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Timberwolves vs. Suns Game 3 prediction: NBA playoffs odds picks, best bets for Friday



If there was ever an NBA playoff series that shows the regular season only matters so much, it would be this first-round battle between the Timberwolves and Suns.

After three double-digit wins over Minnesota in the regular season, Phoenix has suffered the opposite fate in the postseason.

The Suns have felt the brunt of the Timberwolves’ top-ranked defense in the first two games of the series, failing to reach 100 points in either game.

Will Phoenix turn things around in the Valley of the Sun? Let’s take a closer look at the game and make a pick.

Timberwolves vs. Suns odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Timberwolves +4.5 (-115) +150 o207.5 (-110)
Suns -4.5 (-105) -185 u207.5 (-110)
Odds via BetMGM

Timberwolves vs. Suns prediction

(10:30 p.m. ET, TNT)

Minnesota being an underdog by 4.5 points doesn’t make sense to me. The Suns being favored at -2 or -1.5 on their home court seems more reasonable given what we’ve seen in the first two games of this series.

The Timberwolves’ length and defensive tenacity isn’t going away on the road.

Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal still have to deal with Jaden McDaniels, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Anthony Edwards guarding them on the perimeter, and that’s no fun whether you’re in Phoenix or Minneapolis.

Suns players are shooting just 28.6% from the floor when guarded by McDaniels in this series. That level of defense is kind of ridiculous in today’s NBA and it seems as if his presence has gotten in Booker’s head.

Devin Booker led the Suns with 20 points in Game 2 against the Timberwolves.

Add in Rudy Gobert protecting the paint and there are no easy buckets for Phoenix.

But that’s not even the most concerning aspect about this game for the Suns.

Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns combined to score 27 points on 6-of-19 shooting in Game 2 … and Minnesota still won by 12 points.

Either of them could easily score 27 on their own. Both players are too good to be that limited again, and a better scoring performance by just one of them would also serve as a good buffer against some of the Timberwolves’ role players cooling off on the road.

Phoenix also doesn’t seem like a team that has the requisite mental toughness to keep fighting in this series. Coach Frank Vogel was screaming on the bench in Game 2, Booker appears flustered, and the team has been incredibly inconsistent all season long.

Betting on the NBA?

The Suns’ margin for error is also much lower if Grayson Allen doesn’t play; he’s listed as questionable with an ankle injury.

Even though Allen hasn’t been that productive in this series, his 3-point shooting is an ever-present threat and he opens more space for Phoenix’s stars when he’s on the court.

Timberwolves vs. Suns pick

The Suns are untrustworthy, and them being favored by 4.5 points feels like too much, especially against a Minnesota team that appears motivated.

Go with the Timberwolves to cover the spread Friday night in Phoenix.

Pick: Timberwolves +4.5 (-115, BetMGM)

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