2024 NBA Finals Predictions: 3 Betting Experts Weigh In on Game 5

Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Finals goes tonight and our NBA experts are here to help you make the best bets possible ahead of tonight's tip-off!

Jun 17, 2024 • 16:57 ET • 4 min read
Jaylen Brown Boston Celtics NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks staved off elimination in Game 4 in a romp of the Boston Celtics, but a return to Boston may spell trouble. 

Can the Celtics find a way to close out the series on home court, or will the Mavericks' momentum help them bring the series back home for a Game 6? 

We sat down with three of our top basketball analysts to get their NBA picks for tonight's game at TD Garden.

NBA Finals Game 5 best odds

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Jaylen Brown Over 3.5 assists (-125 at FanDuel)

By Tom Oldfield

Jaylen Brown's points prop has inched up over the course of the series, and it feels like a stay away at 24.5 as Boston is so adept at sharing the scoring load. So I’m looking to the other elements of his game instead.

There was a time when Brown’s ball-handling — on isolation plays or in the pick-and-roll — was considered an exploitable weakness. That criticism had some merit, particularly when looking at his assist-to-turnover rate, and it went under the microscope in the 2022 NBA Finals.

But hard work has paid off for Brown in the 2024 Finals, and the Boston Celtics are leaning on his relentless forays into the paint as a path to great offense. Time and again, he's made good reads and found open shooters, cementing himself in the Finals MVP conversation.

That leads me to the Over on his assists prop. I’m throwing out Game 4, where the Celtics waved the white flag early in an ugly blowout, and choosing to view his playmaking in the prior two games as a better reflection of what we can expect from Brown in Game 5.

He had a combined 15 dimes in Games 2 and 3, with Boston repeatedly trusting him to initiate the offense. I see a similar game plan here and an aggressive mindset from Brown. 

This is no time to be tentative and his passing will be a key factor, especially if he can attack Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving on the defensive end and get the Dallas defense scrambling.

Surrounded by capable 3-point shooters — regardless of whether Kristaps Porzingis features tonight — the payoff should be there when Brown shares the rock, and I like his chances of finishing with four or more assists.

Read more of Tom's Jaylen Brown odds and props analysis.

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Mavericks +7 (-110 at bet365)

By Rory Breasail

The Dallas Mavericks just beat the Boston Celtics so badly in Game 4 that they’re now outscoring them in the series by six points despite being down 3-1.

Did this seem like just desperation and a temporary psychological edge? Or has Dallas found something that should make them competitive in Game 5?

While it would be foolish to discount the disparity of motivation between the Celtics and Mavericks, I do think enough things should carry over to make Game 5 at least competitive.

For one, Jason Kidd went with a more sensible rotation. After playing an absurd 11 players in Game 4, he cut to eight while the game was still in doubt. That group included a healthy dose of both Dante Exum and Maxi Kleber, the closest thing the Mavs bench has to genuine two-way players. Kleber looked more mobile than at any point in the playoffs so far, and even hit a three. 

Exum brings the combination of defense, ball handling, and at least some level of shooting. Playing Exum decreases Luka Doncic’s on-ball burden, which paid dividends throughout the game.

In part that showed up on the defensive end, where Luka gave his best effort of the series. Luka is never going to be lockdown, but just doing his job turned what had been a parade of blow-bys in prior games into a slow and manageable drip.

Read more of Rory's Mavs vs Celtics prediction.

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Luka Doncic Under 32.5 points (-105 at DraftKings)

By Douglas Farmer

Luka Doncic was +30 in the Game 4 rout, but his stat line was otherwise rather pedestrian, at least by Doncic’s standards. The superstar had 29 points on 12 of 26 shooting — most notably going 0-for-8 from beyond the arc.

He's averaged 29.5 points in this series, falling short of tonight's points total in all four games.

This should hardly be surprising, no matter how good Doncic is. He's clearly more injured than the broader world realizes, and the Boston Celtics have enough wing defenders to pester Doncic at all times while never risking a clearly overmatched defender.

Keeping Doncic’s points prop a full bucket higher than his average in this series and higher than any game he's put together thus far can be explained only by this being an elimination game. Well, Game 4 was an elimination game, too, and that didn't spur Doncic Over 32.5 points

Expect Boston’s defense to have a renewed focus in Game 5 because of the offensive explosion from Dallas on Friday. That renewed focus will limit Doncic further, not that much further has been needed.

Read more of Doug's Mavs vs Celtics prop picks.

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