Home » Best NBA bets and expert advice for Conference Finals Game 1 Tips

Best NBA bets and expert advice for Conference Finals Game 1 Tips

The NBA Conference Finals begin this week as the Boston Celtics entertain the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night in the East and the Dallas Mavericks head to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the West.

The Celtics have had plenty of time to prepare for the visit of Indiana as they finished off the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games in the previous round, while the Pacers were taken the full distance by the New York Knicks and they claimed a Game 7 win in that series on Sunday.

Minnesota ended the Denver Nuggets’ Championship defence in the semi-finals in another thrilling seven-game series and they face a Dallas team who overcame top seeds Oklahoma City Thunder in six games in their last assignment.

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  • Boston Celtics -9.5 vs Indiana Pacers 4/5
  • Jrue Holiday over 12.5 points vs Indiana Pacers 5/6
  • Under 206.5 points Dallas Mavericks @ Minnesota Timberwolves 9/10
  • Kyrie Irving over 4.5 assists @ Minnesota Timberwolves 4/5

Rested Boston can seize early lead

Indiana have already upset the odds twice in the postseason after taking out the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks, but this match-up with top seeds Boston is their sternest test to date. 

The Pacers’ previous series wins suggest they have a chance here but they will probably have to come from behind as Boston look well placed to win the opening game.

The Celtics have played two five-game series and have had three extra days to prepare for Game 1, while Indiana have just come through a gruelling seven games with the Knicks and were taken to six by the Bucks.

The Celtics Beat Miami by 20 points in Game 1 of their first-round series and overcame the Cavs by a 25-point margin in the opening game in the semifinals. Seven of Boston’s eight Playoff wins this season have come by more than 10 points and they can lay down a marker on Tuesday by beating the -9.5 handicap in the Point Spread against the Pacers.

Holiday can contribute for Celtics

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are Boston’s key attacking players, but further down the market the 5/6 on offer for over 12.5 points for Jrue Holiday appeals.

Holiday, who won the Championship with Milwaukee, has impressed for Boston this season despite a low output in terms of points and he can weigh in with double digits against Indiana.

Holiday had 13 points against the Cavs in Game 5 and has managed at least 13 in four of his last five appearances, while he has scored 38 in total across his last two games against Indiana. 

Defences key in Western Conference Finals

The Western Conference Finals series is a fascinating match-up as Anthony Edwards and the Minnesota Timberwolves take on Luka Doncic’s Dallas Mavericks. 

Minnesota crushed the Mavs 121-87 the last time these sides met but that game was in February and much has changed since then from a Dallas perspective.

The Mavs are now a far stronger defensive unit after some adjustments, and the way they handled Oklahoma’s young and energetic team suggests they can keep this game fairly tight.

With Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert as a big-man duo, the Wolves have a formidable defence of their own and no team in the West conceded fewer points during the regular season so backing the unders in the total points market looks a good play.

Irving the creator for Dallas

Kyrie Irving has been there and done it all before, having helped Cleveland win the Championship back in 2016, and the Mavs guard is enjoying his best postseason campaign for some time.

Irving averaged 5.2 assists per game during the regular season and has improved slightly in the postseason in that regard with an average of 5.4. The eight-time All-Star has 34 in total across his last five games alone and can record at least five against Minnesota.

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