Game 1 between the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers did not disappoint last night; overtime in the first Conference Finals game of 2024! The Pacers and Celtics cruised past the total line early in the fourth quarter, and the Bet of the Night was a successful wager. 




The Same Game Parlay was doomed when the Celtics started the night on a 12-0 run. In addition to that, Hauser was a complete bust. All is well because the day essentially ended at even, but we want all of our NBA best bets and player props to be winners. 

NBA Picks & Predictions, 5/22: Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Game 1

Today brings a new opportunity and a new Game 1. 

The Minnesota Timberwolves host the Dallas Mavericks for the first game of the Western Conference Finals, and today’s NBA predictions Bet of the Night might surprise some people.




Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Prediction: Dallas Moneyline (+155 on Bet365 Sportsbook)

The Dallas Mavericks made a bold statement at the end of the regular season that was heavily criticized by the NBA media, and most fans didn’t even notice. By resting their players with an opportunity to gain control of the fourth seed, the Mavericks stated they can beat any team in the NBA playoffs on the road and are capable of winning the series. 

To their credit, they have done just that. First knocking off the Los Angeles Clippers with two victories at Arena, then winning two games at the Paycom Center against the first-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder

Now, head coach Jason Kidd and the Dallas Mavericks have their eyes set on the Target Center and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Timberwolves lost two games at home in their seven-game series against the Nuggets and are in real trouble of having that happen again. 

The Timberwolves designed and constructed their team to beat the Denver Nuggets, and successfully did that. They are not constructed to stop a high-scoring team, particularly a team that attempted the second most threes per game in the regular season.

The 2023-24 scoring leader, Luka Doncic, is coming to the Target Center. Not only that, an all-time fluid dribbler and efficient scorer, Kyrie Irving, is capable of creating space for a field goal regardless of who's covering him. Dallas has also had three full days for recovery and rest, a day more than the Timberwolves.

The front court of the Mavericks is just as large as the Timberwolves and should be able to compete with rebounds against them. P.J. Washington and Derrick Jones Jr. have displayed the ability to have high scoring games when needed. Daniel Gafford and Dereck Lively II have been exceeding expectations, and THEY ARE the best 1-2 center combo of the 2024 playoffs. Jason Kidd rotates them both often and plays the better performing player down the stretch. 

That was also the most significant NBA win for every Timberwolves player not named Mike Conley. They are coming off a tough seven-game series, and a game that required a 20-point comeback. The emotions will be high for the Timberwolves players and fans hosting Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

The one issue to be concerned with tonight is Marc Davis and his officiating crew. Davis came under scrutiny initially for not throwing out both Jamal Murray and Michael Malone in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Then for the disparity in fouls in Minnesota Timberwolves games he has officiated: an over 100 free throw difference in favor of the Timberwolves this season. 

This statistic needs to be accounted for just as much as points and rebounds. My NBA picks today expect a close game, with Dallas pulling away in the fourth quarter.




Mavericks vs. Timberwolves SGP: Gobert 13+ Rebounds, Doncic O28.5 Points & Doncic 4+ Threes Made (+425 on Bet365 Sportsbook)

A three-leg player prop special is the Same Game Parlay of the day. With an upset predicted in tonight’s game, the Same Game Parlay stays true to the narrative.

Rudy Gobert should get several rebounds throughout this series, and will have an increase in minutes played. He earned 13 or more rebounds in three of the six games he played last series. That was against a three-time MVP, which Dallas does not have. 

Gobert has an opportunity to make a huge impact in this game with his rebounding. He averaged 12.9 rebounds per game in the regular season and is capable of earning his average tonight. The sportsbooks have his rebounding line set at 12.5 and in a game that could see several field goal attempts, rebounds should be plentiful. Look for both offensive and defensive rebounds from the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.

Luka Doncic is quietly having the best season of his career. Despite not winning an MVP, he has been the preseason favorite for the past two seasons – and likely the third next year. His scoring has seen a dip in production during the playoffs, but he was a successful two-unit wager for Fantasy Alarm NBA Best Bets in the previous series. And he is the leading scorer of the 2023-24 season; he will score.

For Game 1, we are taking the over on Doncic’s point line, set well below his season average of 33.9. We have also added four or more threes to be made by him, as that is the logical approach to get to 29 points. Doncic’s three point line is set at 3.5 with +130 and has stand alone value.

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ starting lineup are all tall and physical except for Mike Conley. Jaden McDaniels will more than likely be guarding Doncic, and could cause problems for him. However, Doncic attempted 46 threes in six games against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and could attempt 10 or more tonight.

A good three-point scoring team will put a lot of pressure on Karl-Anthony Towns to have a high scoring night. Doncic could call for a screen and attempt to get Towns in foul trouble, going to the free throw line in the process. If Luka gets 10 or more free throws tonight, the rest of the points should come easily. Part of those points, or at least twelve, should be three-point field goals. 

He has made four or more threes in his last two games, and three of the last five games. Doncic has played 39 or more minutes in his last 10 games, and three days to address injuries he has been playing through. Our NBA predictions today are trusting him to deliver with threes and points tonight.

There is a 30% boost available on Bet365 with this Same Game Parlay. There is a $30.00 max bet with the boost, but you can always place another ticket, without the boost, if you want to place a larger amount. 




Thank you for taking the time to read my expert NBA picks for today's game! Make sure to visit Fantasy Alarm for additional profitable bets, high-quality DFS analysis, NFL best ball cheat sheets, and the latest sports updates.

Bet Smart, Be Lucky - Iggy

*All odds accurate at time of writing and NBA bets to be placed at 1 unit unless specified otherwise