Mavs vs. Celtics prediction: Odds, betting advice, player prop bets for Game 3 on Wednesday, June 12

Included in this betting preview:


With the Celtics taking a 2-0 lead over the Mavericks to Dallas, the sportsbooks’ 2024 NBA Finals odds suggest this series is already over. Boston now sits as a whopping -1000 favorite to win it all, meaning you would need to risk $1,000 for the chance to win $100. That’s volatile and devoid of value — however, Sporting News has identified multiple bets and props for Wednesday’s Game 3 that are worth your while.

Look elsewhere if you’re looking for someone to tell you the Mavs can still win this series. Throughout history, teams that have extended to a 2-0 NBA Finals lead have won it all over 86 percent of the time. It would take a Herculean effort — and a healthier Luka Doncic — for the Mavs to somehow win four of the next five games (two of which would be at TD Garden, where the Celts have gone 45-6 since the start of the season).

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But sweeps are even more rare than comebacks from 2-0 deficits. Since 1947, only nine of the 77 NBA Finals have resulted in a sweep. That’s an 11.7-percent sweep rate, for those without their calculator apps handy.

So, it stands to reason that Dallas will give everything it has to win Game 3 and stay alive. After all, there has never been a successful comeback from a 3–0 series deficit in the NBA. Of the 156 times an NBA team fell into a 3–0 hole, only four have even managed to force a Game 7.

But enough talk about the past — let’s get back to the future, and declare our best bets and top props for Game 3 of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Celtics and Mavericks, including the highest-value spread, over/under, and player prop wagers from BetMGM.

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Best NBA Finals Game 3 odds and picks: Top ATS pick

Mavericks -1.5 (1Q) vs. Celtics (-105)

Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday and the Celtics have pushed the Mavericks onto the proverbial ropes, and it’s time for Dallas to come out swinging with its biggest and best haymakers in Game 3. Jason Kidd now has two games of film to break down and make adjustments so he can get someone else going outside of Luka Doncic and P.J. Washington. 

The Mavs started Game 2 on fire, with Luka smoldering from outside and the visiting team winning the first frame 28-25. If Dallas brings that same intensity in Game 3, it should win the first quarter once again with relative ease. 

After a 13-point opening quarter, Doncic gradually deteriorated as a scorer in Game 2, likely due in large part to the 6-7, 230-pound point guard being exhausted. Between his usage rate, his chest/rib injury, and the Celtics’ swarming team defense, there was no way Luka was going to maintain a pace of over 50 points. He finished with 32 points after scoring 23 by halftime. 

The one key difference we expect out of Wednesday’s game is Kyrie Irving, who has struggled mightily against his former team at TD Garden since stomping on the Celtics’ logo and burning sage court-side. KI has done a lot of growing up this season, but the boo-birds of Boston and elsewhere still obviously get to him. He has shot and scored noticeably better at American Airlines Arena this season.

Take a look at Irving’s points per game, rebounds per game, free throw and plus/minus splits at home vs. away:

Split PPG  RPG FT% +/-
Home 27.0 5.9 92.0% +8.2
Away 24.2 4.1 87.7% +4.9

Irving has also averaged nearly four more points per game at home this postseason, while shooting over four percent better from the floor and nearly five percent better from 3-point land. So, consider betting Dallas to start off hot once again and Irving to have much more to do with it this time. 

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FIRST QUARTER PREDICTION: Mavs 29, Celtics 25 — Dallas wins the first quarter (-145) and covers the -1.5 spread (-105), and the frame finishes UNDER the projected total of 55.5 (-115).

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Best NBA Finals Game 3 odds and picks: Top over/under bet

Celtics team total: UNDER 107.5 (-140)

No matter how you feel about this game, this bet seems like a good value. If Dallas comes out and punches Boston in the mouth, the Celtics likely finish UNDER 107.5. If Boston continues to stifle the Mavs and wins in commanding fashion again, the Celtics will likely finish UNDER 107.5. 

Joe Mazzulla’s squad has finished below 108 three games in a row and eight times total this postseason. The Mavs have been elite defensively at home since the All-Star break, and they will more than likely get away with more physicality in Game 3 with the benefit of some home whistles. Expect a gritty, hard-fought game.

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Mavs 105, Celtics 102 — Dallas wins (-130) and covers the -1.5 spread (-115), and the final score finishes UNDER 212.5 (-105). Boston also finishes well below its 107.5-point team total (-140). 

Best NBA Finals Game 3 odds and picks: Top player prop bets

Kyrie Irving OVER 23.5 points (-120)

When Irving walked off the floor at TD Garden on Sunday night, he had this look that almost seemed to say “I’ll be back.” The superstar guard has let his team down through two games this Finals, and it would be shocking to see one of the most clutch playoff performers of the modern era of the Association struggle mightily a third straight time.

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As already mentioned above, Irving plays much better at home than he does on the road. Those splits are amplified even more when you’re talking about TD Garden vs. American Airlines Arena. He’s public enemy No. 1 in Boston, and a hero in Dallas. He has averaged 24.5 points per game over the Mavs’ past seven home games, and he should step up and score 24-plus with his squad needing him the most in this one. 

Luka Doncic OVER 9.5 assists (-110)

This almost feels like a correlation bet with Kyrie’s scoring OVER. With Irving scoring more, Doncic can take his foot off the gas a bit and maybe his engine can make it to crunch time. The Mavs perform considerably better when Doncic is serving as a playmaker — not just a scorer — and if his passing gets “the others” going, Dallas has a fighter’s chance in this series. 

Doncic had 11 assists in Game 2, to go along with 32 points and 11 rebounds. Ten assists at home in a must-win game seems like great value, as does Luka’s +210 triple-double prop. Jayson Tatum -130 to log another double-double seems like an even better bet! The superstars will show up for this one, and bettors will cash in because of it.

NBA Finals Game 3 odds board

All odds courtesy of BetMGM, an authorized gaming operator of the NBA.

Game Time Moneyline Spread O/U
Celtics @
Mavs
8:30 pm
(ABC)
DAL -130;
BOS +105
DAL -1.5
(-115)
212.5

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