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Mavericks vs Celtics NBA Finals Game 2 Betting Trends

The Boston Celtics try to duplicate their opening-game effort in the NBA Finals when they host the Dallas Mavericks for Game 2 of the championship series on Sunday night. Boston looked every bit the NBA betting favorite to win the league title this season in the opener, topping Dallas by 18 points.

Dallas has now dropped the series opener against three of its four opponents during this postseason, all by double-digits, but the Mavericks are a perfect 3-0 in Game 2s, all on the road. In fact, Dallas is 7-2 on the road in the playoffs in 2024.

Mavericks vs Celtics NBA Finals Game 2 Betting Analysis
Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics-Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP

Boston’s only two losses in the playoffs this year have been in Game 2s, falling to the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers at home in the first and second rounds of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Celtics’ average margin of victory in Game 1 of those series was 22.5 points, so there’s no guarantee that Game 2 will be like the NBA Finals opener.

Mavericks vs Celtics NBA Finals Game 2 Betting Analysis

  • Game: Dallas Mavericks (0-1) vs Boston Celtics (1-0)
  • Date/Time: Sunday, June 9, 8 p.m. ET
  • Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
  • Live Stream: NBA Game Pass

 

Boston is now 3-0 against the Mavericks this season, having taken both regular-season matchups between the teams. The Celtics’ average margin of victory in the two games played at TD Garden has been 23 points, while Boston’s road win in Dallas was by just nine points.

The Celtics remain the favorite in the NBA odds for Game 2, giving seven points to the visiting Mavericks. If you’re betting on the moneyline, you can get Boston at -260 for a straight-up win or Dallas at +210 to pull off the outright upset.

The over/under for Game 2 is set at 214½ points, with -110 odds on each side of that bet.

 

  • Dallas is 0-5 ATS in its last five games against Boston.
  • The total has gone under in five of the Mavericks’ last six games against an Eastern Conference opponent.
  • The Celtics are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine games against a Western Conference opponent.
  • The total has gone under in eight of Boston’s last 12 games played on a Sunday.
  • Dallas is 5-1 ATS in its last six games on the road.

Mavericks Looking For Another Bounceback Game 2

Dallas has been in this position – down 0-1 and facing a Game 2 on the road – before, and it has come out of it in very good shape. The Mavericks have now lost 12 of the last 14 Game 1s they’ve participated in going back to their championship season of 2010-11. That season included Dallas falling behind 0-1 in the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat, losing Game 1 on the road, before rallying for a six-game victory.

The only totally effective offensive player in the series opener, guard Luka Doncic, has been through a lot of those series-opening losses. But he knows that it’s just one loss, and he’s ready for Game 2.

“Either you lose or you win,” Doncic said. “First to four, we’ve got to focus on the next game.”

Doncic finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds in the opener, but he had just one assist after averaging 8.8 per game in the postseason heading into this series. The Mavericks as a team had just nine assists on 35 made shots, a stat that must change if Dallas is going to turn things around in Game 2.

“We’ve got to move the ball,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said after Game 1. “The ball got stuck too much.”

Dallas also needs a better offensive showing from guard Kyrie Irving, who was hearing boos throughout from the crowd in Boston, where he was once a revered player for the Celtics. Irving finished with just 12 points on 6-for-19 shooting, including 0-for-5 marksmanship from the 3-point arc.

Dallas also can’t afford to fall behind big again, as the Celtics feed off their home crowd. The Mavericks must be even or ahead after the first quarter or it will be another uphill battle that will be difficult to win.

 

Celtics Can’t Afford To Rest On Laurels

As stated earlier, the Celtics’ only two losses this postseason have come at home in Game 2s, so they have to be ready for Sunday’s contest. Dallas is going to come out more determined and having made some adjustments, so Boston must be ready to match their intensity despite having a series lead.

Boston also can’t plan on the major impact that center Kristaps Porzingis had in Game 1 as he returned to game action for the first time since the first round. Porzingis played 21 minutes and finished with 20 points, six rebounds and three blocks, much of that production coming in the first half when the Celtics opened up a huge lead.

“Tonight was affirmation to myself that I’m pretty good,” Porzingis said after the Game 1 victory. “I’m not perfect but I can play like this and I can add to this team.”

Porzingis was one of seven Celtics to hit multiple 3-pointers in the game, helping to neutralize the Mavericks’ solid interior defense at the rim. The outside shots were falling, which opened up driving lanes for many of Boston’s players to use to get to the rim.

Guard Jaylen Brown led the way with 22 points, adding six rebounds, two assists, three blocks and three steals in a great all-around performance. Forward Jayson Tatum added a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds and was one of three Celtics starters with five assists.

Despite the big performance in the opener, Boston knows the job is far from finished. In the 2022 NBA Finals, the Celtics jumped out to a 1-0 lead over the Golden State Warriors before losing four of the next five games and the chance at a championship. They don’t want to repeat that scenario this year.

“Getting back to this point and being here is really a big deal,” Tatum said Thursday. “But two years ago we won the first game and we know the outcome of that series. We still have a lot of work to do.”

 

Mavericks Cover Spread In Tight Game 2

This series is not going to be as one-sided as Game 1 was, as Dallas isn’t going to go quietly. Boston isn’t going to have the overwhelming first half that helped it pull away in the series opener, so it’s going to need to work for every win from here on out.

Game 2 should be much closer, and we like the Mavericks to keep it tight to the end, win or loss. When making your NBA picks for the second game of the NBA Finals, take Dallas to cover the seven-point spread in what should be a low-scoring game.

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