Mavericks at Celtics NBA Finals Game 5 odds, expert picks: Can Dallas hang on in Boston?


Gentleman’s sweep, or the start of an historic comeback? Following the Mavericks’ blistering 122-84 Game 4 win over the Boston Celtics, that’s the obvious question on paper. The Celtics are back at home for Monday night’s game, again on the verge of a title and the first rings for Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porziņģis.

As of publishing, Porziņģis is still questionable for Game 5, but very likely won’t play. His absence was felt in Game 3 and 4, and Dallas took advantage of it, but the Celtics have shown they can win without him.

Does the blowout Dallas win mean anything for Game 5 back in Boston, or was it the last burst from a team on its way out of the series? Was the Mavs’ performance in Game 4 repeatable, or was it a deep breath before the Celtics seal the deal?

Here’s a look at the odds and storylines for Monday’s Game 5 in Boston.

All odds from BetMGM. Find the best deals on StubHub for tickets.


Dallas Mavericks at Boston Celtics

How to watch: 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC

Celtics lead series 3-1

Series odds: Celtics -3000, Mavericks +1300

The Celtics are comfortable favorites to win this game and clinch the championship. Their odds to win the series are still ridiculously short despite coming down from -10000 after they went up 3-0. Boston should be feeling very confident about Game 5 based on how the Celtics have played at home so far in this series. There’s a good chance they cruise to a win at TD Garden.

But their mistakes in Game 4 showed gaps that Dallas must continue to create and exploit if they want to hang on. Despite the odds, the Mavericks did turn the game into an actual series on Friday night. Combining the fourth quarter of Game 3, when Dallas went on a 21-2 run, and all four quarters of Game 4, the Mavericks have outscored Boston 151-105. Did they finally make an adjustment that will keep the Celtics at bay? Or will the Celtics enter Game 5 with adjustments of their own?

Dallas did a better job protecting the rim in Game 4 and subbed in a rotation that worked better against Boston with Dereck Lively II and Josh Green. The Mavs’ role players were more reliable. Lively got a double-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and a plus/minus of plus-20. Maxi Kleber barely registered any stats but found a way to make his size a bigger factor on defense, clocking a plus/minus of plus-25. They shot better from three than the Celtics for the first time this series, with a 40.5 percentage from deep.

As for Dallas’ two stars, Irving continued whatever he figured out in Game 3, shooting 10-for-18  for 21 points, with four rebounds and six assists, and Luka Dončić continued his elite play with 29 points, five assists and five rebounds (although Dončić was 0-for-8 on 3-pointers). Before Dallas’ Game 4 win, Irving was on a 13-game losing streak when playing his former team, and he recently admitted that the Boston jeers have affected him.

Winning in TD Garden will be an uphill battle — as is coming back from 3-1.

Expert picks for Mavericks at Celtics


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More NBA Finals coverage

Kyrie Irving, down 3-1 again, returns to Boston for his ultimate test

Mavericks finally show Celtics and the NBA world their best

Joe Mazzulla warned Celtics they were vulnerable, then Dallas fought back in NBA Finals

Mavericks’ NBA Finals blowout was impressive, but does it mean anything for Game 5?

(Photo of Kyrie Irving: Jesse D. Garrabrant / NBAE via Getty Images)



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