The Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics play Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night. Tip-off from TD Garden in Boston is at 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC). Below, we break down FanDuel Sportsbook’s NBA Finals Game 1 prop bet odds and lines, and tab the 5 best Mavericks vs. Celtics prop bets to make among SportsbookWire’s expert NBA picks and predictions.

After a lengthy layoff since the conference finals, the Mavericks will play in their 1st NBA Finals since 2011 when they took home the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the only time in franchise history with Dirk Nowitzki leading the way against the Miami Heat. This is the Dallas’ 3rd NBA Finals trip as it lost to the Heat back in 2006.

The Boston Celtics are looking to break a tie with the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers franchise for most NBA Championships. The C’s have 17, and would love to inch ahead in that rivalry.

Boston last appeared in the NBA Finals in 2022, falling in 6 games to the Golden State Warriors. Prior to that, the C’s fell to the Lakers in 7 games in 2010. Boston’s last title came in 2008 when Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined a Doc Rivers’ team that already had Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo.

  • Game 1 picks and predictions

Game 1: Best Mavericks at Celtics prop bet picks

Odds provided by FanDuel Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 2 a.m. ET.

Mavericks PG Luka Doncic UNDER 31.5 points (-115)

Doncic will make his 1st NBA Finals appearance. He has had a strong playoffs, rolling for 28.8 points (PPG), 9.6 rebounds (RPG), 8.8 assists (APG) and 1.6 steals (SPG) per game through 17 postseason contests.

His target score for points is a bit high in Game 1. Yes, he balled out against Minnesota in the Western Conference Finals, averaging 32.4 PPG in the 5 games, which was similar to his regular-season average of an NBA-best 33.9 PPG. However, facing the Celtics is a whole other animal.

During the regular season, Boston allowed just 109.2 PPG, which ranked 5th in the NBA, while limiting the opposition to just 45.3% from the field (2nd in the NBA), and 35.2% from behind the 3-point line (4th).

Doncic certainly isn’t going to lay an egg, but scoring more than 30 points against the Celtics is a bit ambitious. People will look to his 35.0 PPG average against Boston in 2 regular-season games to argue against going Under, but regular season and postseason are completely different. Those games weren’t on the world’s largest stage.

Doncic averaged 34.0 PPG in 2 regular-season games against OKC but was held to 24.7 PPG in 6 games against the Thunder in the Western semifinals. So, there’s that.

Celtics SF Jayson Tatum OVER 2.5 3-pointers (-136)

Tatum is a good bet to hit at least 3 triples in Game 1 as he enjoys a little bit of home cooking.

He is looking to avenge an NBA Finals loss in his 1st-career appearance in 2022. Tatum hit 20 3-pointers in the 6 games of that Finals. He has that experience to tap into and is the favorite to win the Finals MVP at -125; Doncic is 2nd at +210.

The Mavericks were just so-so during the regular season guarding against the 3, allowing teams to hit 36.8% from behind the arc, 18th in the NBA. Defensively, the Mavs allowed 115.6 PPG, and 47.5% shooting from the field, both ranking 20th.

Tatum sank 8 triples in the final 2 games of the sweep against Indiana in the East Finals, hitting at least 3 in each of those outings.

1st-quarter total points UNDER 55.5 (-122)

The O/U total for Game 1 is set at 215 (O: -110 | U: -110). While the Celtics were in the NBA Finals in 2022, again, there are just a few holdovers. Outside of SG Kyrie Irving, the Mavericks do not have a lot of experience in the Finals, either.

Look for these teams to slowly get their sea legs after a lengthy layoff, too. There will be butterflies. There will be rust. That’s a good recipe for a slow start, and a low score in the opening 12 minutes.

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Mavericks SG Kyrie Irving to RECORD 4+ ASSISTS (-240)

This is not recommended as a standalone wager, as risking 2.4 times your potential wager provides very little in the way of value in hoping Irving gets at least 4 assists.

However, including this wager along with all of the other props is great for a Same-Game Parlay (SGP). Irving had at least 4 assists in all 5 games against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Finals. Plus, he had 4 or more dimes in 14 of his 17 games this postseason, including in 8 of his past 9.

Mavericks SF Derrick Jones Jr. to RECORD 1+ STEALS (-105)

At near even-money, this is a solid play. It’s the kind of prop which can make or break an SGP, as it is a coin-flip, though.

However, Jones had 3 steals in the Minnesota series, and he has at least 1 theft in 5 of his past 9 postseason games. He averaged 33.0 minutes per game in the Western Conference Finals, and there is ample opportunity for his quick hands to get you on the board.

The NBA Finals are set to deliver plenty of excitement, but they will be over before you know it. Fill that void until Summer League and the fall return of hoops by taking a spin at some of the best slot sites in the US.

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