Timberwolves vs Mavericks Prop Picks and Best Bets: Washington Sets Teammates Up for Success

P.J. Washington has been counted on throughout the majority of these playoffs, and our NBA picks think the use of the pick and roll can help the forward rack up the assists tonight.

Jon Metler - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Jon Metler • Betting Analyst
May 28, 2024 • 11:02 ET • 4 min read
PJ Washington Dallas Mavericks NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

We are one Dallas Mavericks victory away from an epic NBA Finals that would see Kyrie Irving face his old team, the Boston Celtics. The memes on X are going to have a generational run if that's the matchup, but Dallas must get by the Minnesota Timberwolves first.

Here are my NBA picks for the Game 3 matchup on May 28, featuring player props for Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Jaden McDaniels, and P.J. Washington

Best Timberwolves vs Mavs prop picks today

Picks made on 5-28 at 7:00 a.m. ET.
Read full analysis of each pick.

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Timberwolves vs Mavericks player props for May 28

Prop bet #1: Alexander-Walker Over 3.5 points

Let's say it like it is: Alexander-Walker isn't shooting well at all from beyond the arc in this series. His jump shot is cold, but I believe he could have a much larger role in Tuesday's Game 4 than we've seen in this series because of his defense — creating value in Nickeil Alexander-Walker's odds.

The Minnesota Timberwolves can't make Anthony Edwards the primary defender on Kyrie Irving because it makes Edwards expend too much energy on defense — leaving him with nothing for offense. 

In Game 3, Mike Conley was the primary defender, but he can't contain Irving and doesn't have the length to bother him. When you're down 3-0, you have to make a drastic move, and I think it will be Alexander-Walker seeing more minutes.

I don't believe these minutes will come at the expense of the other guards on the Timberwolves, but rather of the two bigs they always play. Dereck Lively is out for Game 4 with a neck strain, and after a few minutes of Dwight Powell in Game 3, the Dallas Mavericks opted to run with a smaller lineup without Daniel Gafford on the floor. 

If they go small again, there's no reason for Minnesota to play both bigs at the same time when it could go small and put NAW on Irving. Lively being out also weakens their rim protection and will open up driving lanes for Alexander-Walker to score at the rim.

Alexander-Walker is projected to score 5.4 points which allows us to price the over 3.5 points at -203, but it is available at -120.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker prop: Over 3.5 points (-120 at bet365)

Prop bet #2: McDaniels Over 1.5 assists

The Timberwolves are just allowing Luka Doncic to stand around on defense when they need to make him guard and waste some of his energy. This should be a point of emphasis tonight and we could see McDaniels on the ball more and running some actions because Doncic is his primary defender.

I attacked this prop with McDaniels in Game 2, and he earned us a green checkmark, but I backed off in Game 3 because the juice on Jaden McDaniel's odds had adjusted to a point where the edge was much smaller. With McDaniels going Under the total in Game 3 with zero assists, this prop has once again adjusted to a much better price of +140.

Despite zero dimes he recorded four potential assists, which is a big number for someone trading at 1.5 (+140). The minutes are also there because he is the primary defender on Doncic, and he's also averaging 5.0 potential assists in this series.

If the Wolves do try to make Luka defend, things only get better for McDaniels chances of assists.

When he drives the lane and dumps the pass off to Rudy Gobert or another cutter, they are no longer being met by the rim protection of Lively. Instead, we'll see some Powell minutes or even the Mavericks playing small — which is a massive game changer for shots being finished around the rim on potential assists.

McDaniels is projected to have 1.8 assists which allows us to price the Over 1.5 assists at -106, but it is available at +140.

Jaden McDaniels prop: Over 1.5 assists (+140 at bet365)

Prop bet #3: Washington Over 1.5 assists

Washington has gone Under his assists total of 1.5 in two of the three games, only hitting the Over in Game 3. This provided us with a glimpse of what we could see from Washington in Game 4 because of the injury to Lively.

The one thing about betting on a Washington prop for Game 4 is that his minutes are extremely secure. He's has played 40+ minutes twice in the three games, and there's no reason to believe he shouldn't be in store for elevated minutes once again on Tuesday.

Where Washington's assists prop becomes more interesting is that if the Mavericks do decide to completely fade Powell and go small, Washington could find himself as the screener in the pick-and-roll for Doncic and Irving instead of standing in the corner on offense.

Every blitz Minnesota sends to Doncic and Irving will just result in Washington getting the ball in the middle of the floor with potential assists on either side of him against a scrambling defense.

Whether it's a blitz or a pocket pass, Washington could find himself in much more advantageous positions to collect some potential assists. The Mavericks' role players have also shot the ball much better at home, which could help the potential assists convert.

Washington is projected to have two assists which allows us to price the Over 1.5 assists at -130, but it is available at +120. I'll happily bet on these P.J. Washington odds.

P.J. Washington prop: Over 1.5 assists (+120 at bet365)

Not intended for use in MA.
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