Celtics vs. Mavericks NBA expert prediction and odds for Monday, Jan. 22 (Luka will lead Mavs to upset)

NBA betting preview, prediction and best bet for Celtics-Mavericks. 
Jan 17, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) dribbles against the Lakers.
Jan 17, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) dribbles against the Lakers. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics bounced back from suffering their first home loss of the season on Friday to the Denver Nuggets. Boston started its road trip off right with a bounce-back 116-107 victory over the Houston Rockets, though it came up short of covering the number as an 11-point favorite. Should bettors back Boston again as a road favorite?

Dallas has a five-day break in-between games after its trip to Golden State was postponed following the death of Warriors’ assistant coach Dejan Milojević. The Mavericks last took the floor on Jan. 17, falling to the Lakers, 127-110. The Mavericks have won five of their last eight games and will welcome the Celtics, which are No. 1 in the Eastern Conference. 

Here is a betting preview of Monday’s matchup with a best bet. 

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Celtics vs. Mavericks odds, spread and total 

Celtics vs. Mavericks how to watch

  • Date: Monday, Jan. 22
  • Game time: 8:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: American Airlines Center
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports
  • Celtics record: 33-10
  • Mavericks record: 24-18

Celtics vs. Mavericks injury reports

Boston Celtics injury report

  • Al Horford (load management): out
  • Jrue Holiday (elbow): out

Dallas Mavericks injury report

  • Seth Curry (ankle): questionable 
  • Dante Exum (knee): doubtful

Celtics vs. Mavericks key players to watch

Boston Celtics

Kristaps Porzingis: The Celtics shot just 42.7% from the field in their loss to Denver, but Porzingis turned in a +2 plus/minus with 21 points and eight rebounds over 36 minutes. Porzingis followed that effort with a 32-point performance, including six 3-pointers, in Boston’s win over the Rockets. 

Dallas Mavericks

Kyrie Irving: Irving has been Dallas’ leading scorer in six of the last seven games and ripped off a pair of 40-point outings last week in wins over New York and New Orleans. The former Celtic is averaging 25.3 points per game this season and is looking to bounce back after scoring just 12 points in the loss to the Lakers Jan. 17. 

Celtics vs. Mavericks prediction and pick

The Celtics have the NBA’s best record, but they haven’t been profitable to bettors in recent games with inflated spreads. Boston owns just the 14th-best ATS record (21-20-2) this season and has come up short against the number in three-straight games. As a road favorite, Boston is just 7-11-2. 

Boston’s defense is stout as the Celtics rank No. 2 in defensive rating and are top-5 in the league in rebounding, but Dallas has the offense to attack that defense with the way Irving and Luka Doncic are playing. Doncic, who is fourth in the NBA MVP odds (+800), according to DraftKings Sportsbook, has scored 30-plus points in four-straight games and is coming off a triple-double against the Lakers. 

Dallas just beat Minnesota and its No. 1-rated defense at home on Jan. 7, 115-108. Doncic and Irving combined for 69 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists and that tandem should lead the Mavericks Monday as a motivated home underdog with a significant rest advantage. Take the points. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.