Celtics Open 2024 NBA Finals As Betting Favorites Over Mavericks

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Celtics Open 2024 NBA Finals As Betting Favorites Over Mavericks

The Boston Celtics opened as -225 favorites Thursday at ESPN BET ahead of the 2024 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. Offshore sportsbooks, such as Bovada and BetOnline, show the Celtics as -210 and -375 favorites as well.

The Mavericks were listed as +185 underdogs after their series-clinching Game 5 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference finals.

Boston Celtics open as 6-point favorites over the Dallas Mavericks for Game 1 of the 2024 NBA Finals

Boston opened as 6-point favorites over the Mavericks in Game 1, which is scheduled for Thursday, June 6 at TD Garden.

Celtics star Jayson Tatum is also the betting favorite for Finals MVP at -130 at FanDuel. Mavericks star Luka Doncic has second-best odds at +200, followed by Jaylen Brown (+600) and Kyrie Irving (+2,400).

Doncic is the first player in NBA history to lead in total points (489), rebounds (164), and assists (150) through the first three rounds of the playoffs. He joins Larry Bird, Nikola Jokic, and LeBron James as the only players to record at least 450 points, 150 rebounds, and 150 assists in a single postseason.

According to BetOnline, the Celtics began the 2023-24 season with +500 odds to win the championship, the same odds as the reigning champion Denver Nuggets. The Phoenix Suns were third at +650, followed by the Milwaukee Bucks at +700.

Of course, Dallas began the season as +2500 long shots to win the NBA championship. The team’s odds dropped to +5000 at multiple sportsbooks in January. The Mavericks had an implied probability of just 2%.

However, the odds shifted in the Mavs’ favor after the trade deadline.

“At the start of the playoffs, this potential series price would have had the Celtics a heavier favorite, but now looks quite a bit closer,” sports trader David Lieberman, who oversees NBA odds for Caesars Sportsbook, told ESPN.

Despite losing center Kristaps Porzingis to a calf injury in the first round, Boston managed to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games of the semifinals and sweep Indiana in the ECF.

The Celtics were favored by at least seven points in each of their 14 playoff games this season.

SuperBook Vice President of Risk Management and Oddsmaking Jeff Sherman said the opening price on the Finals reflects Porzingis returning to the lineup.

“I’m expecting Dallas support [from bettors],” Sherman said.

Boston won both regular-season matchups in convincing fashion. Dallas is 1-4 against the Celtics in its last five meetings. The Mavericks haven’t beaten the C’s in over two years — last doing so at TD Garden on March 13, 2022. Dallas is aiming to win its first NBA championship since 2011.

Meanwhile, the Celtics have won eight straight matchups with a Western Conference opponent and are 6-2 in their past eight home games played against Dallas. Boston is working to secure its first NBA title since 2008.