Playoff basketball is electric, as players suddenly come under immense pressure to deliver with every shot. As bettors, it's crucial to not to feel that same degree of pressure and stay focused during this exciting time of the year.

In NBA Western Conference playoff action on Saturday, the Phoenix Suns will visit the third-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves to open their first-round series. Let’s take a deep look at this matchup and come up with some NBA same-game parlay picks for Game 1 in Minneapolis.

Suns vs. Timberwolves Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under – NBA Playoffs Betting Lines 4/20

Moneyline: Suns (+100), Timberwolves (-120)
Spread: Suns +1.5 (-115), Timberwolves -1.5 (-105)
Total: Over/Under 214.5 points

Suns vs. Timberwolves Injury Report

Unlike last year, the Suns come into these 2024 NBA playoffs relatively healthy. Eric Gordon was dealing with a migraine earlier in the week and is listed as day-to-day, but the Suns guard should be able to suit up for Game 1. Teammate Jusuf Nurkic also recently missed some time with an ankle injury, but he returned to finish the season and shouldn’t have any issues as far as playing in the playoffs.

Despite injury concerns regarding Phoenix’s three key players throughout the regular season, Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, and Kevin Durant are all now healthy and expected to play.

The T-Wolves also have a relatively healthy team. The only player who is definitely out is guard Jaylen Clark, who just had Achilles tendon surgery and is done for the year. In addition, it’s important to note that Karl-Anthony Towns tore his meniscus just over a month ago, but he returned to finish the regular season after surgery. While he seems to be healthy, the risk of his re-aggravating that injury is still high, and it will be important to keep a close eye on his status throughout this first-round series.

Suns vs. Timberwolves Prediction and Pick

Perhaps the most intriguing thing about this matchup is that the Phoenix Suns swept the Minnesota Timberwolves 3-0 in the teams’ regular season series, winning each game by double-digit margins. Despite this trend, Minnesota is currently favored 65-35 in the ESPN matchup predictor.

In the first Phoenix-Minnesota meeting in October, the Suns shot 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range, but that game was played almost five months ago and without Bradley Beal in the Phoenix lineup.

The more consequential previous meetings in terms of this opening-round playoff series were the two that came just before the end of the regular season. Those resulted in 97-87 and 125-106 wins for the Suns on April 5 and April 14. The concern for Minnesota here is that in all three of those matchups, the Timberwolves starters were heavily outscored by the Suns, including the two most recent games in which those starters averaged significantly fewer minutes than usual. It’s not easy to forget that in the regular-season finale, the Suns shot over 50 percent from both the field and 3-point range, with Beal going 6-for-6 from beyond the arc.

Minnesota has clearly had some difficulty slowing down Phoenix’s big three in Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Beal, but on paper this team has a strong defense. Its goal during the last off-season was to get bigger, and it accomplished that by adding Rudy Gobert to complement Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns.

That move improved the Wolves’ paint-play considerably over last season. The only problem with this strategy is that it creates issues against teams such as the Suns, who rely on threes as a primary shot option and hit them with great efficiency. That style of play will diminish Minnesota’s defensive size advantage.

As strange as it might seem when talking about a lower-seeded team, there isn’t really any asterisk you can put on Phoenix’s head-to-head wins over the Timberwolves. Minnesota had one of the best defensive efficiency ratings of any team in the entire NBA this season, but even if the T-Wolves have a better overall team, it feels as though the Suns simply match up better against Minnesota’s bigs. Although this game is likely going to be closer than those three previous matchups, Phoenix is my favorite to win this series, and I think the Suns will take it in six games.

Best NBA Same-Game Parlay Picks Today for Suns vs Timberwolves - NBA Playoffs Game 1: 4-Leg Parlay Picks (+1029)

Phoenix Suns Spread

For the first leg of this parlay, I’m going to go with the Phoenix Suns to beat the spread. One could also take the Suns on the moneyline here at +100, but in my opinion it's not worth ruining a four-leg parlay over 1.5 points. So, I will take the safer route here. Picking Phoenix here as an underdog is just a no-brainer after what they did to the Timberwolves during the regular season, and it's rare to get this kind of opportunity.

Leg 1 SGP Pick: Phoenix Suns +1.5 (-120)
Rudy Gobert Rebounds Total

Next, I am hitting the under on Rudy Gobert’s rebound total, which is set at 12.5. Minnesota’s Gobert is averaging 12.5 rebounds per game on the season, but in his three matchups against Phoenix, he has averaged just seven per game (on totals of six, seven, and eight).

I would think twice about this if I thought those lower totals had something to do with how the games developed -- since Phoenix did win those three matchups pretty handily -- but Gobert averaged 28.5 minutes in those contests, compared to 34 on the season, and that is rather notable.

Additionally, the rebounding battle in those games was evenly matched, with Minnesota actually grabbing more total boards in two of the three meetings. It therefore appears that Gobert's low rebound totals were not the result of fluke performances but rather a matchup challenge.

Although I think he certainly will play more minutes in this one, I think his matchup disadvantage against Phoenix will inevitably force the T-wolves to give Gobert less time, and he still won’t get to 12.5 rebounds here.

Leg 2 SGP Pick: Rudy Gobert Under 12.5 Rebounds (-134)
Kevin Durant Assists Total

For this pick, we can capitalize on Vegas’ recency bias. The oddsmakers have listed Kevin Durant’s over/under for assists at 3.5 after his one-assist outing in Phoenix’s regular season finale against Minnesota. That game was an outlier, however, because in his first two games against the Timberwolves, Durant posted six assists both times.

It also makes sense that Durant would have had fewer assists in the Suns’ most recent outing, because Bradley Beal had the hot hand in shooting 6-for-6 from 3-point range during that game. Phoenix clearly found it beneficial to run the offense through Beal for that particular game, but his three-ball will surely regress back to the mean in Game 1 of this series, which is why I expect KD to have a greater impact.

Durant averaged five assists per game during the season, so asking for four here is not a tall order, and these are some of the safest odds of any pick for this game.

Leg 3 SGP Pick: Kevin Durant Over 3.5 Assists (-160)

Mike Conley Points Total

Minnesota point guard Mike Conley’s projected scoring total for this game is set at 12.5 points, and that seems relatively low in comparison to his recent output. Conley has posted more than 12.5 points in four consecutive outings, and he is averaging 14.7 points over his last 10 games -- including a 17-point performance in the regular-season finale against Phoenix.

With Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns both likely to be double-teamed on Saturday, and with screens set throughout, Conley should have plenty of opportunities to score, and he has proven he can do that when needed.

Leg 4 SGP Pick: Mike Conley +12.5 (-115)

Odds are subject to change*

NBA PLAYOFFS SAME GAME PARLAY @ (+1029): Bet $100 to Win $1129

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