NBA Finals Odds: Celtics Favored Over Mavericks

NBA Finals Odds: Celtics Favored Over Mavericks article feature image

Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images Pictured: Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics and Kyrie Irving of the Dallas Mavericks

The Boston Celtics were heavy favorites to reach the NBA Finals.

The Dallas Mavericks certainly were not.

While the Celtics were -250 to win the Eastern Conference and +140 to win it all, the Mavericks were +900 to win the Western Conference and +2000 to win the title. Additionally, Boston had 15.8% of tickets and 27.8% of the handle to win the championship compared to Dallas having 4.5% and 3.5%, respectively.

Not only that, but the Mavericks were +2500 to win the title heading into the season. They're now the eighth team in the last 40 years to reach the finals at 25-1 preseason odds or longer. Of those teams, only the 2015 Warriors managed to win it all.

So, it'll be the heavy favorites against a deep long shot to win the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy after Dallas destroyed the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday, 124-103, for a 4-1 series win and the Western Conference crown. The books wasted no time setting a line for the series, as Boston is -230 to win the title and Dallas +185 before the clock even struck zero.

Teams in the Celtics' position have been massively successful. Since 1988, those listed at -200 or higher in the NBA Finals are 22-3, including 21-2 when they have home-court advantage. The only three losses were the 2004 Lakers vs. Pistons, 2016 Warriors vs. Cavaliers and 2019 Warriors vs. Raptors.

The Mavericks, though, are no strangers to being underdogs, as they’ve been so in their last two series. After being-135 favorites to open the playoffs series against the Los Angeles Clippers, they were +100 compared to the Oklahoma City Thunder being -122 in the Western Conference Semifinals and +146 while the Timberwolves were -180 in the Western Conference Finals.

Still, the Celtics are a different beast. They’re 12-2 this postseason and have been 7.5-point favorites or higher in all 14 games. They’ve also been double-digit favorites in eight of those 14.

Game 1 of the NBA Finals tips off next Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET, with Boston installed as 6-point favorites.

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