The No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves will head to Ball Arena to face the No. 1 Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the first-round Western Conference matchup. The Timberwolves beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in a play-in game to grab the final seed in their conference, where they will face Nikola Jokic and a healthy Nuggets squad that has just seen guard Jamal Murray return from a thumb injury. The T-Wolves will be missing Jaden McDaniels, who broke his hand after punching a wall.
The Nuggets enter Game 1 as 7.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total set at 225. The game tips off at 10:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 16.
Timberwolves vs. Nuggets, 10:30 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Nuggets -7.5
The Nuggets will be at full strength for this matchup, and the Timberwolves will struggle to find a defensive match for Nikola Jokic, as most teams do. If the T-Wolves focus their defense on Jokic, Michael Porter, Jr.’s wide range of shots will bite them, and if they don’t focus on Jokic, he will be able to score at will. Denver should be able to cover here on a week of rest as they face a tired Timberwolves squad.
Over/Under: Over 225
Not a single regular season matchup between these two teams went under 225. The lowest end-of-game total between them was 226, and this was before both teams were at full health. Minnesota played each of those games without their second-best scorer. Go for the over here.