Timberwolves vs Nuggets NBA Free Pick & Prediction [Game 1]

It's Game 1 of this heavyweight series between the T'Wolves and Nuggets

Minnesota (0-0) at Denver (0-0)
When: Saturday, May 4th 2024
Where: Ball Arena,
Denver, CO

Time: 7:00 ET | TV: TNT
Opening Odds: Denver -5/209

It’s only the Western Conference Semifinals, but this upcoming series between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets has a feel of a conference finals. Game 1 is set for Saturday night right after this year’s Kentucky Derby goes off. The winner of this series will get either Oklahoma City, LA Clippers or the Dallas Mavericks. Denver comes into Game 1 as a 4.5-point favorite with a total of 207.5.

These teams met in the first round last year with Denver easily winning in five games, but this is a much improved Timberwolves squad. Denver and Minnesota met four times during the regular season with each team winning twice. They alternated victories and each team finished with one home win and one road win. The total also split evenly this season as well as for the last 10 games overall. In last year’s playoff series, the Over cashed in three of five games.

The Nuggets enter this series as a -200 favorite to advance to the Western Conference Finals, while the Timberwolves are +165 underdogs. Oddsmakers think this series will go the distance, as the favored exact series result is +400 for Denver to win in seven games. You can get plus money on either team winning in Game 7 at +240. Right now, Denver has the second-best odds to win the NBA title at +260, trailing only the Boston Celtics at +130, while Minnesota is +900 win championship.


The Timberwolves have had a ton of struggles in the postseason over the years, but that is a distant memory now. Minnesota completely dominated the Phoenix Suns in a first round four-game sweep. They won by an average margin of 15.0 points per game and they scored 120 or more in three of them. It was Minnesota’s first series win since 2004 and the first sweep in franchise history. Anthony Edwards, Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns are the stars of the team, but Jaden McDaniels, Naz Reid and Mike Conley are terrific role players that make this Minnesota team dangerous.


Denver won their first round series in five games but it wasn’t as easy as it sounded against the Los Angeles Lakers. They trailed for large portions of the games, while three of their four wins were by single digit margins. The Nuggets trailed by double digits in each of the first four games and they were down by as much as nine at one point in Game 5. Jamal Murray nailed clutch winning shots in Games 2 and 5 to become the first player in NBA history to hit two winners in the final five seconds of a playoff series. Minnesota will also have to contend with a strong Nuggets starting five that includes likely MVP Nikola Jokic, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell Pope.

Over the last several days, I’ve heard people talk about how the Timberwolves are going to upset the Nuggets in this series. Maybe so, but I don’t like taking trendy underdogs – at least in this Game 1. Denver is still the king of the league as reigning champs and 4.5 points seems like a steal to me.

Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today.

Pick: Nuggets -4.5