Home News NBA Finals odds, picks, best bets – Chicago Tribune

NBA Finals odds, picks, best bets – Chicago Tribune

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The Celtics set a few NBA Finals records in their convincing win over Dallas in Game 1. Their 17-point lead at the end of the first quarter marked the largest differential after 12 minutes and their seven players to knock down multiple 3-pointers also established a new Finals record.

Can the Mavericks put their first game against Boston in the past and steal Game 2 at TD Garden, or will the C’s carry over their offensive onslaught from Game 1?

Let’s analyze Sunday’s Game 2 with a prediction and pick.

Mavericks vs. Celtics Game 2 odds

  • Spread: Mavericks +7.5 (-115), Celtics -7.5 (-105)
  • Moneyline: Mavericks +220, Celtics -275
  • Total: Over 214.5 (-115), Under 214.5 (-105)

Odds via BetMGM

Mavericks vs. Celtics Game 2 prediction

(8:00 p.m. ET Sunday, ABC)

Perhaps Kyrie Irving’s “Celtics curse” is to blame for the beatdown the Mavericks took in Game 1. After all, his teams are just 1-11 against the C’s since stomping on Lucky the Leprechaun in 2021.

It could also just be that Boston is simply a superior team on both ends of the floor. Regardless, the C’s enter Game 2 as a 7.5-point home favorite. And it makes sense.

The combination of Kristaps Porzingis’ return to the lineup and Boston’s players staying home on the perimeter — indicating they trust each other’s one-on-one defense — spells trouble for the Mavs moving forward.

As the primary defender inside of 6 feet, Porzingis helped put a lid on the rim for the Celtics, who held Dallas to a field goal percentage of 44.4%. He also recorded three blocks in Game 1.

Kyrie Irving (right) finished with just 12 points in Game 1.
Kyrie Irving (right) finished with just 12 points in Game 1. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

These statistics are particularly important because the Mavericks lead all teams in the postseason in alley-oop dunks by a wide margin, so shutting that down takes away a substantial piece of their offense.

The trust the Celtics have in Porzingis as a rim protector also allows them to play defense more aggressively on the perimeter, as evidenced by the number of 3s (27) the Mavericks attempted, sizably fewer than their season average of 40.

Meanwhile, the Celtics have crafted their winning formula to perfection: Shoot 50% or more from 3-point land. In games this season (regular season and playoffs) in which more than 50% of their shots have been from deep, they boast a 35-4 record, including a 6-0 mark in the playoffs, per The Ringer.

Mavericks vs. Celtics Game 2 pick

From a game-planning and personnel standpoint, the C’s have more than just an upper hand on Dallas; they have the perfect recipe for dismantling the Mavs without much resistance.

After Boston’s dominant Game 1 performance, there is little evidence to suggest Dallas can keep the rest of these games within striking distance.

Pick: Celtics -7 (-110 at DraftKings)



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