Celtics vs. Mavericks odds, score prediction, time: 2024 NBA Finals picks, Game 1 best bets by advanced model

The last series of the 2023-24 NBA season is finally upon us. The Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks square off in Game 1 of the 2024 NBA Finals on Thursday evening. The Mavericks are seeking to win their second NBA Finals in franchise history. Meanwhile, Boston has won 17 total championships, tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for most in the NBA. However, the Celtics haven’t hoisted the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy since 2008. 

Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET from TD Garden in Boston. The latest Mavericks vs. Celtics odds from SportsLine consensus list Boston as 6.5-point favorites, while the over/under for total points scored is 214.5. Before locking in any Celtics vs. Mavericks picks for the 2024 NBA Finals, you’ll want to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

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 2024 NBA Finals on a sizzling 94-61 roll on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning more than $2,800. Anyone following has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Celtics vs. Mavs and just locked in its picks and NBA Finals predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Here are several NBA betting lines and trends for Mavs vs. Celtics:

  • Celtics vs. Mavericks spread: Boston -6.5
  • Celtics vs. Mavericks over/under: 214.5 points
  • Celtics vs. Mavericks money line: Boston -250, Dallas +204
  • BOS: The Boston Celtics have hit the 1H money line in 37 of their last 44 games
  • DAL: The Dallas Mavericks have covered in in 35 of their last 50 games
  • Celtics vs. Mavericks picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why the Mavericks can cover

The Mavericks have been able to be very active and effective in the lane. During the 2024 NBA playoffs, the Mavs average 6.2 blocks and 43.1 rebounds per game. Both of those numbers ranked within the top four of all teams in the postseason. A big reason for that is two active members in the frontcourt. Center Daniel Gafford is a strong finisher around the rim with the ability to soar high for alley-oops. Meanwhile, defensively he’s a great shot blocker. 

In the Western Conference finals versus the Timberwolves, he averaged 10.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, and shot 75% from the field. In his last outing, Gafford finished with 11 points and nine rebounds. Center Dereck Lively II is a supplementary presence in the frontcourt. Lively has been a great finisher in the lane with soft hands. In the 2024 NBA playoffs, he’s averaging 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game off the bench. See which team to pick here.

Why the Celtics can cover

Forward Jayson Tatum is one of the top playmakers and shot-creators in the NBA. Tatum’s footwork is elite to create space on the perimeter to either get into the lane or get a clean look as a jump shooter. The five-time All-Star also has good court vision as a passer. He ranks first on the team in points (26), rebounds (10.4), and assists (5.9) in the 2024 NBA playoffs. In the Game 4 win over the Pacers, Tatum notched 26 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists.

Guard Jrue Holiday has consistently been a two-way threat in the backcourt. Holiday is a pesky and active defender due to his instincts. The UCLA product will get his teammates involved and likes to get downhill. In the Eastern Conference finals, he averaged 18.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game. See which team to pick here.

How to make Mavericks vs. Celtics picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 220 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 50% of the time. You can only see the model’s NBA playoff picks at SportsLine.

So who wins Celtics vs. Mavericks, and which side of the spread hits well over 50% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is 94-61 on top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out. 


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