The first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs will feature a Western Conference matchup between the No. 1 Denver Nuggets and the No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves. Game 1 of the best-of-seven series will tip on Sunday at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
Below, we’ll go over some of our favorite series props courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Nuggets vs. Timberwolves series props
Series exact length: Six games (+255)
With how bunched together the Western Conference standings were during the regular season, even the first-round 1 vs. 8 matchup poses to be a competitive series. It wasn’t pretty, but Minnesota managed to get through the play-in tournament to earn a spot in the actual playoff field. Meanwhile, Denver basically put the gear into neutral for the last month in preparation for the playoffs. And after having a week off, it may take the Nuggets a few games to get into a rhythm. I’d predict this series to land at exactly six games.
Series spread: Minnesota +2.5 games (-135)
Chemistry issues in Minnesota were made apparent last week with Rudy Gobert punching Kyle Anderson on the sidelines. Barely sneaking into the playoffs after finishing the regular season barely over .500, not many are giving the Wolves much of a chance in this series.
However, there are a few factors that could play in their favor. While he may not be the most well-liked player on the court, Rudy Gobert is still a strong defensive presence and had the team ranked in the top 10 in defensive rating throughout the regular season. Along with this, Karl-Anthony Towns is finally healthy after missing over half the season with a calf injury. He stepped up with 28 points and 11 rebounds in the team’s blowout victory over the Thunder this past Friday. Throw in an All-Star in Anthony Edwards and this is a squad that can be a pest for the No. 1 team in the West. I’ll take them to cover the 2.5-game series spread.
Series correct score: Nuggets in 6 games (+370)
If you put the previous two series predictions together, you arrive at my prediction of Denver taking out Minnesota 4-2 in this series.
As mentioned before, the Nuggets may come into this series a little bit rusty after the time off and we may see it tied 1-1 heading to Minnesota. However, this is where I’d expect the potential three-time NBA MVP in Nikola Jokic to start taking over. The Wolves may steal one more victory, but I’d expect the Nuggets to wrap this thing up back in Minneapolis for Game 6.