2024 NBA Finals: Dallas at Boston G1 Closing Odds

Mavs vs Celtics Game 1 Odds Favor Hosts

The 2024 NBA Finals tip off tonight in Boston with Game 1 between the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics. It’s a battle of superstars with Luka Dončić and former Celtic Kyrie Irving leading Dallas while Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown pace Boston, which is looking for its first title since 2008. The Mavs vs Celtics Game 1 odds have Boston at -6.5 points on the spread and -230 on the moneyline. The total is at 215.5 points.

Even with how impressively the Mavericks dismantled the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA Western Conference Finals, Vegas — and the public — are in the bag for the Celtics.

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The big news is that Kristaps Porzingis, who has been out since April 29th with a calf strain, has been practicing and is expected to suit up tonight. The former Maverick gives Boston a crucial frontcourt option that stretches the floor and is a great rim protector.

Boston has been able to cruise through the NBA playoff bracket even without Porzingis available so his presence can make an enormous difference.

The Celtics would likely be sizable favorites even without Porzingis. But his inclusion in Boston’s offense — and, maybe more importantly, on defense — is a true game-changer. The Mavericks have good bigs in Dereck Lively II and Daniel Gafford but Porzingis is a dynamic multi-level scorer in ways these guys aren’t.

Mavericks logo Dallas Mavericks vs Boston Celtics Celtics logo

📊Records: Dallas Mavericks (62-37), Boston Celtics (76-20)
📅Day/Time:
Thursday, June 6, 8:30 p.m. ET (Game 1)
📍Location: TD Garden; Boston, Massachusetts (Game 1)
📺Stream: ABC

Porzingis Opens Everything Up

When it became clear that Porzingis would be available to return for Game 1, the Mavs vs Celtics Game 1 odds shifted rapidly toward Boston. It just feels like the addition of Porzingis puts Boston over the top in terms of stretching the floor, creating offense, and exploiting the Mavericks’ defense.

A big problem for the Celtics throughout the NBA regular season and in the playoffs has been that they tend to rely too much on the outside shooting of guys like Tatum, Brown, and Derrick White. With Porzingis, they have another solid shooter who is also 7’2″.

So, just his presence on the floor means that one of Boston’s bigs has to travel with him and while Lively II and Gafford are good athletes, if they’re on Porzingis out by the 3-point line, then they can’t be in the paint trying to stop Tatum or Brown or True Holiday from getting to the rim. The big man allows Boston to have more room to score.

If Boston wants to be NBA champions, they’ll need a healthy and aggressive Porzingis. But at the end of the day, Tatum still has to be this team’s best NBA player for Boston to win this series. He needs to realize he can rely on Porzingis, Brown, White, Jrue Holiday, and Al Horford to contribute.

Boston can’t afford to lose on the type of hero ball that has plagued Tatum at times. It has resulted in disappointing playoff exits in previous postseasons.

For Dallas, It Comes Down To The Stars

The Mavs vs Celtics Game 1 odds make it clear that Dallas is the second fiddle in this series but you can make the argument that the Mavericks have the two best players in this matchup if you want a big shot at the end of the game.

Between Dončić and Irving, Dallas has some of the most incredible one-on-one talent the NBA has ever seen and if the Mavericks want to beat the Celtics, they’ll need both of them to carry the load throughout the game, not just at the end.

Dallas just doesn’t have the depth, particularly on the offensive end, to spread the ball. Simply put, they’ll need their stars to play like stars at all times just to keep up with Boston’s offense.

Guys like P.J. Washington will be key in terms of providing secondary scoring. But Dallas lives and dies with how Luka and Kyrie play.

The Dallas Mavericks standings were as good as they were in the NBA regular season because of what Luka and Kyrie can do to score even when Dallas has no offense going on, and that may be a common occurrence against Boston’s disciplined defense.

Plus, Holiday is one of the NBA’s best one-on-one defenders so while he’s better suited to guard Irving, his quick hands and physicality make him a tough matchup for Dončić too.

All of that is to say a lot of Mavericks’ possessions could wind up late in the shot clock with either star guard needing to make a play. Often, those guys find a way to convert in those situations but if they need to constantly do it on their own, Dallas could be in trouble.

Take Boston Big

Go with the Celtics to cover the 6.5-point spread. Boston is 3-0 in Game 1s this postseason and is 2-1 against the spread in those games.

The Celtics have only lost twice all postseason: both Game 2s at home against the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers. Consider going with Boston to win big tonight and then maybe shifting to Dallas for Game 2.

For NBA Odds, news, betting analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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