Timberwolves vs Nuggets Prediction, Picks, Odds for Tonight’s NBA Playoff Game

This roller-coaster second-round series between the Timberwolves and Nuggets has produced a handful of blowouts but we're expecting Game 7 to be a much different story. Find out why in our NBA betting picks below.

Douglas Farmer - Betting Analyst at Covers
Douglas Farmer • Betting Analyst
May 19, 2024 • 17:03 ET • 4 min read
Karl-Anthony Towns Minnesota Timberwolves NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Just when the Minnesota Timberwolves looked like they should be counted out, they rallied emphatically to force a Game 7 against the defending champions.

The Denver Nuggets have been here before, have the best player in the world, and arguably the best clutch shooter in the NBA right now. However, our Timberwolves vs. Nuggets predictions won't count the challengers out.

Let’s bet on a close game in our NBA picks with tip on Sunday, May 19, at 8:00 ET.

Timberwolves vs Nuggets prediction

My best bet
Timberwolves +5 (-110 at DraftKings)

My analysis
There's little logical reason for this total to have fallen as it has, down to 197.5 and even 197 at some books before settling at 198 or 198.5. Game 6's total was 205. The previous game in Denver, Game 5 on Tuesday, had a pregame total of 204. This six-game series has averaged an Over/Under of 206.6 thus far.

They have gone Under each respective total three times, entirely due to three dominant defensive performances from the Timberwolves. Game 2's dramatic defense is now overshadowed by giving up all of 70 points in Game 6.

Still, a total of 198 is drastically lower than those previous games. No single game should have influenced the numbers by this much, so the 7-point drop from Game 6 stands out the most.

Why the drop? Game 7 tensions should lead to a slow start, both teams feeling each other out, seeing which individual players are ready for these stakes and who cowers from the moment. That may be something we can expect, but it's still illogical, a number determined by armchair psychology more than the usual algorithms.

If granting that thought — and a slow start should be the bare minimum of expectations — then this spread is too wide. First of all, the Nuggets tend to do their best work early. Denver's starters are its entire strength. If the first quarter is spent gauging the opponent, then that should reduce that usual edge.

Secondly, any game with a total this low should also therefore have lessened variance. Every shot becomes more valuable, making a two-shot spread that much more aggressive.

Lastly, an elimination game is ripe for a backdoor cover. If the Timberwolves are trailing in the final minutes, they will chuck 3-pointers until the final buzzer. They will do all they can to preserve their season. A few of those could quickly turn a 9-point deficit into a 4-point one that still never worries the Nuggets.

This spread is too big for a game with a total this small.

Timberwolves vs Nuggets same-game parlay (SGP)

Timberwolves +5

Mike Conley Over 10.5 points

Karl-Anthony Towns Over 7.5 rebounds

The most veteran player in this series and — if you think about it for a few minutes — remaining in the entire playoffs, Mike Conley has not shied from the biggest Minnesota moments this season.

He has developed a knack for timely 3-pointers, shooting 44.2% from beyond the arc in the regular season and now 39.1% in 10 games this postseason. A tight fourth quarter will require a few timely 3-pointers, at which point Conley will not hesitate.

A bet on Karl-Anthony Towns chasing down rebounds is a bet on the big man avoiding foul trouble, itself a worrying thought. Note: If Scott Foster refs this game, that should increase Towns's minutes, given the increased likelihood that Rudy Gobert is in foul trouble.

Towns has not been a priority-scoring threat in this series. His primary duty is defending Nikola Jokic, something he's done better than anybody else in a Timberwolves jersey and quite possibly better than anyone else in the league did this season.

That has put Towns in the vicinity of any missed Jokic shot, which there have been plenty of. Jokic managed to go up against Gobert for much of his Game 5 explosion, going 8-for-9 for 20 points against the Defensive Player of the Year. Remove that specific subset and Jokic is shooting just 50% in this series.

Furthermore, Jokic needs to spend his energy creating and shooting. That conservation, particularly early in the game, could lead to a few extra Towns boards for what would be the fourth time this series.

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

Timberwolves vs Nuggets odds

Timberwolves vs Nuggets live odds

Get the latest Timberwolves vs Nuggets NBA playoff odds for Game 7.

Timberwolves vs Nuggets opening odds

  • Spread: Minnesota +5.5 | Denver -5.5
  • Moneyline: Minnesota +165 | Denver -200
  • Over/Under: Over 197.5 | Under 197.5

Timberwolves vs Nuggets spread and Over/Under analysis

  • Immediately after Minnesota forced this Game 7, Denver opened as a 5.5-point favorite. Within minutes, that had fallen to -4.5, and either that or -5 has remained the number the last three days, depending on your sportsbook.

  • The Nuggets were 4.5-point favorites in Game 5, as well, underscoring that this spread is a touch lofty given the lowered total.

  • At 198, this total is the first below 200 between these two teams since 2012.

Timberwolves vs Nuggets trend

Minnesota is 3-2 ATS as well as outright as a road underdog at Denver in just the last seven weeks, obviously including a 2-1 mark in both regards in just this series. Find more NBA betting trends for Timberwolves vs. Nuggets.

Timberwolves vs Nuggets game info

Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
Date: Sunday, 5-19-2024
Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET

Timberwolves vs Nuggets latest injuries

Not intended for use in MA.
Affiliate Disclosure: Covers may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook or betting site

Pages related to this topic

Popular Content

Legal Canadian sports betting

Best Canadian betting sites Ontario sports betting
Covers 25 Years Logo Established in 1995,
Covers is the world
leader in sports
betting information.
Covers is verified safe by: Evalon Logo GPWA Logo GDPR Logo GeoTrust Logo Evalon Logo