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Luka Doncic Odds & Props - June 6, 2024

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The NBA Finals odds have the Boston Celtics favored, but whether they can win or not may be determined by their ability to slow down Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic.

The start of any series is a feeling-out process, and I think the C's won’t throw the kitchen sink at Luka in Game 1. That’s why my NBA picks expect Doncic to fire a strong opening salvo in this Mavs vs. Celtics affair on June 6.

Luka Doncic prop picks for June 6

  • Over 8.5 assists
  • Over 8.5 assists/Over 3.5 threes/Over 31.5 points

Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Luka Doncic best bet

Over 8.5 assists (-122)

Luka Doncic isn't like any player the Boston Celtics have seen this playoff run, and I think it might take a quarter or two for them to figure things out. Boston will attempt to defend Luka straight up just like everyone else has, with Jaylen Brown likely drawing the one-on-one assignment.

But there’s a reason Minnesota — the NBA’s best defense — ultimately felt it couldn’t play its traditional drop defense in the pick-and-roll against Doncic and had to blitz him. 

Doncic’s combination of size and vision is among the best in NBA history. It means every pass is an option, and every angle is a threat when he has the ball. The Celtics blitzed less than any team in the NBA this season, and they also hardly blitzed Doncic during the regular season.

However, failure to get the ball out of Luka's hands will unlock his deadly playmaking. He’ll use screens to eventually target Kristaps Porzingis or Al Horford, neither of whom can defend Luka on an island, and he'll hunt them relentlessly.

If Boston's bigs drop, that opens up the easy pass to the screener for a pick and pop, whether that’s P.J. Washington or Derrick Jones Jr.

Celtics opponents have also shot a blistering 71% at the rim during the playoffs, in part due to Porzingis’ absence. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect KP will return to full All-Star caliber form and play 30+ minutes in Game 1 after five weeks off. With ultra lob catchers in Dereck Lively II and Daniel Gafford, Luka will make hay in the paint.

The schedule of the Finals means Luka is going to play extended minutes as well. He's had a full week to rest his sprained knee, and there are also two full days off before Game 2. Jason Kidd won’t hesitate to hit the accelerator on Luka’s minutes after so much time off. 

Doncic averaged just shy of 10 assists per Game in the regular season, which should be closer to reflecting his likely production in Game 1.

These Luka Doncic odds might make sense later in the series when the Celtics feel the need to change up their base defense, but for now, there is strong value on the Over.

Prop: Over 8.5 assists (-122 at DraftKings)

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Luka Doncic same-game parlay

DraftKings Logo

Over 8.5 assists

Over 31.5 points

Over 3.5 threes

+298 at DraftKings

What makes Doncic such an elite playmaker is he’s a threat to score from everywhere on the court. If you give him the lane, he’ll drive and finish. If you let him post up, he’ll score over the top. If he gets a mismatch, he’ll attack them or shoot without a second thought. 

Any mistake against Doncic is death, meaning defending him requires total team awareness and discipline.

In the past, the Celtics have tried to limit Luka’s mismatch hunting by moving Jayson Tatum to defend whichever Mavericks center is on the court. But that means Porzingis or Horford are going to be caught between defending their man in the corner and defending the paint. Any time the rim protector is away from the hoop, Luka can touch paint and score.

And when he gets Porzingis or Horford on a switch, he’ll pull the ball out and flow right into a stepback three. The Celtics might feel compelled to double if either gets caught on an island, but they've been very reluctant to do so in the past. At least in Game 1, I expect Doncic to be free to score in those situations.

He’s also going to feel comfortable attacking Derrick White. White is an outstanding team defender, but he doesn’t have the strength to defend Luka one-on-one. If there are two defenders at any time Doncic feels he can score against easily, suddenly the Celtics stout defense will look fragile.

Luka has hit at least four treys in six of his last seven games and he's averaging an even four over his last 10. Boston allowed the second-highest rate of opponents above the break threes in the regular season per Cleaning the Glass. Even the best defenses have to concede something, but Doncic can dominate a game from those spots.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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