Peter’s Points: NBA Best Bets Today (Expert Predictions, Picks for Naz Red, Nuggets-Timberwolves)

BetSided's Peter Dewey breaks down his favorite bets in the NBA for the playoff action on Thursday, May 16.
Minnesota Timberwolves center Naz Reid (11) defends against Nikola Jokic.
Minnesota Timberwolves center Naz Reid (11) defends against Nikola Jokic. / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

A standalone closeout game in the NBA playoffs?

Sign me up.

The defending champion Denver Nuggets have won three games in a row against the Minnesota Timberwolves to take a 3-2 series lead, and now they’ll look to close the series out in Minnesota on Thursday night. 

The Wolves are slight favorites in this game, but should we bet on them to extend the series?

I’m betting on a side and one player prop in tonight’s NBA Best Bets:

NBA Best Bets Record to Date

  • 2023-24 season record: 358-363-14 (-5.61 units)
  • Overall record (last 2+ seasons): 983-921-22 (+34.32 units)

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on  BetStamp here.

NBA Best Bets Today

All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • Denver Nuggets Moneyline (+110) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – 0.5 unit
  • Naz Reid OVER 9.5 Points (-120) – 0.5 unit

Denver Nuggets Moneyline (+110) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – 0.5 unit

It took two losses at home, but after a sluggish first round series against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Nuggets are finally showing why they are title contenders.

Denver has found the weaknesses in the Minnesota defense, specifically allowing Nikola Jokic to attack Rudy Gobert one-on-one. Gobert – as Draymond Green said at halftime in Game 5 – has nothing for him. 

Even though the Wolves are favored, I think Denver closes out this series in six games. The Timberwolves are a younger team that lacks playoff experience in this spot, and Karl-Anthony Towns simply hasn’t given enough supplementary scoring to help Anthony Edwards.

With Mike Conley out in Game 5, too much of the ball-handling fell on Edwards, making it easier for Denver to defend. It’s possible the veteran returns from an Achilles injury in Game 6, but it’s going to be tough for him to still be effective. 

Edwards has played over 44 minutes in each of the last two games, but the Wolves are minus-16 when he’s off the floor. That’s unsustainable if they want to win this series.

Bet on the defending champs to flex their muscle again in Game 6. 

Naz Reid OVER 9.5 Points (-120) – 0.5 unit

If there’s one adjustment that the Timberwolves could make in Game 6, it may be playing Naz Reid more to combat Denver’s increased offense. 

Red played 23 or more minutes in Games 1 and 2 (both of Minnesota’s wins in the series), attempting 11 and 14 shots in those games.

Since then, Reid has taken just 21 total shots in three games, scoring over 9.5 points in one of those three matchups. 

If Rudy Gobert isn’t going to slow down Jokic, why not go to Reid to space the floor on offense and give the Wolves a chance to compete on the offensive end?

Either way, if Minnesota has a shot to pull off the upset, the Sixth Man of the Year has to come through in the scoring department.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.