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NBA Finals Game 1 Top Player Props: Luka Doncic Will Shine

The stage is set for an electrifying battle as Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and the Boston Celtics are poised to take on Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and the Dallas Mavericks for the Larry O’Brien trophy. The Celtics, with the best record in the league during the regular season, are priced at -220 at the sportsbook to win the series and their 18th NBA championship. Dallas, the underdogs at +180, has just one NBA title in 2011.

Legacies are on the line, and history will be made. Our analysis, with a commendable 43– 30 record on our player prop bets, has been an exhilarating and profitable journey throughout the NBA playoffs.

NBA Finals Game 1 Top Player Props: Luka Doncic Will Shine
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks/David Berding/Getty Images/AFP


This highly anticipated matchup between two of the most exciting teams in the NBA tips off on ABC on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET.

My NBA predictions have been consistently accurate this season, so let’s continue the excitement with the best NBA player props for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.


Best Player Props Celtics vs Mavericks Game 1

Celtics SG Jaylen Brown Over 22½ Points

The Celtics swept the Pacers in the conference finals, giving themselves 10 days to rest for the NBA Finals. Boston is priced as a 6-point favorite in Game 1. In the last ten NBA Finals, favorites of 4½ points or more have gone 23-7. We’ve also seen nine of the previous 10 home team favorites in Game 1’s win.

Our first player prop is Jaylen Brown. Over the last ten days leading into the Finals, many pundits have had time to debate who the better superstar is between Brown and Jayson Tatum. The answer is irrelevant to the Celtics star duo. Brown has been consistently phenomenal throughout the playoffs thus far and finished right alongside Tatum (30.3 ppg) in the Eastern Conference Finals at 29.8 points per game.


Brown has had a ton of success against the Mavericks in his career, scoring 25 and 34 points in the two head-to-heads this season. Brown has exceeded this line in seven of his previous nine meetings with Dallas. His innate ability to attack and finish in the paint is crucial to his success. I expect Brown to continue to attack the rim and the offensive glass. He has scored 13.9 points per game in the paint during the playoffs, which is the most of any player in the Finals.

Boston led the league in 3-point attempts (42.5) per game. The Mavericks have a significant weakness in defending corner threes. They allowed the fourth-most corner threes per game during the regular season and throughout the playoffs among the 16 playoff teams. Brown has proven he can be deadly from the corner. Dallas has struggled to defend opposing guards, allowing the eighth-most threes per game to shooting guards during the regular season.

He was over this line in 37 of 62 games during the regular season (59.6%), where he played at least 30 minutes and has exceeded this number in 9 of 14 playoff games thus far. Including the playoffs, Brown has scored at least 23 points in 19 of 33 games at home, playing at least 30 minutes (57.5%). I expect JB to make an impact, and the stage is set for Brown to shine in Game 1.



Celtics SF Jayson Tatum Over 9½ Rebounds

Despite the Celtics coasting to a conference title, it hasn’t been a completely smooth path. In Game 4 in the first round against the Heat, Kristaps Porzingis suffered a calf injury that kept him out of action. The injured Unicorn is set to return for Game 1 of the Finals, but I expect his minutes to be limited to about 20 in his first action since April 29.

Therefore, with our second pick, I’m eyeing Jayson Tatum to finish with at least 10 rebounds. The price on Tatum to record a double-double is -150, compared to his odds to go over 9½ rebounds, which is (-130). BetUS sportsbook expects him to record a double-double, so why not take the better price on Tatum’s rebounds? We have trusted Tatum throughout the playoffs thus far, and he keeps delivering.

Tatum has stepped up his rebounding without Porzingis and finished with double-digit rebounds in four of five games against the Heat in Round 1. He had at least ten rebounds in four of five games in the second-round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers and ten rebounds in three of four against Indiana. Tatum has recorded at least 10 rebounds in 11 of 12 playoff wins during this run.

He has finished with at least ten boards in five of his last six meetings with the Mavs. In the playoffs, Tatum is leading the Celtics with 14.8 rebound chances per game; the next closest Celtics are Al Horford, with just 11.4 rebound chances, and Brown, with 10.7 chances.

The Mavericks acquired Daniel Gafford from the Washington Wizards at the trade deadline, and his athleticism has helped improve their rebounding. However, this is still an area of weakness. The rookie Derrick Lively and Gafford are never on the floor together, and they will likely be on the perimeter defending Al Horford and Porzingis near the three-point line. This will open up the paint for Tatum and his teammates.

Dallas allowed the third-most rebounds per game during the regular season. Despite adding Gafford and PJ Washington to the rotation, they still struggle to secure rebounds. I trust Tatum to do everything he can to continue leading his team to a championship.


Mavericks PG Luka Doncic Over 31½ Points

Big-time moments call for big-time players. Boston is likely the better overall team in this series, but Dallas has the two best players, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. This duo is the most talented backcourt in NBA history. On Thursday at the TD Garden, the environment will be extremely hostile for the visiting Mavs, but that has become something Doncic has fed off during this playoff run. The 25-year-old from Slovenia has played in some of the most hectic environments in the world, and I don’t expect the lights to be too bright in his first NBA Finals.

Doncic has averaged 31.1 points per game in nine road playoff games this season, exceeding 31 points in six of nine. He led the NBA with 33.9 points per game during the season, scoring at least 32 points in 43 of 70 games (61.4%). He scored at least 32 points in 36 of 54 games where he played at least 35 minutes (66.6%).

In the two meetings with Boston during the regular season, he scored 37 and 33 points. He has scored at least 31 points in seven of his previous nine matchups with Boston. This wager intrigues me here because the Celtics were one of the better defensive units in the league. Derrick White and Jrue Holiday have been dynamic on the defensive end, but Boston has allowed a ton of three-pointers above the break.

Boston allowed the third-most threes per game above the break (10.2); only the Lakers and Jazz allowed more from this zone. Boston’s defense is phenomenal, defending the corners, which leaves them susceptible to shots at the top of the key. In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, we saw Tyrese Haliburton shoot 6 of 14 from beyond the arc, hitting all from this range. In the prior series, Donovan Mitchell shot lights out from three, making 4 of 11, 5 of 7, and 7 of 12 from downtown against Boston! I expect Luka to put on a show, win or lose.



Mavericks PG Luka Doncic Over 3½ Made Threes

I’m completely buying into Luka Magic and sprinkling on his three-pointers made. Opponents’ top scorers have had plenty of success during the playoffs against Boston, and Doncic is next. He was a better shooter on the road this season, averaging 4.4 threes per game as opposed to 3.6 at home. He made at least four shots from beyond the arc in 25 of 36 road games during the season (69.4%) and 6 of 9 road playoff games.

The Celtics saw opponents launch the seventh-most three-point attempts per game against them this season. Luka has accomplished this in just four of his previous eight matchups with Boston, but I trust Doncic to step up on the biggest stage. You could opt for an alternate line of five threes, but I’m sipping the juice.


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Questions Of The Day

Which player is projected to score the most points in Thursday’s NBA Finals Game 1?

Mavericks PG Luka Doncic is projected to score the most points on Thursday night when Dallas battles the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

What is the best NBA player prop bet in Thursday’s NBA Finals Game 1?

The best player prop bet value on Thursday night is Jayson Tatum to go over his total rebounds betting line.


Odds and information are accurate at the time of writing. Please check with official sources for the latest updates before placing any bets.

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