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NBA Playoffs 2024 Expert Picks & Preview: Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Game 2

Our NBA experts Christopher Walder, Nick Holz, and David Caraviello are here throughout the playoffs offering up their spread, moneyline, OVER/UNDER, and player prop picks for all of the action.

The Dallas Mavericks will look to take a commanding 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference finals on Friday night with a second-straight road victory at the Target Center when they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Let's take a closer look at all of our expert picks for this matchup.

(Related Link) 2024 NBA Playoff Series Prices

NBA Expert Picks Results: Conference Finals

Nick Holz5-04.47
Christopher Walder3-30.34
David Caraviello 1-2-1.05

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Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Game 2 Preview & Picks

Matchup Page: Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 8:30 p.m. ET

Same-Game Parlay: Mavericks vs Timberwolves Game 2 Same-Game Parlay

Dallas Mavericks+5.5 (-105)+190O 207.5 (-108)
Minnesota Timberwolves-5.5 (-115)-250U 207.5 (-104)

Christopher Walder's Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves ATS -5.5 (-115)

Home is usually where the heart is, but this postseason, it hasn't filled the souls of the Timberwolves as much as they'd like as they're just 3-3 SU with three losses in their last four outings. That's what made the Mavericks such an enticing pick in Game 1 at plus money because Dallas has been road warriors with a now 5-2 record SU away from the American Airlines Center. 

As the saying goes, a best-of-seven series doesn't truly begin until the home team loses, and Minnesota demonstrated in the second round versus the reigning champion Denver Nuggets that playing with some adversity actually works to their benefit for a young and fairly inexperienced core.

Since 2004, teams coming off a Game 1 loss at home by at least three points are 61-16 SU in Game 2 and 49-28 covering the spread. Trends can be broken, of course, since we literally just saw the road team prevail through the first four games between the Timberwolves and Nuggets, but it remains a noteworthy enough pattern to like Minnesota's chances to cover on Friday.

The 5.5-point spread as of early Thursday morning is actually the largest of the playoffs in favor of the Timberwolves. When entering a playoff game as a favorite this year, Minnesota is only 3-3 SU and ATS, although two of those defeats came in what was an odd series against Denver.

Since Feb. 2023, the Timberwolves are a perfect 8-0 ATS coming off a game in which they were outscored by at least 16 points in the paint, as well. Dallas won that battle 62-38 in Game 1. In those eight games, Minnesota outscored its opponent by an average of 16.8 points.

David Caraviello's Pick: Dallas Mavericks ATS +5.5 (-105)

Home court advantage once again meant zilch in the series opener between the Mavericks and Timberwolves, where Minnesota led throughout and Dallas won as a 4.5-point underdog.

The Mavericks have now won five of their last six road playoff games, with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving looking like the superstars they are in the final minutes of Game 1. The T-Wolves showed against Denver that they can turn it up a notch when their backs are against the wall, but the fearless Mavericks are tough to resist as a road underdog yet again.

Christopher Walder's Pick: Jaden McDaniels OVER 1.5 Made 3-Pointers (-115)

Dallas did an exceptional job of turning Anthony Edwards into a 3-point shooter and cutting off the lane to prevent easy looks at the rim. They had a defender on the ball-handler and two on the block more often than not, which freed up shooters like Jaden McDaniels, although the Mavericks still closed out a great deal with some incredible movement and perimeter defense.

If that's the game plan moving forward, then McDaniels' shooting props will become a hot commodity because he's going to get a ton of clean looks from the corners, and he's been converting at such a ridiculous clip lately that the profits will start to drop very soon, so it's best to get in on the action now.

McDaniels attempted nine 3-pointers in Game 1 and knocked down six, establishing a new career high. It was his third game in a row with three or more, burying an absurd 66.7 percent (12 of 18) during this stretch.

Nick Holz's Pick: Mavericks vs. Timberwolves OVER 207.5 Total Points (-108)

After Wednesday's Game 1 went OVER the 207-point plateau, the Mavericks and opponents have now surpassed 207 total points in 84 of 94 games this season. On the flip side, the Timberwolves and their foes have gone over the number in 74 of 94 games.

Additionally, the OVER has smacked in eight of the Timberwolves' last 11 games at home, and four of their last six games overall. Minnesota made 18 three-pointers in Game 1 and lost. They'll need some more hot shooting to defeat the loaded Mavericks in what should be a thrilling series. Look for the Timberwolves role players to continue their hot start, and get a few more buckets from Edwards in a higher-scoring Game 2.

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