28th based on that shot quality. 

In actuality, they rank seventh in effective field goal percentage, because they have some of the most elite shot makers in the game. While Minnesota wins the numbers game against most teams by forcing those shots, they lose it against Phoenix. Badly.

Even if you throw out the first matchup, which came with Minnesota on a back-to-back in November, the two other games in the season series both came with the past two weeks and paint a dark picture for Minny.

The Wolves' defense did okay slowing down Booker and KD but did not do well against the Suns collectively. While the Wolves start strong defenders, with Beal rounding into form they have a matchup advantage in the starting lineup against Mike Conley

It was troubling how easily the Suns manufactured good shots against the Wolves' double big alignments. With Karl-Anthony Towns still far from peak form, his ability to get out on the floor and contest against Grayson Allen is questionable.

That’s before getting to the other side of the ball, where the results have been even more surprising. The Wolves have seen their offense grind to a halt against the Suns this season.

Edwards’ worst games this year came against Phoenix, averaging just 14.3 points on a grisly 44.2 true shooting.

While some of that was poor shooting variance, the way the Suns defended him was notable. They treated Edwards like the only offensive threat that mattered. 

When Ant caught the ball, if it wasn’t a straight blitz, the three nearest players to the ball all shaded toward Edwards providing gap help. He struggled to create quality shots or make good decisions against that pressure. 

The Suns are favored as high as -145 in this series. Their best chance to win on the road will be early on, while Durant and Booker are fresh, and the Wolves are still trying to find counters for the gap help on Edwards. 

I like them to get at least one of these two first games, with the best value on Saturday lying with the Suns moneyline.

Suns vs Timberwolves same-game parlay (SGP)

Suns moneyline

Bradley Beal 15+ points

Jusuf Nurkic Over 4.5 assists

The more Beal can play one-on-one, the less Minnesota can involve their best defenders. Conley was once an ace defender, but at 36, he’s food in isolation for an elite scorer. 

Beal has been one lately shooting 59.6% from the field and 69.4 from three through seven April games. His ability to attack Conley is one of the pressure points I expect the Suns to pick at early and often as it keeps Edwards and McDaniels out of the action on defense.

Eventually, the Wolves will have to bring Rudy closer to the level and out of drop if the Suns are making their midrange shots. That means Jusuf Nurkic is going to have a lot of four on three opportunities as the roll man, an area he has excelled at this season.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

Suns vs Timberwolves odds

Suns vs Timberwolves live odds

Suns vs Timberwolves opening odds

  • Spread: Phoenix +1.5 (-110) | Minnesota -1.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Phoenix +100 | Minnesota -120
  • Over/Under: Over 214.5 (-110) | Under 214.5 (-110)

Suns vs Timberwolves spread and Over/Under analysis

  • The Timberwolves opened as much as 2.5-point favorites against the Suns, but that’s come down to -1.5 at most sportsbooks as of Friday night.

  • The Timberwolves went 3-7 against the spread in their last 10 games and were just 19-22 ATS at home this season.

  • Saturday’s total opened as high as 215 and some minor action on the Under has pushed that as low as 214.

Suns vs Timberwolves trend

The Suns are 3-0 ATS against the Timberwolves this season. Find more NBA betting trends for Suns vs. Timberwolves.

Suns vs Timberwolves game info

Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Date: Saturday, 4-20-2024
Tip-off: 3:30 p.m. ET

Suns vs Timberwolves latest injuries

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