Public Bettors Get Crushed By Mavs Blowout Loss to Celtics in Game 1 of NBA Finals

Game 1 of the NBA Finals didn't turn out well for public bettors...
Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving.
Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving. / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the Dallas Mavericks entered Game 1 of the NBA Finals -- and the series as a whole -- as underdogs, public bettors weren't afraid to bet on Dallas ahead of Thursday night's series opener.

However, that strategy backfired in a big way, as Dallas was blown out 107-89 in Game 1, failing to cover the spread as a 6.5-point underdog.

According to BetMGM's John Ewing, 77 percent of the bets in Game 1 were on the Mavericks to win outright and 66 percent of the bets were on Dallas to cover.

All of those public bettors came out on the wrong side in Game 1, and the odds to win the entire NBA Finals have shifted in a big way in favor of Boston. Based on implied probability, the Celtics have an 80 percent chance to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

Latest Odds to Win NBA Championship

  • Celtics: -400
  • Mavericks: +310

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

The Celtics opened the series at -210 to win the series -- Dallas was +180 -- but oddsmakers clearly are giving a major edge to the team up 1-0 in the series.

Boston has lost a pair of Game 2s at home in these playoffs, and the Mavericks have struggled in Game 1s regardless under Jason Kidd, going 1-6 straight up in seven playoff series.

With the win in Game 1, Boston continued a massive Game 1 trend where favorites have now covered the spread in 17 of the last 20 Game 1s of the NBA Finals.

Oddsmakers have slightly adjusted the spread for Game 2 after Boston's dominant Game 1 win, setting the C's as seven-point favorites for Sunday's action.

It'll be interesting to see if the public is back in on the Mavericks in Game 2 or if the tide is starting to shift towards Boston.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER.

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.