NBA Finals Game 5: SGP Picks, Jake vs Huddle Trader

June 17, 2024

NBA Finals Game 5: SGP Picks, Jake vs Huddle Trader

Facing a 3-0 deficit in the NBA Finals, the Mavericks marched into Game 4 with the mentality and mindset of a team that was desperate to stay alive. And that they did, blowing out the Celtics by 35+ points to force a Game 5 in Boston on Monday night. 

As one might expect, the Mavericks were led by Luka Doncic (29 points) and Kyrie Irving (21 points). But Dallas also won behind surprise contributions from guys like Tim Hardaway Jr. (15 points) and Dante Exum (10 points) off the bench. The Celtics finally suffered a “dud” game against Dallas, with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combining for 25 points on 22 shots. Meanwhile, Derrick White and Jrue Holiday, who had performed admirably against the Mavericks’ superior guard duo, shot a combined 6/18 with 5 turnovers. As a whole, no member of Boston’s starting lineup finished better than -18 on the night

Heading into Game 5, there’s a lot of intrigue. If the Mavericks pull out this victory, the Celtics are effectively back on even gameplay heading into Game 6 (which would be in Dallas). Despite no team having ever come back from down 3-0, this Dallas team doesn’t appear fazed by the moment yet, and Kyrie Irving also managed to come back from down 3-1 against the superteam Golden State Warriors. He won’t be uncomfortable in this position.

That said… here is my parlay for Game 5. 

Jake's Picks

I’m taking the Celtics moneyline. Despite the Mavericks’ blowout victory in Game 4, I think the Celtics will clear their heads in Game 5 and close out this series. Luka has been amazing in this series, perhaps the best overall player (outside of Jaylen Brown, but there’s an argument to be had), but I’m taking him U32.5 points. He’s going to threaten 30, but I like the under.

In what I expect to be his moment, I’m taking Jaylen Brown O24.5 points. I think Brown scores in the 28-30 range to cement his Finals MVP placement.

Lastly, I’m taking Derrick White U3.5 three-point makes. The majority of Derrick White’s shot attempts in the NBA Finals have come from long range, as he’s shot 13/35 from three-point range. That said, he’s not the focal piece for the Celtics offense (not even the secondary piece) and I think he has a quieter game (maybe in 10-13 point range).

Domagoj's Picks

The Mavs played championship-level defense in Game 4 on Friday. Despite some improvement in garbage time, it was the Celtics' worst offensive performance of the season, scoring just 84 points on 96 possessions. However, this might not matter as the series moves back to TD Garden in Boston. The Celtics have been dominant at home, winning 80% of their playoff games (8-2) and boasting the best home record in the regular season (37-4). That’s a combined 45-6 record at TD Garden this season, an impressive 88% winning percentage.

I expect Boston to take the opportunity to win the championship at home seriously and finish up the series tonight.

Jaylen Brown has shown the most progress in this playoff run and is the favorite for Finals MVP. He has consistently been his team's best player and I expect him to excel in the potential title-clinching game. I am taking Brown Over 3.5 in assists and Over 24.5 in total points

White leads his team with 5.2 assists per game and also averages 15.2 points and 4.2 rebounds. Defensively, he contributes 1.0 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. I am taking Derrick White Over 15.5 in total points.

Again, Doncic and Irving will be on a mission to keep Dallas alive when the teams meet for Game 5 in Boston, as they did for game 4. Given his history of injuries throughout the season, I am taking Doncic Under 8.5 on total rebounds.