Timberwolves vs Nuggets Game 5 Prediction: Tuesday NBA Expert Pick, Odds (May 14)

Timberwolves vs Nuggets Game 5 Prediction: Tuesday NBA Expert Pick, Odds (May 14) article feature image
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Pictured: Aaron Gordon of the Nuggets and Rudy Gobert of the Timberwolves for Action Network’s odds, picks, and prediction for Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Timberwolves vs Nuggets Prediction

Tuesday, May 14
10:30 p.m.
TNT
Timberwolves Odds
SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
+4.5
-112
206
-110o / -110u
+164
Nuggets Odds
SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
-4.5
-108
206
-110o / -110u
-196
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about Timberwolves vs. Nuggets on Tuesday, May 14 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today's game.

Can the Wolves bounce back and regain a lead in this series? Or have the Nuggets completely solved this Wolves defense? Let's break down Game 5 below and dish out a Timberwolves vs. Nuggets prediction as we look at the NBA odds.


Minnesota Timberwolves

The Wolves offense was very good in Game 4, posting an impressive offensive rating of 118.9. They were above average in all four offensive factors (free-throw rate, offensive rebounding rate, turnover percentage, effective field-goal percentage).

The one concern for the Timberwolves' offensive process would be the disparity between their transition offense and their half-court offense. Their half-court offense was good, averaging exactly 100 points per 100 possessions, but they were completely outpaced by a Denver team that scored 121.8 points per 100 possessions.

The big edge for Minnesota was in transition, where it averaged about 166.7 points per transition play, according to Cleaning the Glass. It should make an effort to push the pace off every Denver miss — and even off makes.

The more the Wolves can turn this into a track meet and not a half-court game, the better for them. They're clearly the more athletic team and have been consistently better in transition throughout this series.

From a lineup perspective, the Wolves need to cut down on their rotation and eliminate Kyle Anderson's minutes and probably reduce Nickeil Alexander-Walker's minutes. Those players have lost their minutes by drastic margins over the last two games, and they're really hampering the Wolves' offensive efficiency.

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Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets have seemingly solved the Wolves' defense. They have now gone two straight games with a stellar offensive rating, putting up a mark of 114.5 in the half-court in Game 3 and 121.8 in Game 4.

They’ve alleviated pressure on Jamal Murray by having Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon bring the ball up, and they’ve also made it a point of emphasis to get the ball across half-court quicker.

They're forcing the Wolves into rotations due to Jokic’s elite screening ability and Murray’s ability to string out Jokic’s defender in help defense. We’ve seen them consistently create advantage situations out of Murray and Jokic pick-and-rolls, and there really isn’t a counter for the Wolves to make if Gordon is going to shoot essentially 100% from the field for 48 minutes.

Many pundits will call for offensive shooting regression from the Nuggets offense, and it's a bit warranted after the last two games. But you can really see that Denver's offensive process has been much better, so I’m not sure how much it'll matter.

The Nuggets were 30 points better per 100 possessions in half-court offense in Game 3 and 21 points better per 100 possessions in the half-court in Game 4.

As long as the Nuggets sprint back in transition and limit their offensive turnovers, I think they'll have a very good chance to go up 3-2 in this series.


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Timberwolves vs Nuggets

Betting Pick & Prediction

Denver has solved Minnesota’s defense, and I think this line is a bit inflated due to Anthony Edwards' heroics last game. Edwards singlehandedly willed the Wolves to hang around in Game 4, but I also think they may have expended too much energy in the second half. Plus, flying into altitude after just one day of rest may be a factor.

Remember, the Timberwolves haven’t had to fly into altitude on short rest yet, as they finished the Suns in four games. The Nuggets had three full days of rest to regroup after dropping two home games, but the Wolves will have just one.

It's hard to envision the Wolves pulling off another road upset unless they get an extremely poor shooting night from the Nuggets. I'll back Denver here at -4.5.

Pick: Nuggets -4.5

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