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

The 2024 NBA Finals begin on Thursday as the Boston Celtics host the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1. These teams squared off twice during the 2024 regular season, with Boston winning both matchups. The Celtics enter the 2024 NBA Finals full of confidence after winning 12 of their 14 games in the NBA playoffs. The Mavericks, meanwhile, are coming off a dominant performance in the Western Conference finals, knocking off the Minnesota Timberwolves 4-1. 

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 Celtics have hit the 1H money line in 37 of their last 44 games
  • DAL: The Mavericks have covered 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

Center Al Horford gives Boston a veteran clog in the frontcourt. Horford is able to stretch the floor due to his jumper and does a good job fighting for rebounds. He stepped up in the absence of Kristaps Porzingis (calf), who went down in the first round. In the Eastern Conference finals versus the Pacers, Horford averaged 12.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, and made 39% of his 3-pointers. On May 25 versus Indiana, he had 25 points, five boards, and went 7-of-12 from downtown.

Guard Payton Pritchard provides a nice boost off the bench. Pritchard has the offensive skillset to score in bunches from time to time and owns a smooth jumper. He’s scored in double figures in five playoff games thus far. In the Game 2 win over the Pacers, Pritchard tallied 12 points, two assists, and knocked down both 3-pointers. In the 2024 NBA playoffs, he’s averaging 7.5 points, 2.3 assists, and shooting 45% from beyond the arc. 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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