NBA Finals Game 2 pick, odds, bets

As the No. 5 seed coming out of the West, the Mavericks have started all four of their playoff series on the road, losing Game 1 three times.

In their three previous series against the Clippers, Thunder and Timberwolves, they entered Game 2 as two-score underdogs. 

And all three times they came out victorious. 

Coming off a blowout loss to the Celtics in the NBA Finals opener, Dallas enters Sunday’s Game 2 as a 7-point dog. 

An outright upset (+270, FanDuel) might be asking too much this time, but can the Mavs keep it close?

If so, they’ll have to improve greatly on the two things that got them this far in the playoffs: 3-point efficiency and interior lob scoring. 

And Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving will have to step up on both ends of the court.

Doncic led all scorers in Game 1 with 30 points but finished with just a single assist after averaging 9.8 in the regular season. 

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, right, fends off Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving during the second half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals on Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Boston.
Jayson Tatum, right, fends off Kyrie Irving during the second half of the Celtics’ Game 1 win over Mavericks. AP

Irving finished with just 12 points (and two assists), hitting 31.6 percent of his shots from the field and missing all five of his 3-point attempts. 

But it was the dynamic duo’s defense that was just as costly. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were relentlessly driving at Doncic and Irving, taking it to the basket or dishing off for corner 3s.

The Mavs hadn’t seen anything like it in their three previous playoff series. 

The Mavericks had an entire week to prepare and still lost big.

Betting on the NBA?

They have now dropped three games to Boston this season by an average of more than 18 points per game. 

Maybe things get better when the series moves to Dallas next week, but Game 2 appears set for another blowout. 

The play: Celtics -7 (-110, Caesars Sportsbook)

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