Celtics vs Mavs Last Minute Predictions, Picks, Odds: Sluggish Pace Paves Way for Under

The Celtics' slow-paced offense has succeeded in frustrating Luka Doncic and the Mavs. Our NBA betting picks see Boston securing the win in another low-scoring battle in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

Douglas Farmer - Betting Analyst at Covers
Douglas Farmer • Betting Analyst
Jun 14, 2024 • 16:30 ET • 4 min read
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This article contains predictions for an old game!

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The Dallas Mavericks have been unable to get anything going in the NBA Finals vs. the Boston Celtics. Not even a return home in Game 3 could guide them past the 100-point plateau.

In my Celtics vs. Mavs predictions and NBA picks I'll explain why oddsmakers still haven't set the total low enough for Game 4 tonight. Looking for more in-depth analysis? Check out our Celtics vs Mavs same-game parlay picks!

Celtics vs Mavs prediction

My best bet
Under 211.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

My analysis
It's a fact that pacing by-and-large falls off in the playoffs due in part to the high stakes which force teams to play tighter, and also because of the emotional and physical fatigue of a deep playoff run.

The offensive ratings for both the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks have fallen off a bit in the postseason, but the main reason to hit the Under in Game 4 is that their paces have slowed to a relative crawl.

The Mavs ranked No. 7 in pace at 100.6 possessions per game from the trade deadline to the end of the regular season, and their offensive rating also ranked seventh at 115.9 in that span.

In that same stretch of time, the Celtics continued to play relatively slowly, ranking No. 24 in pace at 96.13. Still, their offense stood well above the rest of the league with the No. 1 rating at 125.4.

Dallas’ pace plummeted to 93.62 through the first three rounds of the playoffs, with its offensive rating holding steady at 115.2. Boston’s pace somehow got even slower, dropping to 92.45 in the first three rounds of the postseason with its own offensive rating slipping, albeit not by much, to 119.6.

Those diminished offensive ratings can be chalked up to the dialed-up intensity that comes with playoff defense, but the fallen paces emphasize how scarce points became, and sportsbooks have simply not properly adjusted to that change in this series.

The Mavs have yet to reach 100 points in a game in three tries. The final scores have averaged a total of 201.3 points. Lowering the Game 4 total to 211.5 from Game 3’s total of 213.5 and Game 1’s 216 is not enough.

It is not the moderately lesser offenses that demand a reduced total. It is the deliberate pace of play, one Boston has preferred all season long, and one that the Celtics should ride to their 18th NBA title.

Celtics vs Mavs star player prop bet

My best bet
Jaylen Brown Under 24.5 points (-112 at DraftKings)

I see this game going one of two ways, neither of which bodes well for those taking Over 24.5 points scored in the Jaylen Brown odds.

The first scenario involves the Mavericks potentially clawing their way back into this series by playing some of the best defense they've played in the entire postseason while Luka Doncic shakes off a disastrous Game 3. The second scenario would be that Dallas falls behind early and fails to knuckle down, turning the fourth quarter into a procession and allowing Joe Mazzulla to sit Brown and Tatum down late.

Part of the reason why Brown is favored in the NBA Finals MVP odds is because of how unselfish he's been. He's averaging nearly 10 rebounds + assists per game in his last 10 overall while adding 1.6 steals and nearly a block per game in that span. 

Prior to his 30-point outburst in Game 3, Brown had gone below his points scored prop four consecutive times, tallying 24 points or fewer on three occasions. Now that oddsmakers have raised this line from 23.5, it's a good opportunity to sell high.

Celtics vs Mavs odds

Celtics vs Mavs live odds

Get the latest Celtics vs Mavs NBA playoff odds for Game 4.

Celtics vs Mavs opening odds

  • Spread: Boston -1 | Dallas +1
  • Moneyline: Boston -106 | Dallas -104
  • Over/Under: Over 212 | Under 212

Celtics vs Mavs spread and Over/Under analysis

  • This spread can be found with either team favored by a point as of Thursday afternoon, once again emphasizing the importance of line shopping.

  • For a fourth straight game, BetMGM saw initial heavy action backing the Mavs, with 67% of the handle betting on Dallas against the spread despite only 43% of written tickets doing so as of Thursday. Of course, those bettors have gone 0-2-1 in these Finals.

  • After Game 3 saw a final score total of 205, this number opened at 211.5 late Wednesday night and hardly moved.

Celtics vs Mavs game info

Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Date: Friday, 6-14-2024
Tip-off: 8:30 p.m. ET

Celtics vs Mavs latest injuries

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