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Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) shoots the ball against Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7), as we examine the NBA Finals odds and betting trends on the Mavericks' chances to erase an 0-2 series deficit in the NBA Finals.
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) shoots the ball against Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) during the fourth quarter in Game 2 of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden in Boston on June 9, 2024. Photo by Peter Casey / USA TODAY Sports via Imagn.

We're looking at the latest NBA Finals odds and betting trends with the Dallas Mavericks facing an 0-2 series deficit against the Boston Celtics in the 2024 NBA Finals, with NBA odds from our best sports betting sites.

Entering the 2024 NBA Finals, the Dallas Mavericks were already facing an uphill battle against the Boston Celtics, who owned the shortest NBA championship odds virtually the entire season. Two games into the series, they're staring down the wrong side of history.

Only five teams have ever erased an 0-2 series deficit in the NBA Finals, with the Milwaukee Bucks (2021), Cleveland Cavaliers (2016), and Miami Heat (2006) the only teams to do so in the last 45 years.

As a result, the Mavericks are priced as high as +650 across our best NBA betting sites to win four of the next five games and join that exclusive club of teams to come back from down 0-2 in the NBA Finals. Can they reward long-shot bettors with an inspired comeback, or will they be another footnote to history?

NBA Finals odds to win series, Game 3

Odds via our best sportsbooks as of Monday, June 10.

MarketMavericks Celtics
Series winner+650 via BetMGM-800 via Caesars
Series spread+2.5 games (+125 via BetMGM)-2.5 games (-140 via bet365)
Total gamesOver 5.5 games (+130 via Caesars)Under 5.5 games (-140 via bet365)
Game 3 moneyline-122 via FanDuel+105 via BetMGM
Game 3 spread-1.5 (-110 via DraftKings)+1.5 (-105 via BetMGM)
Finals MVP favoriteLuka Doncic (+750 via bet365)Jayson Tatum (+140 via FanDuel)
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How many teams have erased 0-2 deficit in NBA Finals?

Look, there's no way to sugarcoat it: the path ahead for the Mavericks is treacherous and historically fraught, and it'll take a Herculean effort to win the series.

Only five of 36 teams (13.9%) have come back from an 0-2 series deficit to win the NBA Finals. In fact, it's more likely for a team in that spot to get swept (25%) than to win the series or even to extend it to seven games (13.9%).

Of course, it's not a death sentence to drop the first two games. The Bucks won four straight after falling down 0-2 to the Phoenix Suns in 2021, which came five years after the Cavaliers pulled off a similarly heroic effort to stun the Golden State Warriors in 2016. (Fittingly, Kyrie Irving delivered the dagger in Game 7 to win that series.)

The Mavericks were on the wrong end of that type of comeback in 2006, when Dwyane Wade led the Miami Heat to a 4-2 series win. That was the first time since 1977, when the late Bill Walton led the Portland Trail Blazers to their only title, while Bill Russell helped the Boston Celtics climb out of an 0-2 hole for his final championship in 1969.

Those are the only five success stories in this historically challenging spot, and 31 others weren't so fortunate. Here's a look at how those 36 teams fared down 0-2 in the NBA Finals:

Teams down 0-2 in NBA Finals

Series resultTimesLast time2024 odds
Lose in four games (0-4)92018 Cavaliers vs. Warriors+320 via bet365
Lose in five games (1-4)72017 Cavaliers vs. Warriors+205 via DraftKings
Lose in six games (2-4)122020 Heat vs. Lakers+500 via BetMGM
Lose in seven games (3-4)32005 Pistons vs. Spurs+500 via BetMGM
Win in six games (4-2)32021 Bucks vs. Suns+2000 via Caesars
Win in seven games (4-3)22016 Cavaliers vs. Warriors+1100 via bet365
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How many teams have erased 0-2 deficit in NBA playoffs?

As dismal as the outlook has been for teams in the NBA Finals, it's been even worse for those facing an 0-2 series deficit in the NBA playoffs in general.

Across all of NBA postseason history, only 34 of 458 teams (7.4%) have erased an 0-2 series deficit. If you narrow the scope to only seven-game series, that bumps to a slightly more favorable record of 28-for-350 (8%), with 14 winning in six games and 14 winning in seven games.

Fittingly, one of those 28 teams was the Doncic-led Mavericks, who came back against the rival Suns in the second round of the 2022 NBA playoffs. They couldn't muster the same magic in the next round, as the Warriors took a 3-0 series lead and eventually won 4-1 in the Western Conference Finals.

Since then, only two teams have come back from a 0-2 series deficit: the Warriors in last year's first round and the Indiana Pacers in this year's second round. Fourteen other teams tried (and failed) to do the same for a 12.5% success rate.

Luka Doncic history down 0-2 in NBA playoffs

While this is Doncic's first appearance in the NBA Finals, this isn't his "first time at the rodeo" as it relates to falling down 0-2 in a playoff series.

As mentioned above, the Slovenian star led the Mavericks to a 4-3 series win against the Suns in 2022 after losing the first two games of the series. He scored 26 points in Game 3 and averaged 32.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 7.0 assists on 47.6% shooting with a masterful 35-point performance in the clinching Game 7.

He couldn't find the same success in the following series against the Warriors, averaging 32 points on 41.5% shooting in a gentleman's sweep. He did score 40 points in Game 3, and he's priced at +350 via FanDuel to do that again on Wednesday.

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Should you bet Mavericks down 0-2 in NBA Finals?

Just based on historical precedent, the Mavericks present a curious case for bettors as they try to erase an 0-2 series deficit in the NBA Finals.

Entering Game 3, their best odds to win the series are +650 via BetMGM, which represent a 13.3% implied probability per our odds converter. While that would pay out $65 for every $10 wager, it's also lower than the 13.9% win rate for the previous 36 teams in this spot across NBA Finals history - and well below the 8% success rate for all NBA teams trailing 0-2 in a best-of-seven series.

It's reasonable to overlook those past results if Dallas showed something in the first two games to ignore history and believe in an inspired comeback. That isn't the case, either: the Celtics outscored the Mavericks by a combined 25 points in the first two games, and they've taken away the very things that this group does best:

The Mavericks are 1.5-point favorites to beat the Celtics in Game 3, which tips off Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC. Home favorites down 0-2 in the NBA Finals have won six straight since 2003, and we've seen two teams in the last decade pull off the "impossible" to win it all after losing the first two games of the series. Our Rob Paul is riding with Boston with his Celtics vs. Mavericks player props for Game 3.

Can Doncic channel his inner Giannis Antetokounmpo or LeBron James and carry his team to victory? He's already made history as the sixth player in NBA history - and first since Michael Jordan in 1991 - to score 30-plus in his first two NBA Finals games, and the latest NBA Finals MVP odds have him priced as high as +750 via bet365 in one of the best sportsbook promos of the postseason.

He'll need to play like an MVP for the Mavericks to make history and overcome a Celtics squad with all-time production. It's been done before, and if Doncic plays to his potential, he could make even more history in his first NBA Finals.

2024 NBA Finals schedule

GameLocationDate
3American Airlines Center (Dallas)Wednesday, June 12 at 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
4American Airlines Center (Dallas)Friday, June 14 at 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
5TD Garden (Boston)Monday, June 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
6American Airlines Center (Dallas)Thursday, June 20 at 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
7TD Garden (Boston)Sunday, June 23 at 8 p.m. ET (ABC)

NBA Finals FAQ

Has any team come back from 0-2 in the NBA Finals?

Five teams have erased an 0-2 series deficit to win the NBA Finals. The last team to do so was the 2021 Milwaukee Bucks, who beat the Phoenix Suns in six games to win their first championship in 50 years.

What percentage of NBA teams come back from an 0-2 series deficit?

Only five of 36 teams (13.9%) have erased an 0-2 series deficit to win the NBA Finals. If you include the entire postseason, 34 of 458 teams (7.4%) have come back from down 0-2 in the NBA playoffs, while 28 of 350 teams (8%) have done so in a seven-game series.

How many teams have been down 0-3 in NBA playoffs?

Across the entire NBA playoffs, 156 teams have trailed 0-3 in a best-of-seven series. All 156 ultimately lost the series, though three teams did extend the series to seven games before losing in Game 7. None of those comeback efforts occurred in the NBA Finals.

Has any team been swept in the NBA Finals?

Nine teams have been swept in the NBA Finals, most recently the 2021 Cleveland Cavaliers against the Golden State Warriors. That was the only four-game sweep in the NBA Finals in the last 15 years and just the third since 2000.

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