NBA Finals 2024: Dallas Mavericks vs Boston Celtics Series Preview, Predictions & Best Bets: Celtics edge out Mavericks

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) and forward Xavier Tillman (26) defend against Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) in the second half at TD Garden.
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Filip Tomic


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Long-time NBA fan, following the game closely for 21 years now. Joined the Pickswise writing staff for the 2020-21 season and have given out winning picks since. Hopefully we can make some money together! Oh, and I firmly believe Lebron James is not one of the two best basketball players of all time. Yeah, I said it. For Filip Tomic media enquiries, please email
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And then there were 2. This year’s NBA Finals matchup is set: the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks will battle it out for the privilege of holding the Larry O’Brien Trophy in their hands. With Game 1 set to tip off on Thursday, June 6, it’s time to look ahead and analyze some of the key factors that could determine the outcome of this series. Don’t forget to bookmark our NBA picks page for predictions on the side and total on every single game of the NBA Finals, but for now, let’s get into our Mavericks vs Celtics series predictions!

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2024 NBA Finals odds

Odds courtesy of Bet365 and available at time of publishing.

NBA Finals winner odds

  • Dallas Mavericks +180
  • Boston Celtics -220

NBA Finals MVP odds

  • Jayson Tatum -120
  • Luka Doncic +210
  • Jaylen Brown +600
  • Kyrie Irving +1600
  • Derrick White +4000

NBA Finals Game 1 odds

Money Line

  • Dallas Mavericks +210
  • Boston Celtics -260

Point Spread

  • Dallas Mavericks +6.5 (-110)
  • Boston Celtics -6.5 (-110)


  • Over 214.5 (-110)
  • Under 214.5 (-110)

Read our full Dallas Mavericks vs Boston Celtics Game 1 predictions

How did the Boston Celtics reach the NBA Finals?

Boston has been the best team in the NBA all season. The Celtics wrapped up the regular season with a 64-18 record, winning 78% of their games while also having the 5th highest SRS of all time (a metric combining point differential and strength of schedule). That carried over into the postseason as they cruised through the East side of the bracket with a 12-2 record. However, instead of getting praised for their dominance, the Celtics have caught a lot of flak for their “easy” path to the NBA Finals. As such, I think it’s fair to say the majority of neutrals will be on the side of the underdog Mavericks.

How did the Dallas Mavericks reach the NBA Finals?

Dallas, on the other hand, went through a loaded Western Conference without having home-court advantage in all 3 of their series. First, they disposed of the Clippers and Thunder in 6 games and ultimately beat Minnesota in the Western Conference Finals 4-1. With his 6 triple-doubles so far, Luka Doncic has been the main story of their run. He wrapped up the West Finals MVP award averaging 32.4 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game. Playing alongside Kyrie Irving as his shooting guard, the duo is already hailed as one of the most dynamic backcourts in NBA history.

NBA Finals series prediction and best bet

Both teams will benefit equally from the 7 days of rest before this series starts. Boston is hoping to get Kristaps Porzingis back in the lineup. The Latvian big man hasn’t played since his calf injury in round 1, but there is optimism he might return. Doncic’s lingering knee and ankle knocks will improve significantly, as crazy as it might sound we still haven’t seen Doncic operating at 100% this postseason run. Dereck Lively II is another player who the Mavs hope to have fully healthy after his head and neck injuries suffered toward the end of that Minnesota series.

At -220 odds the Celtics are clear-cut favorites to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy, but this will be their hardest challenge of the postseason so far. One thing that could give them the edge here is their experience. Boston has been through its fair share of postseason failures in recent years, having gotten to the Eastern Conference Finals 6 times over the last 8 seasons. With this core in particular the Celtics even went to the NBA finals 2 seasons ago only to lose to the Warriors 4-2. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are still only just 26 and 27 years old, in a way they are just entering their peak years yet they have so much experience under their belts already.

Aside from Irving, nobody else on this Mavericks roster has been on the biggest stage — at least not in the NBA. Doncic and Donte Exum have played in some big games overseas, but playing in the NBA Finals is a whole new level. On their way to the finals the Mavs pretty much relied on their interior defense to stop the likes of Paul George, SGA and Anthony Edwards, forcing them to rely more on their perimeter shooting and it worked. However, they have not faced a team with so much weapons on offense as the Celtics have, so that will be a challenge in its own. The Mavs’ top-heavy roster makes them rely way too much on just 2 players, but then again if Doncic goes supernova anything could happen.

In the 2 regular-season meetings it was all Boston. The C’s dominated both games, winning by 9 and 28 points. Both teams were pretty much at full strength in those games and the 2nd meeting was played in early March at TD Garden after Dallas made all those moves at the trade deadline which got it to this point. It’s hard to ignore what the Celtics have done all year long. They were the best team in the regular season and have been in the postseason, as well. Depending on the availability of Porzingis this goes either 6 or 7 games.

2024 NBA Finals series prediction: Boston Celtics to win 4-2 (+470)

Don’t miss out on our Mavericks vs Celtics Same Game Parlay picks for Game 1 of the NBA Finals at +638 odds!

NBA Finals MVP prediction and best bet

As far as MVP of the Finals goes, we have plenty of options to choose from. Heading into the series the odds-on favorite is Jayson Tatum at just -120, followed by Luka Doncic at a generous +210 odds. Eastern Conference Finals MVP Jaylen Brown is available at +600, while Kyrie Irving of the Mavs is 4th in line at a whopping +2000.

I have to admit, I am very tempted to back Doncic to win it even if the Celtics are the last team standing. Only once in NBA history the NBA Finals MVP has gone to a player on the losing team — back in 1969 Jerry West won the award despite his Los Angeles Lakers losing to the Celtics in 7 games.

So far this postseason, Tatum hasn’t really impressed with his efficiency, hence why Brown was able to snatch the East Finals MVP. On the other hand, Doncic always puts up video game-like numbers, he currently leads the NBA postseason in almost every significant statistical category. The difference between Tatum and Doncic is that the latter’s team depends on him to put up big numbers for them to stand a chance, while Tatum’s squad has 5 players averaging double-digit points this postseason. I’ll take my chances with Doncic.

2024 NBA Finals MVP prediction: Luka Doncic to win NBA Finals MVP (+210)

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