Nuggets vs Timberwolves: Lay The Points And Back Denver

Action Network contributor Joe Dellera provides his betting picks and prediction for the NBA TV matchup between western conference heavyweights, the Nuggets and Timberwolves on Tuesday.

Nuggets vs. Timberwolves Odds

Nuggets Odds -7.5
Timberwolves Odds +7.5
Moneyline -278 / +225
Over/Under 213.5
Time Tuesday, 9 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here’s everything you need to know about Nuggets vs. Timberwolves on Tuesday, Mar. 19 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today’s game.

The Denver Nuggets take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in one of three remaining contests between the two as they battle for the top seed in the Western Conference. Minnesota took the first matchup 110-89 back on Nov. 1 in a dominant showing. Can Denver even up the season series?

Let’s dive into our Nuggets vs Timberwolves prediction and Nuggets vs Timberwolves pick.

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Nuggets vs. Timberwolves Prediction

Pick: Nuggets -5

Nuggets Betting Outlook

The Nuggets have only listed Zeke Nnaji (back) as questionable for this game, so they will have their primary rotation players available tonight. The Nuggets just lost a tough one to the Dallas Mavericks on an absurd Kyrie Irving buzzer beater, but they have been dominant since the All-Star break.

Since the break, the Nuggets are 11-2 with the second-best Net Rating in the NBA (+10.3). They’ve beat down their opponents with their offense but the defense has also improved. On the season, they now have a top-10 defense to go along with their seventh-best offense. This is a marked improvement as the defense has focused in after the break as they make a push for the 1-seed.

Rudy Gobert is one of the best defensive options to throw at Nikola Jokić, but it has not mattered in the slightest. Jokić has averaged 28.2 points, 10.7 rebounds and 9.1 assists over the last four years in nine games against Gobert. Those numbers include a 15-minute effort in which he logged 24 points, six boards and six assists. Jokić has scored 20+ in each of those games and 24+ in 8-of-9.

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Timberwolves Betting Outlook

The Timberwolves are playing their second game in as many days and third in four nights. They continue to be without Karl-Anthony Towns (meniscus) and Gobert (ribs) missed both games against the Jazz over the last few days. Considering the opponent, Minnesota may have held Gobert out to rest up for this critically important game against the Nuggets. Naz Reid (hand) left Monday’s game as well, and if he’s unable to go, that will severely impact Minnesota’s offense and its depth at the center position. It’s possible all three Minnesota centers may be unavailable for this contest.

The Timberwolves have thrived this season thanks to their defense, and Gobert as the favorite for DPOY is a major reason why they have the league’s best defense. If he is unable to play, Denver should have zero issues scoring on the interior.

The one issue for Minnesota has been its offense. The Timberwolves have struggled to find consistent scoring all season. Their only players with offensive ratings greater than +1.0 are Anthony Edwards (+10.1), Towns (+6.9) and Gobert (+1.1). They have had immense difficulty getting anything from the rest of the team. Reid has been solid in a larger role, but with his hand injury that’s another offensive weapon that may be missing.

Nuggets vs. Timberwolves Picks, Odds

Denver has been surging since the break, whereas Minnesota has had some relative difficulty finding itself without Towns and Gobert. While Minnesota still has the 10th-best Net Rating, the offense is just 19th.

One thing Denver never needs to worry about is its own offense, even against a staunch defense like Minnesota’s. On the season, Denver still is scoring 114.1 points per 100 possessions against top-10 defenses, per Cleaning the Glass. Since the break, the Nuggets are 3-0 against those teams.

Although Minnesota is 3-0 ATS as a home ‘dog, the Timberwolves simply do not have the firepower to hang with the Nuggets tonight. I’ll lay the points and back Denver to even up the season series.

Pick: Nuggets -5