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NBA Finals Game 2 Top Player Props: Don’t Doubt Luka Doncic

The NBA playoffs have been thrilling, and I’ve been right there with you, delivering a remarkable 43– 28 record on player prop bets since the start of the playoffs. This consistent success is a testament to my research. We closed out Game 1 with a 2-2 split, but I’m eager to sweep our NBA Finals Game 2 picks.

The Boston Celtics took care of business and defeated the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1, 107-89. Boston’s Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum were terrific in the win. Teams that win Game 1 have won the NBA Finals 70.1% of the time. The Celtics owned the best record in the league during the regular season and are three wins away from lifting their 18th NBA championship trophy.

NBA Finals Game 2 Top Player Props: Don’t Doubt Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks- Adam Glanzman/Getty Images/AFP

 

NBA Finals Game 2 Top Player Props: Don’t Doubt Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving will look to bounce back and even the series before heading to Dallas. The duo has delivered all postseason, so it won’t be a total shock if they come out on fire in Game 2.

On Sunday, the NBA Finals continue at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT. My predictions have been red-hot, and we’re coming off of another profitable season, so let’s continue the excitement with the best NBA player props for Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

 

Celtics SF Jayson Tatum Over 9½ Rebounds

Boston is priced as a 7-point favorite in Game 2 after they were 6-point favorites in Game 1. In the last ten NBA Finals, favorites of 4½ points or more have gone 24-7. We’ve also seen 9 of the previous 11 home team favorites in Game 1’s win. That momentum has carried over into Game 2s for the home teams, going 6-2 over the last eight NBA Finals. I expect Dallas to make adjustments, but Boston is in a position to go up 2-0.

Our first player prop will look familiar, and it’s Jayson Tatum. I’m eyeing Tatum to finish with at least 10 rebounds again. We have trusted Tatum throughout the playoffs thus far, and he keeps delivering. We backed him in Game 1 at this same number, and he finished with 11 boards. If you look at the box score, you may not be impressed with his line from Game 1, but he did all the essential things, including rebounding.

Tatum has stepped up his rebounding 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 12 of 13 playoff wins during this run.

He has finished with at least ten boards in six of his last seven 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 11.5 rebound chances, and Jaylen Brown, with 10.9 chances. In Game 1, Tatum had the most rebound chances of any player with 15.

Dallas allowed the third-most rebounds per game during the regular season. Despite adding Daniel Gafford and PJ Washington to the rotation, they still struggle to secure rebounds. The Mavs acquired Gafford from the 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, so the paint is still a vulnerable area for Dallas.

Tatum led all Celtics in primary possessions defending Lively or Gafford in Game 1. This was a brilliant coaching decision from Joe Mazzulla, who virtually removed the pick-and-roll lob passes the Mavs had perfected. This also led to Tatum grabbing more defensive rebounds. I trust Tatum to do everything he can to continue leading his team to a championship.

 

Celtics C Kristaps Porzingis Over 1½ Made Threes

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 returned for Game 1 of the Finals and was the difference maker Boston yearned for him to be when they acquired him in a trade last summer. He finished with 20 points in just 21 minutes, 11 of which came in an explosive first quarter.

Thank goodness the Knicks had a great season. It has certainly helped me ignore that Kristaps Porzingis is a significant part of Boston’s juggernaut unit, but he reminded us all what he’s capable of in Game 1. He shot 2 of 4 from downtown. In his first season with Boston, Porzingis averaged an impressive 20.1 points during the regular season.

Boston led the league in 3-point attempts (42.5) per game. They are a live by the three, die by the three, which is quintessential for a championship squad in 2024. They set an NBA Finals record with seven players knocking down at least two shots from beyond the arc in Game 1.

He was over this line in 38 of 62 games, including the playoffs (61%). He came off the bench in Game 1 and might again on Sunday night, but I expect his minutes to trend up. He’s made at least two shots from beyond the arc in 22 of 31 games at TD Garden (71%). In his lone meeting with the Mavs in the regular season, he splashed 4 of 8 triples in 29 minutes. Ride the unicorn in Game 2!

 

Mavericks PG Luka Doncic Over 31½ Points

I said before Game 1 that 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. Doncic played well in Game 1 and finished with 30 points. Luka and Kyrie sat on the bench with 5 minutes and 17 seconds left in the fourth when Jason Kidd conceded and pulled his starters. The 25-year-old from Slovenia has played in some of the most hectic environments in the world, and the lights were not too bright in his first NBA Finals appearance.

Doncic has averaged 30.5 points per game in ten road playoff games this season, exceeding 31 points in six of ten. 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%) and 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. Boston has allowed a ton of three-pointers above the break. This is where Luka is lethal.

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, Boston allowed Dallas to attempt just three corner threes–an area where they averaged 11.6 attempts before this series!

In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Tyrese Haliburton shot 6 of 14 from beyond the arc, hitting all from above the break. 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!

Opponents’ top scorers have had plenty of success during the playoffs against Boston. 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. I expect Luka to continue to put on a show, win or lose.

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