Mavericks vs. Celtics Game 5 NBA Computer Pick: Boston Offense Falls Flat Again

Boston Celtics Players v Dallas Mavericks
Boston Celtics players watch from the bench during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the 2024 NBA Finals. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

Just when we all thought the Celtics would win the NBA Finals, the Dallas Mavericks added a massive home win in Game 4 to push the series back to Bostin for Game 5.

The AI Model likes the Mavericks to at least cover the seven-point spread. After all, in the first two games of the series, the model liked the Mavericks to cover and the game to go Under.

While I like the Celtics to at least win outright at home in Game 5, I still believe in the Under for Game 5.

NBA Pick: Under 209.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

Dallas Mavericks vs. Boston Celtics

Monday, June 17, 2024 – 08:30 PM ET at TD Garden

Ugly Offense From The Celtics

In Game 4, with the chance to clinch an NBA Title, the Boston Celtics looked absolutely horrible offensively. They scored only 85.7 points per 100 possessions and shot a 46.3% effective field goal percentage.

Although the Celtics still got to the foul line at an above-average rate, Boston turned the ball over nearly 19% of the time and hauled in just 8.8% of offensive rebounds.

It was the second consecutive game where the Celtics added no more than 14% of offensive rebounds. That’s becoming a trend. If it stays a trend, the Celtics will struggle to add second-chance points, which would also limit the amount of shots the Celtics take. That would certainly help the Under.

That said, the Celtics haven’t been elite offensively in any game of this series. The most Boston scored in a game was 107 points. In that game, the Celtics scored 117.4 points per 100 possessions despite shooting a 57.9% effective field goal percentage.

The Celtics also haven’t added more than 26.2% of offensive rebounds in any game in the NBA Finals.

It’s Unlikely The Mavericks Sustain Success

The Mavericks added a huge win over the Celtics in Game 4. But is this success sustainable offensively? I don’t think so.

Go through the box score from Game 4. While Luka Doncic added 29 points, he went 0-for-8 from downtown and shot below 50%. Kyrie Irving hit just 1-for-6 from three and scored 21 points in 31 minutes. That’s nothing great.

Meanwhile, the other three starters go no more than 17 minutes between P.J. Washington, Derrick Jones Jr. and Daniel Gafford. Those three starters added no more than seven points each in that game.

Reliance on Bench Performance

It was the bench that carried the offense along with Doncic and Irving. But as long as those three guys get the start, the Mavericks won’t be in the best position to win games.

After all, Dereck Lively II has earned more minutes than Gafford. That won’t change. Lively added a double-double and was a monster on the glass. However, the Mavericks could use more from P.J. Washington, who only took four shots in 14 minutes.

Washington had led the Mavericks in points during the playoffs in prior games.

Basically, if you told me before the game that Doncic and Irving would combine to hit 1-for-14 from three and the rest of the starters would score less than seven points, I wouldn’t believe you that the Mavericks won. Let alone by nearly 40 points.

That’s why a win on the road for the Mavericks seems unsustainable. It’s also unlikely the Mavericks will achieve 122 points again, especially on the road.

NBA Computer Pick

The Under has hit in all four games to begin the NBA Finals. In Game 1, the total started at 216. It went to 214 in Game 2 and dropped to 213.5 in Game 3. After Game 3, the total went to 211.5, and now for Game 5, it’s at 209.5.

Some of these games haven’t even been close. After all, at least one team hasn’t even reached 100 points in all four games.

The Mavericks were held to no more than 99 points in the first three games, and the Celtics finished with just 84 points in Game 4.

It’s more likely the Mavericks miss out on 100+ points in Game 5, on the road, in a potential Championship clincher for the Celtics.

Let’s ride the Under 209.5 at -110 NBA odds in Game 5.

NBA Pick: Under 209.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook (check our Caesars Sportsbook Review)

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*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

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