NBA Finals Game 1: SGP Picks, Jake vs Huddle Trader

June 6, 2024

NBA Finals Game 1: SGP Picks, Jake vs Huddle Trader

Same-game parlay predictions are officially back for the NBA Finals and Jake Moszkowski goes head to head against Huddle trader Domagoj. A long and arduous NBA season has reached its final series, and we have two very different teams vying for an NBA title. 

This is the sixth time in the past eight years that the Celtics have reached at least the conference finals, and for those keeping score at home, this is their second finals appearance in the last three seasons. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have combined for eight All-Star games and five All-NBA teams to go along with a combined 134 playoff victories. The only thing missing from their resume is a ring. 

Meanwhile, the Mavericks have had their mettle tested in a manner that Boston hasn’t. The Celtics avoided Jimmy Butler (injury), Donovan Mitchell (multiple games missed) and Tyrese Haliburton (multiple games missed), while the Mavericks had to take on Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren, Paul George and James Harden. The Mavs are battle-tested and led by the best backcourt duo in basketball, Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic. Kyrie won a ring as #2 to LeBron James, and now he vies for another as the #2 to LeBron Lite in Luka Doncic. 

Jake's Picks

So how do I see Game 1 going? Dallas is 1-2 in Game 1’s during this postseason, losing by 12 to the Clippers and by 22 to the Thunder before eking out a 3-point victory over the Timberwolves. I like the Celtics odds to take Game 1 at home. But that’s not my bet. I think that an overzealous Luka is going to come out in Game 1, so I’m taking his under on points (U31.5 points). Kyrie, the ever mercurial guard, is going to face a murderers’ row of defensive specialists thrown at him, starting with Jrue Holiday and Derrick White. I’ll also take Kyrie U23.5 points. 

Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum has been here before. He struggled in his first Finals appearance against the Golden State Warriors, but he’s older and better than he was in that series. And as good as the Mavericks have been, I’m not ready to anoint Doncic and Kyrie as a tougher Finals matchup than the Warriors with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. I’m taking Tatum’s over on points (O27.5). I’m also expecting the crafty and sneakily important Derrick White to get his buckets, so I’m taking him over on points as well (O14.5). In the end, that’s a probability of 4.22% or +1900. Let’s start the finals strong!

Domagoj's Picks

Two years ago, the Celtics had a golden chance to snag their 18th title but came up short, losing 4-2 to the Warriors in the Finals. Fast forward to now, the Mavericks are making their first Finals appearance in 13 years. For Dallas, only Irving, Markieff Morris, and Derrick Jones Jr. bring Finals experience to the table. 

Tonight's game is going to be fun to watch so let's get into my predictions for the game:

Tatum has kept his scoring consistent, averaging 26.9 points in the regular season and 26.0 in the playoffs, while boosting his rebounding from 8.1 to 10.4 per game. Brown has also stepped up, going from 23.0 points and 5.5 rebounds to 25.0 points and 6.1 boards in the postseason. However, it's the adjustments to their mental game this season that have really made a difference. So I’ll take Brown Over 2.5 with assistance during tonight's game.

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum led the Celtics to a Game 2 win, but Derrick White also stood out, scoring 20+ points for the fifth time this postseason and stuffing the stat sheet. Despite his secondary role in the offense, White's all-around game and scoring bursts make him a valuable asset. I’ll take White U14.5. As for Luka Doncic, the overwhelming focal point of the Celtics’ defense, he must find the open player more often than ever this postseason. A knee sprain limited Doncic earlier in the postseason, but he's taken his game up a notch against the vaunted Timberwolves defense. He's averaging 32.7 points, 8.7 assists, and 7.7 rebounds (49.1) and finished with a triple-double in Game 2. I’ll take Doncic O8.5.