Mavericks vs. Celtics NBA Expert Prediction and Odds for NBA Finals Game 5 (Does Boston Close It Out?)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Dallas Mavericks-Boston Celtics matchup in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. / Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks ensured that we got an extra day of basketball on Monday, dominating the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday night – winning by 38 points. 

Now, Dallas is looking to extend the series for another game, as it attempts to become the first of 157 teams to erase a 3-0 series deficit in the NBA playoffs. 

The Celtics are heavily favored now that they’re back at home, but the status of Kristaps Porzingis is still up in the air after he was active but did not play in Game 4. 

Boston has been the better team for most of the series, but the loss in Game 4 certainly casts a little doubt on how easily it will close things out. The C’s have not lost a home playoff game since Game 2 against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round.

Let’s dive into the odds, key players to watch and my best bet for potentially the last game of the NBA season. 

Mavericks vs. Celtics Odds, Spread and Total


  • Mavericks +6.5 (-108)
  • Celtics -6.5 (-112)


  • Mavericks: +205
  • Celtics: -250


  • 209.5 (Over -108/Under -112)

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Mavericks vs. Celtics How to Watch

  • Date: Monday, January 17
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: TD Garden
  • How to Watch (TV): ABC
  • Series: Boston leads 3-1 

Mavericks vs. Celtics Injury Reports

Mavericks Injury Report

  • Luka Doncic -- probable

Celtics Injury Report

  • Kristaps Porzingis -- questionable

Mavericks vs. Celtics Key Players to Watch

Dallas Mavericks

Dereck Lively II: Dereck Lively II has put together back-to-back double-doubles for the Mavericks, dominating the glass in both games. Lively became the first rookie to record back-to-back double-doubles in the Finals since… Magic Johnson! He has to control the glass for Dallas to truly have a chance to extend this series, especially if Kristaps Porzingis suits up at all in Game 5. Lively has been a huge factor for the Mavs all postseason long, and he’s certainly been a key reason why they’ve been in the last two games. 

Boston Celtics

Jaylen Brown: The Finals MVP favorite ahead of Game 4, Brown had a rough game in the blowout loss for Boston, scoring just 10 points on 3-for-12 shooting. Luckily for Brown’s chances of winning Finals MVP, nobody on Boston played well in the 38-point loss. The C’s need a big game from Brown to avoid having to go back to Dallas for Game 6. 

Mavericks vs. Celtics Prediction and Pick

There’s a very interesting trend for the Celtics in this game that falls in line with where I am leaning. 

Teams that have lost by 30 or more points in the NBA Finals since 2005 are 4-0 straight up and 4-0 against the spread in the following game. 

Now, I’m not saying to bet on Boston based on this trend, but I do like the Celtics to close things out at home.

While Boston fell apart in Game 4, it didn’t shoot the ball well at all, and Dallas’ role players (PJ Washington, Dante Exum, Derrick Jones Jr. and others) all played arguably their best game of the series on Friday. 

I’m worried about Dallas’ offense, as it was held to less than 100 points in three straight games to open this series. Even though the Mavs found that pushing the pace could help in Game 4, I doubt that Boston shoots 36.3 percent from the field again – especially at home. 

The C’s are 27-21-3 ATS as home favorites this season, and I expect them to close out the Finals with a bang on Monday night. 

Pick: Celtics -6.5 (-112)

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.

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Peter Dewey


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. A New York City resident, he is a hoops fanatic with a soft spot for his New York Knicks.