NBA Playoff Saturday Picks May 4, 2024

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by OddsCrowd Analysts

NBA Playoff Saturday Picks May 4, 2024

On Thursday night, the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks both advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs, eliminating two possible Game 7s from our slate today. Instead, we are left with one second-round bout, and what an amazing game it should be. 

Game 1 between the No. 3 seed Minnesota Timberwolves and the No. 2 seed Denver Nuggets, the defending NBA champs, gets underway at 7 PM ET on TNT.  One game, three picks – it’s time to present our top NBA picks for Saturday, May 4th.

NBA Saturday predictions

  • Timberwolves 1st Half Money Line (+136)
  • Under 207.5 Total Points (-110) 
  • Michael Porter Jr. Over 17.5 Points (-120)

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Denver Nuggets best bet #1: Timberwolves 1H Money Line (+136)

Coming off a sweep of the star-studded Phoenix Suns and with almost a full week of rest and prep, we were tempted to lay the points with the Timberwolves (+4.5 at -115) or even take their money line (+154). In the end, we thought better of riding any Game 1 bet that opposes Jamal Murray’s late-game heroics and the Nuggets in the fourth quarter at home. 

The Nuggets may have defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in five games, but the Lakers owned a halftime lead in all five games, resulting in a -38 first-half point differential for the Nuggets. The Timberwolves, meanwhile, owned a +10 first-half point differential against a Suns team equipped to play better at the start of games before their lack of depth wore them down. The Nuggets should find comfort in playing at their pace, choosing spots to strike late, while the Wolves should look to set the tone early in hostile territory.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Denver Nuggets best bet #2: Under 207.5 Total Points (-110)

Three of the four regular-season meetings between these two cleared 207.5 total points with relative ease, but it’s clear the playoffs elevate defensive focus and effort considerably. The Timberwolves held the Suns under their points per game average in all four wins, twice keeping them under 100. As proud owners of the top defensive rating in the NBA, the

Wolves will look to make the Nuggets uncomfortable on every catch of every possession.

The Nuggets are no slouch on defense either, finishing eighth in defensive rating this season. Both squads finished bottom five in three-point attempts and bottom 10 in pace of play. While 207.5 is generally a lower point total for NBA standards, we could see these teams feeling each other out in Game 1, opting to play at the deliberate pace each prefers. 

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Denver Nuggets best bet #3: Michael Porter Jr. Over 17.5 Points (-120)

Many experts agree the Nuggets own the best, or at least the most balanced, starting five in the NBA. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray get most of the shine, and deservedly so, but Michael Porter Jr., with his 6’10” stature and beautiful spot-up shooting stroke, is a wicked third option.

Porter Jr. averaged 22.8 points per game in the first round, shooting 55.3% from the field and 48.8% from deep. While he will certainly demand attention from the Timberwolves, Minnesota must focus on taking Murray and Jokic out of their rhythm early. MPJ cleared 17 points in all five playoff games against the Lakers, and with his confidence peaking, playing in front of his fans, we bet he will continue his capable scoring in Game 1.  

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