NBA Finals Game 3 Picks - June 12

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by The OddsCrowd Analysts

Despite never landing a true knockout blow or converting at a respectable mark from beyond the arc (10-39 from deep), the Boston Celtics defeated the Dallas Mavericks 105-98 Sunday night to seize a 2-0 2024 NBA Finals series lead. The series now shifts to Dallas for Game 3 on Wednesday night, with tipoff set for 8:30 PM ET on ABC.

Fighting through injuries, Mavs star Luka Doncic was incredibly productive in Boston, posting a triple-double in Game 2 – but he can’t do it alone. In a must-win Game 3, the Mavs need to make major adjustments. Get set for a crucial NBA Finals Game 3 with our expert predictions and best bets, detailed below.

NBA Finals Game 2 Predictions

● Boston Celtics Money Line (+110)

● Jayson Tatum Over 15.5 AST + REB (-115)

● Daniel Gafford Over 8.5 Points (-102)

Celtics vs. Mavericks NBA Finals Game 3 Best Bet: Celtics Money Line (+110)

There are two first-team All-NBA players in the 2024 NBA Finals – Jayson Tatum of the Celtics and Luka Doncic of the Mavericks. Despite Doncic's incredible performance, including back-to-back 30-point, 10-rebound games, the Celtics lead the series 2-0. Tatum has struggled, shooting just 31.6% in the series, but the Celtics depth has been the difference.

Doncic’s nagging injuries and the difficulty of his shot-making might lead to efficiency regressions. Meanwhile, the Celtics versatile lineup has caused problems for the Mavericks on both ends of the floor. Even with expected adjustments from Dallas, the Celtics’ ability to shoot and make three-pointers and their defensive flexibility make them a strong pick.

The talk of the media and the sportsbooks' over-correction for Game 3 odds largely rests on an Irving breakout game and the re-injury to Kristaps Porzingis, and while these are plausible causes, Boston made this run without Porzingis, and the plus-money value attached to the game feels like a gift. Take Celtics ML (+110).

Celtics vs. Mavericks NBA Finals Game 3 Best Bet: Jayson Tatum Over 15.5 AST + REB (-115)

Despite his shooting woes, Tatum has been effective as a playmaker and rebounder. In the first two games, he tallied 20 rebounds and 17 assists, clearing the 15.5 assists + rebounds line in both. Over his last nine playoff games, he has cleared this line eight times.

Tatum’s Game 3 performances in the 2024 playoffs have been consistent, with 17, 19, and 18 assists + rebounds, respectively. Given his ability to contribute in multiple ways, betting on Tatum O15.5 Assists + Rebounds (-115) is a solid choice.

Celtics vs. Mavericks NBA Finals Game 3 Best Bet: Daniel Gafford Over 8.5 Points (-102)

With Kristaps Porzingis dealing with a torn medial retinaculum and questionable for Game 3, Daniel Gafford’s role becomes more significant. Gafford was efficient in the Game 1 scoring column but struggled to find a lot of minutes fitting in the defensive scheme guarding the Celtics’ lineup. In Game 2, as Porzingis became nagged by injury, and in response to Maxi Kleber and Dereck Lively II’s first-half ineffectiveness, Gafford made adjustments and was a revelation, scoring 11 points and collecting seven rebounds in the second half.

Gafford is 9-12 from the floor in this series, and with Porzingis likely even more limited, Gafford’s opportunities for dunks and second-chance points should increase. Betting on Daniel Gafford O8.5 Points (-102) presents good value.

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