The battle-tested Dallas Mavericks visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night in Game 1 of the 2024 Western Conference Finals with the surging clubs battling for a coveted berth in the NBA Finals. The 5-seed Mavs missed the playoffs last season but are now back in the conference finals for the second time in three seasons. The 3-seed Wolves are in the playoffs for the third time in three full seasons under Chris Finch but have reached the conference finals for just the second time in franchise history. Mike Conley (calf) is listed as questionable for Minnesota.

Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. from the Target Center in Minneapolis. Minnesota is a 4.5-point favorite, and the over/under for total points scored is 207 in the latest Mavericks vs. Timberwolves odds, per SportsLine consensus. Before locking in any Timberwolves vs. Mavericks picks for Game 1 of the 2024 Western Conference Finals, make sure you see the NBA predictions and betting advice from the proven SportsLine Projection model

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model entered the conference semifinals in the 2024 NBA playoffs on a sizzling 94-61 roll on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning more than $2,800. Anyone following the model has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has dialed in on Mavs vs. Timberwolves in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals and locked in its 2024 NBA playoff predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Timberwolves vs. Mavs:

  • Mavericks vs. Timberwolves: Minnesota -4.5
  • Mavericks vs. Timberwolves over/under: 207 
  • Mavericks vs. Timberwolves money line: Minnesota -189, Dallas +157
  • DAL: The Mavs are 31-16 against the spread in road games this season. 
  • MIN: The Timberwolves are 8-3 ATS in the playoffs this season. 
  • Mavericks vs. Timberwolves picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why the Timberwolves can cover

A big part of Minnesota's success stems from a belief system that coach Finch says he started instilling in his young team early in the season. He says he encouraged the players to disregard observers who said the team was likely a year or two away from competing for a title, thus giving them a built-in reason for settling for mediocrity. Finch also pointed out that this is an era of parity for the NBA and, for the sixth consecutive season, the league is guaranteed to have a new champion.

"This league's wide open. We're not in a dynastic period," Finch told the media. "As proven, there's going to be a new NBA champion this year. So everything's still in play, but there's a long, long way to go."

Finch, who was a relatively unknown assistant coach with the Rockets and Raptors before getting the head job with Minnesota, now has a record of 160-127 at the helm of the Timberwolves and has led them to the playoffs in each of his first three full seasons. See which team to pick here.

Why the Mavericks can cover 

The Timberwolves won the regular-season series 3-1, with all three wins coming by at least 18 points. However, the Mavericks were short-handed in the defeats. The star tandem of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving played together in just one of the contests, a 115-108 Dallas victory in January.

Now, the Mavericks enter the West Finals with a lethal and experienced tandem that also has championship pedigree. Irving won an NBA title with the Cavaliers and is now 14-0 in playoff elimination or closeout games in his career following the Game 6 win over the Thunder. Doncic is widely considered one of the most reliable clutch players in the league and is on the short list of top active players who have yet to win a championship.

Even so, the Mavericks have thrived in large part because of the development of their role players. Forward Derrick Jones Jr. has been a consummate "glue" player all season, with averages of 8.6 points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 48.3% from the field. But he's also shown an ability to step up in the postseason as his 22 points in Game 6 against OKC set a new playoff high mark. Moreover, forward PJ Washington was the only starter who failed to register double figures in scoring in Game 6, but his two clutch free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt near the end of regulation sealed the win.

"It wasn't Luka or Kyrie making the game winner," Dallas coach Jason Kidd told the media. "It was the trust of Luka and the ball touches the paint, they collapse, he trusted PJ. We find a way to win." See which team to pick here.

How to make Mavericks vs. Timberwolves picks      

SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the point total, projecting 211 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits over 50% of the time. You can only get the model's pick at SportsLine

So who wins Mavericks vs. Timberwolves, and which side of the spread hits in over 50% of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that has returned more than $2,800 on its NBA picks this season, and find out.