Boston Celtics

2024 NBA Finals predictions: Experts make picks for Celtics-Mavs

A lot of people are picking the Mavs to pull off the upset.

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The Boston Celtics are the favorites entering the 2024 NBA Finals, and deservedly so. They had the best record (64-18) in the regular season and then steamrolled through the Eastern Conference Playoffs with 12 wins in 14 games.

But despite the impressive stats and results, plenty of people are not only giving the Dallas Mavericks a great chance to win the series, they're picking the Mavs to actually pull off the upset.

For example, ESPN published its expert predictions for the series Thursday and nine of the 17 picks were in favor of the Mavericks.

The Mavs are a very good team and beat three 50-win opponents in the Western Conference Playoffs to reach the Finals. Luka Doncic is considered the best player in the series, and his teammate Kyrie Irving is an elite offensive player with championship-winning experience.

But the Celtics are a more talented and deeper team. They rank top three in most stats during the playoffs, as the table below shows.

Will the Celtics win a league record 18th championship, or will the Mavericks pull off another upset and claim the franchise's second title?

Here's a roundup of expert predictions for Celtics-Mavs (with the amount of games, if provided).

Game 1 is Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. ET in Boston, with NBC Sports Boston's coverage beginning at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live.

Zach Lowe, ESPN: Celtics in six

Scott Van Pelt, ESPN: Celtics

Kendrick Perkins, ESPN: Celtics in seven

Tim Bontemps, ESPN: Celtics in six

Israel Gutierrez, ESPN: Mavs in six

Chris Herring, ESPN: Mavs in six

Tim Legler, ESPN: Mavs in seven

Bobby Marks, ESPN: Mavs in six

Dave McMenamin, ESPN: Mavs in six

Kevin Pelton, ESPN: Celtics in seven

Ryen Russillo, The Ringer: Celtics in seven

John Hollinger, The Athletic: Celtics in six

Charles Barkley, NBA on TNT: Celtics

Kenny Smith, NBA on TNT: Celtics

Shaquille O'Neal, NBA on TNT: Mavs

Draymond Green, Warriors/NBA on TNT: Mavs in six

Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, SiriusXM: Celtics in six

Nick Wright, FOX Sports 1: Mavs in five

Chris Broussard, FOX Sports 1: Mavs in six

Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY: Celtics in six

James Herbert, CBS Sports: Celtics

Sam Quinn, CBS Sports: Mavs

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