NBA Odds: Celtics Remain Favorites to Win the 2024 NBA Championship
May 28, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) makes a three point shot against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half in game four of the western conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics have secured their place in the NBA Finals, an outcome widely anticipated as they entered the playoffs as favorites to advance. Boston has consistently been a strong contender for the title and remains the odds-on favorite after sweeping the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. With the NBA Finals set to begin on June 6, the Celtics now await the winner of the Dallas Mavericks-Minnesota Timberwolves matchup.

Latest Odds to Win the NBA Finals

  • Celtics: -230
  • Mavericks: +240
  • Timberwolves: +1500

Based on BetMGM’s latest odds, Boston has a significant chance of winning the title. The implied probability for the Celtics, with -230 odds, is approximately 69.23%. This probability might increase or decrease depending on the outcome of the Western Conference Finals, but they should remain heavy favorites.

The Dallas Mavericks are currently leading the series against the Minnesota Timberwolves 3-1, making them the likely opponent for Boston.

Boston’s Road to the Finals

Boston has been a dominant force this postseason, led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Their journey through the playoffs has been characterized by strong defensive performances and efficient scoring. The Celtics’ depth and versatility have allowed them to overcome various challenges, making them heavy favorites regardless of the outcome of the Western Conference Finals.

Boston has concerns, particularly with star center Kristaps Porzingis recovering from a calf injury sustained in the first round against the Miami Heat. Fortunately, the NBA Finals start on June 6, giving Porzingis additional time to recover and potentially play in Game 1.

Western Conference Series Analysis

The Minnesota Timberwolves managed to avoid a sweep by defeating the Dallas Mavericks 105-100 in Game 4. Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns led the charge for the Timberwolves, scoring 29 and 25 points respectively. Despite Luka Doncic achieving his sixth triple-double of the postseason, it wasn’t enough to secure a win for Dallas.

This victory gives the Timberwolves a glimmer of hope, although no team has ever come back from a 3-0 series deficit. It also ended Kyrie Irvin’s historic 14-game win streak in playoff closeout games. The Mavericks will have another opportunity to clinch their spot in the NBA Finals in Game 5 at the Target Center.

Key Insights from Game 4

The Impact of Edwards and Towns: In Game 4, the dynamic duo of Edwards and Towns outperformed Doncic and Irving, which was pivotal in securing the Timberwolves’ first win of the series. Despite fouling out late in the game, Towns’ second-half shooting, including an impressive performance from beyond the arc, kept Minnesota’s season alive.

The Absence of Dereck Lively II: Dallas missed the presence of rookie center Dereck Lively II, who was sidelined due to a neck sprain. His absence was felt on both ends of the court, affecting Dallas’ interior defense and offensive rhythm. The return of Lively could be crucial for the Mavericks in closing out the series.

Defensive Adjustments by Minnesota: The Timberwolves made strategic defensive adjustments by assigning Anthony Edwards to guard Doncic and Jaden McDaniels to Irving. This defensive shift disrupted Dallas’ offensive flow, contributing to their off-shooting night.

Can the Timberwolves Make History?

For Minnesota to become the first team to overcome a 3-0 deficit, several factors need to align, some more obvious than others.

Win Game 5: The Timberwolves must-win Game 5 at home to keep their hopes alive. Each game is a step toward the ultimate goal, and a second win will put momentum on their side.

Continued Stellar Performances from Key Players: Towns and Edwards need to replicate their Game 4 performances the rest of the way. With no margin of error, the Timberwolves stars need to be the best players on the court.

Limiting Mistakes: The Timberwolves must minimize costly errors and play near-perfect basketball. This includes avoiding unnecessary fouls and maintaining focus in critical moments. They got away with a few miscues late in Game 4 and still found a way to win, but that’s usually not going to be the case.

Celtics Remain Heavy Favorites

The Boston Celtics are well-positioned to win the NBA Championship, with odds heavily in their favor. As they await their opponent from the Western Conference Finals, the Celtics will focus on staying healthy and preparing for the final series. Meanwhile, the Mavericks and Timberwolves continue their intense battle, with Dallas holding a 3-1 lead. Minnesota’s Game 4 victory has kept their hopes alive, but they face a daunting task in making a historic comeback. The next few games will determine whether Boston faces Dallas or Minnesota in what promises to be an exciting NBA Finals.

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