2024 NBA Finals Predictions: 3 Betting Experts Weigh In on Game 2

Game 2 of the 2024 NBA Finals is here, and our NBA experts are here to help you make the best bets possible ahead of tonight's tip-off!

Jason Wilson - Publishing Editor at Covers.com
Jason Wilson • Publishing Editor
Jun 9, 2024 • 14:29 ET • 4 min read
Jayson Tatum Boston Celtics NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Game 1 of the 2024 NBA Finals was a mostly lopsided affair that likely wasn't even as close as the final score indicated. The Boston Celtics were in control from minute one, jumping out to a 37-20 first-quarter lead before entering the half up 63-42. Nothing short of a superhuman effort from Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic would have changed the tides, and his 30 points plus 10 rebounds were simply not enough to pull it off.

The first clash was all Celtics and after checking in with three of our top basketball analysts, Game 2 doesn't figure to go much differently as their NBA picks widely favor Boston to apply even further pressure on the underdog Mavericks.

NBA Finals Game 2 best odds

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Jayson Tatum Over 9.5 rebounds (-105 at DraftKings)

By Rory Breasail

Jayson Tatum is an outstanding rebounder for a wing. At 6-foot-8 with a 6-foot-11 wingspan, Tatum regularly outrebounds many bigs. He's consistently been in the mid to high 90th percentile in defensive rebounding among forwards, per Cleaning the Glass. His 23.5% defensive rebounding rate leads all forwards during these playoffs, which has seen him notch 10.4 rebounds per game.

Tatum notched 11 rebounds in Game 1. While I expect there will be a few tactical adjustments on both sides, something that will not be changing is the Boston Celtics cross-matching. 

Boston had Tatum guard the Dallas Mavericks' centers so that the Celtics could avoid Luka Doncic getting the 1-5 pick-and-roll with Dereck Lively II or Daniel Gafford going against Al Horford for Kristaps Porzingis. The Celtics want to avoid having Horford for KP trapped on an island and unable to provide backside help, so they’re keeping them out of the primary screening action that Luka likes to run.

This functionally took away the lob dunks that had been so effective for Dallas throughout the playoffs and dared the likes of PJ Washington or Derrick Jones Jr. (who are now cross-matched with the Celtics bigs) to make a pick-and-pop three or drive a crowded paint.

Read more of Rory's Jayson Tatum odds and props analysis.

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Kristaps Porzingis Over 15.5 points (-108 at FanDuel)

By Rohit Ponnaiya

Nobody expected Kristaps Porzingis to instantly impact the series opener for the Celtics. After missing more than a month with a calf injury, Porzingis came off the bench to drop 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting.

The 7-foot-2 big man showed little rust, especially with the touch on his jumper, and it's clear that the Mavericks don't have a defender capable of matching up against him. The one area of his game where he wasn't at full strength was his fitness, which limited him to a modest 21 minutes of floor time.

That said, Porzingis should see his minutes ramp up as he gets his cardio back and an increase in playing time will lead to even more scoring opportunities for the Unicorn.

See more in-depth analysis in Rohit's' Mavs vs. Celtics props.

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Jaylen Brown Over 22.5 points (-120 at bet365)

By Tom Oldfield

I see Jaylen Brown delivering another big scoring night in Game 2, and I’m jumping on the Over on his points prop, which is set at 22.5. 

That feels too low for an in-form, three-level scorer who had poured in at least 24 points in four straight contests heading into these Finals, including a 40-point clinic against the Indiana Pacers in the last round.

Brown is averaging almost 25 points in the 2024 playoffs and was set to blow past this O/U line in Game 1 until the scoreline got so lopsided that Boston Celtics’ starters sat out the final minutes. He didn’t just settle for long jump shots either, forcing his way to 11 free-throw attempts.

Read more of Tom's Mavs vs. Celtics predictions, picks, and odds preview.

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