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Mavs vs Celtics Prop Picks and Best Bets for Game 1 of the NBA Finals

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The 2024 NBA Finals are here — and a star-studded matchup between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks has predictably sent the NBA props market into overdrive.

The Celtics were expected to be here, while the Mavericks are riding a blistering finish to the season after revamping their roster around Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. From Irving’s return to Boston to Kristaps Porzingis facing one of his former teams, the storylines write themselves. 

To correspond with our Mavs vs. Celtics predictions, I’ve scoured the Game 1 props and selected my top three NBA picks as a high-pressure series tips off tonight.

Best Mavs vs Celtics prop picks today

  • Doncic Over 8.5 assists (-110 at BetMGM)
  • Horford Over 6.5 points (-115 at FanDuel)
  • Irving Under 23.5 points (-105 at DraftKings)

Picks made on 6-6 at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Mavs vs Celtics player props for June 6

Prop bet #1: Dimes for Doncic

To state the obvious, the Dallas Mavericks need an A+ series from Luka Doncic to capture their second NBA title, and a week off will have been a welcome boost for his banged-up knee.

Solving this Boston Celtics defense is the latest test for Luka after he carved up the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference Finals. His prior outings against the Celtics suggest he’ll be up for the challenge.

I see the greatest value in the Doncic assists prop, with the O/U line set at 8.5. He had 11 dimes against Boston in the most recent meeting and shredded the Celtics defense for 13 earlier in the season.

That makes this Over one of the most appealing picks on the board — and Doncic has shown great trust in his teaMMAtes on this Finals run, from the lobs to Daniel Gafford and Dereck Lively II and the swing passes to P.J. Washington and Derrick Jones Jr. 

I see the Celtics scheming to get the ball out of Doncic’s hands, and that’s going to translate to plenty of possessions with Luka slinging a pass to an open shooter.

Doncic has already had nine or more assists 11 times on this postseason charge, and I’m picking him to add to that tally here.

Luka Doncic prop: Over 8.5 assists (-110 at BetMGM)

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Prop bet #2: Hoopin' Horford

Kristaps Porzingis’ return is huge for the Celtics, but I expect a cautious approach in Game 1. No practice can fully replicate an NBA Finals game and that means Al Horford will have a key role to play.

Horford has put up erratic numbers in these playoffs, but he’s still capable of making teams pay when he gets into a rhythm. He knocked down seven 3-pointers on the way to 23 points in Game 3 against the Indiana Pacers, and he’s been willing to jack up double-digit attempts from deep.

I’m sticking with the trends on this pick. Horford has had at least seven points in 10 of his 14 contests, and he’s going to get good looks with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown drawing a crowd.

Assuming he can stay out of trouble while protecting the rim and switching on the Dallas guards, Horford is primed for big minutes and a healthy number of shot attempts.

Porzingis will need to work through some rust, but the Celtics have the luxury of Horford’s experience and outside touch to help in the meantime.

Al Horford prop: Over 6.5 points (-115 at FanDuel)

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Prop bet #3: Kyrie contained

As the vocal leader of this Dallas team, Kyrie Irving is going to be a central character in these Finals. But the Celtics have the ideal backcourt to make Kyrie work for his points.

Jrue Holiday and Derrick White are the likeliest options for the Irving assignment and both are outstanding when it comes to navigating screens and staying in front of crafty scorers.

Irving was held under 24 points in both regular season matchups against Boston, including a 9-for-23 shooting effort for 19 points in the most recent meeting, and Porzingis’ presence in the paint will be an added deterrent.

Kyrie is also assured of a hostile reception from the crowd at TD Garden after the sour ending to his Celtics tenure. In the past, Irving has let that scrutiny get to him.

In the brief moments when Doncic is on the bench, Kyrie is going to be running the show solo for the Mavericks, and those minutes could decide the series. I’m taking the Under on the Irving points prop for Game 1, with Boston capable of leaning on multiple playoff-tested defenders.

Kyrie Irving prop: Under 23.5 points (-105 at DraftKings)

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