Best NBA Prop Bets Today for Mavericks vs. Celtics in NBA Finals Game 1 (Bet on Jaylen Brown, Dereck Lively II)

Best NBA Prop Bets Today for Mavericks vs. Celtics in NBA Finals Game 1 (Bet on Jaylen Brown, Dereck Lively II)

Game 1 of the NBA Finals tips off on Thursday night, and there are plenty of ways to bet on the Dallas Mavericks-Boston Celtics matchup. 

One of my favorites for this game is looking at the prop market, as both of these teams have gotten plenty of playoff games under their belt heading into the Finals. 

There are three players I’m looking to target in Game 1, including Eastern Conference Finals MVP Jaylen Brown. 

Jrue Holiday has arguably been the biggest difference maker for Boston this season, and he’s shown up in a big way over the last few games of the playoffs. 

Holiday’s defensive prowess makes him arguably the most important piece in Joe Mazzulla’s rotation, as he’s going to need to be on the floor to guard Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. 

A NBA champion earlier in his career, Holiday is averaging 17.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game over his last seven games, clearing 22.5 PRA in six of those contests. 

I imagine Holiday will play heavy minutes in this series because of his defensive acumen, which is a good sign for him in a PRA prop.

Betting on Boston props is a little volatile since we don’t know what Kristaps Porzingis’ usage will be, but this number has dropped significantly for Holiday compared to the 25.5 and 26.5’s that we saw for him in the Eastern Conference Finals. 

Dereck Lively has been a massive impact player for Dallas in the playoffs, posting the second-highest plus/minus on the team (+108). 

Lively’s minutes are growing as the playoffs go on, and I believe that he’s the best option to defend Kristaps Porzingis in this series. 

Over the entire playoffs, Lively is averaging 7.2 rebounds per game, and over his last eight matchups that number has jumped to 8.8 per game. He’s a great bet with this number set at just 6.5 for Thursday. 

Brown, the Eastern Conference Finals MVP, has played some of his best postseason basketball this season, averaging 25.0 points per game while shooting 54.3 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from 3-point range.

Brown has been much more efficient than Jayson Tatum, and he finds himself with a points prop that is four points lower than his co-star in Game 1. 

I love the OVER here for Brown, who has cleared 22.5 points in nine of his 14 playoff games, including all four of his matchups in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers.

While the return of Porzingis could eat into Brown’s usage, I don’t expect KP to return to his normal role in his first game back from a calf injury. He has even admitted that he’s not sure where exactly his conditioning is. 

Brown has cleared 40 minutes in three of his last five games, and he’s taken at least 17 shots in 11 of 14 games this postseason. That usage is enough to take him to score 23 or more points on Thursday.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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Find Peter Dewey’s betting record here You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.


Peter is a senior editor for Sports Illustrated Betting. He has worked as a writer and editor for BetSided, NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering the NBA, WNBA, NFL, MLB, and more. He is a hoops fanatic with a soft spot for his New York Knicks.

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