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2024 NBA Finals betting guide: Odds for series winner, MVP and more

2024 NBA Finals betting guide: Odds for series winner, MVP and more originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The 2024 NBA Finals is a great matchup on paper and there are lots of compelling storylines entering Game 1 on Thursday night at TD Garden.

The Boston Celtics were expected to be here. They were among the title favorites before the season, and then they led the league with a 64-18 record. Boston cruised through the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 12-2 record en route to its second Finals appearance in three years. The Celtics are hoping to become the first team since the 2016-17 Golden State Warriors to have the league's best regular season record and win the Finals in the same campaign.

The Dallas Mavericks did not face the same expectations, but a couple impactful trade deadline acquisitions -- Daniel Gafford and P.J. Washington -- helped turn things around and give the roster much-needed depth and improved defense. The Mavs beat three 50-win teams in the Western Conference playoffs to reach the Finals for the first time since 2011.

The Celtics, unsurprisingly are favored by oddsmakers to win the series and claim a record 18th title.

If the Mavericks win, it would be history-making in a few ways. For one, they didn't even make the playoffs last season. They also would be just the second team to win a title as a No. 5 seed or lower. The Houston Rockets won the second of their back-to-back championships as the No. 6 seed in the West in 1995. They are the only franchise to win the Finals as a No. 5 seed or lower.

Here are the latest NBA Finals odds as of June 3. All betting lines via Fanatics Sportsbook.

NBA champion

  • Celtics to win series: -225

  • Mavericks to win: +185

It's been title-or-bust for the Celtics all season, and now they finally have a chance to finish the job and win their first championship since 2008. The C's have reached the conference finals in six of the last eight years (including 2024), but this is just their second Finals appearance during that span.

The Celtics have a deeper roster than the Mavericks. But you also could argue that the Mavs have the best player in Doncic.

The Mavericks have thrived in the underdog role all playoffs, and they've won seven of their nine road games in this postseason. Dallas started each of its first three series on the road and earned at least a split of the first two games each round. Can the Mavs do it again in the Finals?

Series total games

  • Over 5.5 games: -175

  • Under 5.5 games: +135

The Celtics' last 13 NBA Finals have all gone six or more games. The last time the C's played five or fewer games in a Finals was the 1965 series, which they won 4-1 over the Los Angeles Lakers.

From 2018 through 2023, the Celtics played 16 playoff series and 10 of them went six or more games. But this playoff run has been different for Boston. The C's eliminated the Heat and Cavaliers in five games before sweeping the Pacers in the conference finals.

Four of the Mavericks' last six playoff series have gone six or seven games, including two of their three series in 2024. The shortest series this year was a five-game triumph over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the conference finals.

Correct series score

  • Celtics 4-0: +700

  • Celtics 4-1: +320

  • Celtics 4-2: +460

  • Celtics 4-3: +360

  • Mavericks 4-0: +2200

  • Mavericks 4-1: +1200

  • Mavericks 4-2: +500

  • Mavericks 4-3: +800

The last 10 NBA Finals have included one sweep, three five-game series, five six-game series and one seven-game series. There's been a Game 7 in just three of the last 18 NBA Finals, and the home teams are 2-1 in those matchups.

Finals MVP

It's not surprising to see Tatum and Doncic atop this list. They are the best players and most prolific scorers on their respective teams.

Tatum didn't win Eastern Conference Finals MVP (Brown did), but he did average 30.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists in the series. Doncic won Western Conference Finals MVP after averaging 32.4 points with 9.6 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game. He's averaging almost a triple-double in the playoffs overall, tallying 28.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8.8 assists per contest. Doncic is the engine that drives what the Mavs do offensively.

Brown was arguably the Celtics' best player in the 2022 NBA Finals, which they lost in six games to the Warriors. He is averaging a playoff career high 25 points per game through three rounds this year. Brown made a bunch of clutch plays in the conference finals sweep, earning him the Larry Bird Trophy.

Irving at +2000 odds is decent value. He is capable of dominating offensively, and he should be highly motivated to play well against one of his former teams. Irving scored 27 points per game in the conference finals, including a 36-point performance in the Game 5 clincher. Irving averaged 27.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists over the first three NBA Finals series (all with the Cavaliers) of his career. He's no stranger to the biggest stage in basketball.

Series points leader

  • Luka Doncic: -200

  • Jayson Tatum: +250

  • Kyrie Irving: +1000

  • Jaylen Brown: +1200

  • Kristaps Porzingis: +5000

  • Derrick White: +6000

Doncic leads the playoffs with 489 points through three rounds, which is at least 48 more than any other player. Tatum is sixth at 364, but the Celtics have played three fewer games than the Mavs entering the Finals. Doncic's 28.8 points per game in the playoffs are at least 2.8 points better than any other player in this series. He's also the only player in the series who has averaged 20-plus shot attempts per game in the playoffs.

Brown at +1200 odds is decent value. He averaged 29.8 points per game in the conference finals, including a 40-point outburst in Game 2.