Celtics vs. Mavs results: Final score, highlights & live betting wins from our NBA Finals Game 2 betting blog

The Celtics moved out to a 2-0 series lead over the Mavericks in the 2024 NBA Finals on Sunday, with Boston winning 105-98 despite Jayson Tatum shooting poorly and Dallas mounting a 9-0 run late in the game. It’s another big win for the best squad in the NBA, and the Sporting News’ BetMGM live betting blog enjoyed another victorious night, too.

New to our live betting blog? Here’s how it works: For every game of the 2024 NBA Finals, we release a handful of pregame best bets. Then, once each game tips, we come back with live score updates, highlights, and a slew of live-betting recommendations and player prop offerings. 

MORE FINALS BETTING:
Series prediction/top propsFinals MVP best bet/value picks

Missed our live blog for Game 1 and Game 2? Fret not — the Sporting News’ betting team will be here all series long. Here’s a recap of what our live betting blog offers:

  • We highlight the best bets and top props leading up to the game, so you can lock in value well ahead of the opening tip
  • We offer live betting advice, provide game and score updates, and relay intriguing betting lines and over/under props throughout the game
  • We close out the night detailing our hits and misses, going over the results of the game as well as the Sporting News best bets both pregame and live

Throughout the season and postseason, this live betting blog helped bettors achieve success with pregame wagers as well as live bets and props. We kept the fun rolling tonight, winning big just like Boston. Let’s get to how the game went, and go over our BetMGM hits and misses from Game 2!

The Sporting News’ Celtics-Mavs best bets roundup

Here’s a complete breakdown of every BetMGM bet the Sporting News served up for Game 2, both pregame and during the live-betting window:

  • Celtics -2.5 (1Q) vs. Mavericks (-105) ❌ 28-25 Dallas
  • Mavs team total: UNDER 105.5 (-130) ✅ 98
  • Luka Doncic OVER 8.5 assists (+105) ✅ 11
  • Sam Hauser OVER 3.5 points (+105) ❌ 2
  • PJ Washington over 12.5 points (-115) ✅ 17
  • Jayson Tatum double-double (-145) ✅ 18 pts/12 asts/9 rebs
  • Celtics to win the half and game (-145) ✅
  • Celtics -300 and -6.5, UNDER 214.5 ✅✅✅ C’s by 7/203 total
  • Celtics -4.5 live bet (-105) ✅ 
  • Boston -0.5 halftime spread (-105) ✅  54-51 Celtics
  • Payton Pritchard OVER 2.5 points (-130) ✅ 3
  • Luka Doncic OVER 5.5 three-pointers (-105) ❌

Total win-loss record for Game 1: 11-3

Celtics vs. Mavs: Game 2 score, highlights

This is where the Sporting News’ live betting blog posts updates and offers live up-to-the-minute betting advice. Be sure to check in early and often for Game 3 so we can carry over the momentum!

Celtics vs. Mavericks Game 2 score

  Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total
Mavs 28 23 23 24 98
Celtics 25 29 29 22 105

7:50 p.m. ET: Here’s the most bet player props for Game 2, according to our friends from BetMGM:

  • PJ Washington over 12.5 points (-115)
  • Luka Doncic under 8.5 assists (-165)
  • Jayson Tatum over 14.5 total rebounds and assists (-135)
  • Kyrie Irving over 22.5 points (-120)
  • Jaylen Brown over 3.5 assists (-105)
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Washington OVER 12.5 points seems like a good bet, especially if Kyrie Irving is going to continue struggling mightily in enemy territory against his former team. Someone has to get going for Dallas, and in multiple games this postseason that someone has been PJ. 

Luka OVER 8.5 assists seems like a better play, especially with the juice going the other way. Doncic had just one assist last time out, the first time in three seasons he has finished a game healthy and having played 20-plus minutes with just one. He’ll be a much bigger part of the Mavs’ playmaking tonight, especially if his chest/ribs limit him from getting all the way to the basket with frequency.

The remaining three bets feel like fades — Tatum double-double at -145 is a better prop than Tatum OVER 14.5 rebounds + assists at -135. Irving is far too volatile at TD Garden — he could be cursed since he stomped on the shamrock logo and burned sage as a Net returning to Boston years ago. And JB is doing so much scoring and playing such good defense, he doesn’t really need to dish out dimes to have a huge impact.

8:00 p.m.: With 10 minutes left until game time, the Celtics close as -6.5 favorites on the spread and -300 on the moneyline while the over/under remains at 214.5. If you’re expecting wire-to-wire domination from Boston, consider betting the home squad to win the half and game (-145). That’s much better value than -300 ML or betting the C’s to win by seven. And remember, Dallas is 3-0 in Game 2s this season, while the Celts are 1-2. 

8:05 p.m.: According to BetMGM, the Mavericks represent 70 percent of the handle against the spread (meaning the Mavs account for 70% of the ATS money). They have also generated 56 percent of the moneyline money, and 52 percent of the over/under handle is on the OVER. We don’t always spring for full-game moneyline, spread, or over/under bets, but if we had to bet this one we would go Celtics -300 and -6.5 and bet the UNDER of 214.5. 

8:22 p.m.: Slow start for the Celtics, while the Mavs are shooting a blistering 55.4 percent from the floor. Boston’s down to -4.5 — that sure feels like value. We would probably bet that, and definitely smash-bet Celts -3.5 if it trickles down that low. An early deficit is actually a good thing for the Celtics, who tend to battle back better than they play with early leads.

8:42 p.m.: Well, the Celtics got outworked in that first quarter, Boston shot just 1-of-9 from three-point land…and trails by just three points. That has to be comforting for Celtics bettors, and it has to make it tempting for live bettors to put some chips towards Boston -4.5 on the live window. You can also get the Celtics -2.5 on the alternate live spread window. 

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8:44 p.m.: You can also bet Boston -0.5 at -105 on the halftime spread if you don’t want to commit to either team on the full-game spread. The Celtics could very well bounce back after that disappointing start, and it’s tough to see them shooting that poorly from three this coming quarter — or, for that matter, Luka maintaining a 75-percent field-goal percentage.

8:54 p.m.: Payton Pritchard has earned his minutes. He’s playing great defense on Irving, and often even contesting the much bigger and stronger Doncic. He even came away with an offensive rebound among the trees! We love his scoring OVER of 2.5 points at -130

9:10 p.m.: Did you tail us on the Celtics -0.5 to win the half!? Easy money. Luka is starting to get fatigued, Boston has been moving the ball and defending better, and things have cleaned up considerably for the home squad. Imagine if Jayson Tatum was playing better!

9:25 p.m.: Luka over 5.5 three-pointers at -105 seems like a great halftime play. He already has three, he doesn’t look like he can sustain a ton of drives to the basket, and he rarely gets separation enough to turn the corner on the Celtics’ constant switches off high screens. The way he’s shooting, six threes seems very doable.

9:58 p.m.: Another huge quarter for the Celtics. And we close out the frame with a Payton Pritchard three that cashes us! HUGE!

10:31 p.m.: It’s in the books! Boston cuts the late Dallas surge short and wins 105-98. Huge cover for the Celtics’ -6.5 crowd. Just wait until we count up all our best bets!!

Celtics vs. Mavs Game 2 best bets

These were the highest-value bets we recommended ahead of Game 2. 

Celtics -2.5 (1Q) vs. Mavericks (-105)

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This first-quarter spread has been a nice deeper-dive ATS play all postseason, and the Celtics continue to start hot in the majority of their playoff games. They beat the Mavs 37-20 in the first frame of Game 1, and they’re now 6-1-1 in first quarters over their past eight games. 

Dallas has arguably exerted much more energy than Boston so far this postseason, and Luka Doncic and company looked gassed after trying multiple times to mount comeback efforts in Game 2. It’s no surprise to anyone that Boston, the more complete and better-rested team, had more energy from start to finish on Thursday.

The Celtics also have a significant advantage at home, where they have gone 44-6 in 50 games since the start of the regular season. And Kristaps Porzingis being healthy and thriving means Boston has an added element of depth, making it a lot harder for Dallas to have its way on the interior, in the lob game, and on the glass. 

The Celtics sit atop the NBA in first-quarter scoring (31.5) since the start of the 2023-24 season, while Dallas often struggles at the start of games. Take away the Mavs’ Western Conference Finals-clinching Game 5 win over Minnesota, and Dallas has been outscored 157-126 over its other five games dating back to the start of the conference championships. That’s an average plus/minus scoring margin of -6.2. Bet the Celtics to start hot once again.

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Mavs team total: UNDER 105.5 (-130)

These two teams have been the best two defenses in the NBA since the All-Star break. Boston has been superb the whole season, especially with a healthy Porzingis. And Daniel Gafford and P.J. Washington were fantastic additions to the Mavs at the deadline, even aiding the continued improvement of Dereck Lively and Derrick Jones Jr. 

As a result of both squads playing solid team defense, protecting the rim well, and seldom allowing second-chance opportunities via offensive rebounds, the UNDER has gone 3-1 over their past four meetings. And while we don’t feel as confident in counting out the Celtics’ offense at home in Game 2, be confident their defense won’t let Dallas get to 106 points at TD Garden.

The Celtics have held opponents to 102 points or fewer in 10 of their 15 games this postseason. Act on the UNDER now, because sharp bettors will more than likely drive this number down by Sunday.

Luka Doncic OVER 8.5 assists (+105)

Doncic had just one assist in Game 1, the fewest dimes he has logged in a game in which he played 20-plus minutes since May 7, 2021. That’s a terrible stat for the Mavs, who rely on him not just to score but also to create for others and increase their amount of high-percentage looks.

Expect a bounce-back in Game 2, especially with Jason Kidd most likely making adjustments after Boston blitzed Doncic outside the perimeter time after time in the series opener. If the Celtics send doubles or charge him outside the three-point arc, it stands to reason that Luka will have open shooters.

The assists will come — Doncic put up double-digit dimes in five of his previous eight games before the Finals, and he has bested this 8.5-assist total in 12 of the Mavs’ 18 games during these playoffs. Enjoy the plus odds while they’re still there.

 

Hauser has been encouraged by Celtics’ stars all postseason long to keep shooting, and it paid off in Game 1 when the 26-year-old sharpshooter knocked down both of his three-point attempts and three of his four total shots from the floor.

This isn’t just a garbage-time reserve we’re talking about here — Mazzulla and the Celts consider Hauser a key part of their rotation. Even though he has struggled at times this postseason, four points with plus odds seems like way too much value to pass up. 

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