NBA Finals Game 2 Picks 2024 - Best Picks

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by The OddsCrowd Analysts

The Boston Celtics dominated Game 1 of the 2024 NBA Finals, thrashing the Mavericks 107-89 on Thursday night. Kristaps Porzingis, who had been out since the first round of the playoffs with a calf injury, was the biggest story of Game 1, delivering 20 points and three blocks in 21 minutes. The Mavericks had no answers for the Celtics’ five-out approach or their stifling defense. Still, this is a seven-game series, the Mavs still have Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving and they have proven capable of making effective adjustments game to game. 

What will we get when Game 2 tips off at 8 PM ET on ABC, Sunday night in Boston? Read on for our expert predictions and best bets, including spread, money line and player prop picks.

NBA Finals Game 2 Predictions

● Boston Celtics -7 (-110)

● Over 214.5 Total Points (-110)

● Maxi Kleber Over 0.5 Three Pointers Made (+100)

Mavericks vs. Celtics NBA Finals Game 2 Best Bet: Celtics -7 (-110) 

The Celtics showcased their dominance in Game 1 with an impressive performance on both ends of the floor. Their five-out approach spread the floor effectively, allowing for high-percentage shots and numerous open looks from beyond the arc (16-of-42 from three). Boston’s defense was particularly noteworthy, limiting the Mavericks to just nine assists and disrupting their offensive flow. With Kristaps Porzingis back in the lineup, the Celtics have added quality rim protection to handle the athletic Mavericks bigs, taking away easy lob opportunities at the rim. 

Boston's fans create one of the most intense atmospheres in the league, which evidently added pressure on the Mavericks in Game 1, as the C’s got off to a dominant 37-20 start. While we expect this game to be more competitive and tightly contested throughout, the Celtics are more well-rounded, overwhelming a Mavs team built on the backs of Doncic and Irving.

Considering the Celtics' ability to exploit mismatches, maintain a high tempo and bother Luka Doncic with a variety of interchangeable assets on defense, they are well-positioned to cover the -7 spread in Game 2.

Mavericks vs. Celtics NBA Finals Game 2 Best Bet: Over 214.5 Total Points (-110)

Although Game 1 ended with a total of 196 points, both teams have the offensive firepower to easily surpass the 214.5 total in Game 2. With the best pure scorer and playmaker in the NBA in Doncic and arguably the best handle and one-on-one creator in NBA history with Irving, the Mavericks' offense is unlikely to be held in check for consecutive games. Jason Kidd is known for his strategic adjustments, and it is expected the Mavericks will find ways to improve their ball movement and scoring opportunities in Game 2.

The Celtics, on the other hand, have been one of the highest-scoring teams in the playoffs, particularly with their efficient three-point shooting. With both teams having potent offensive weapons and the likelihood of an increased pace, betting on the over for total points is a smart choice.

Mavericks vs. Celtics NBA Finals Game 2 Best Bet: Maxi Kleber Over 0.5 Threes (+100)

A shoulder injury is affecting him, but Maxi Kleber’s ability to stretch the floor with his three-point shooting is crucial for the Mavericks, especially against a strong defensive team like the Celtics. Although Kleber was relatively quiet in Game 1, it was his presence and spacing in the third quarter that helped spark Doncic’s play, cutting the lead to eight. With Derreck Lively II and Daniel Gafford struggling to guard the perimeter, Kleber will be a key part of Dallas' game plan.

Given that the Celtics will likely focus on limiting Doncic and Irving, Kleber should find himself with several open looks from three-point range. With odds at +100, betting on Kleber to make at least one three-pointer offers great value.

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