3 NBA Player Prop Bets for NBA Finals Game 3 (Celtics-Mavericks)

Annie Nader
Annie Nader@ANader33
3 NBA Player Prop Bets for NBA Finals Game 3 (Celtics-Mavericks)

Player props can be useful in a variety of ways -- from taking advantage of them straight up to measuring a player's potential to produce in daily fantasy basketball on FanDuel. Here, we're going to focus on the former.

Using FanDuel Research's daily basketball projections -- which are powered by numberFire -- as a guide, here are some NBA player prop bets that look appealing via the NBA odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Please note: lines and projections are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All NBA odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook.

NBA Prop Bets

Jayson Tatum Over 9.5 Rebounds (-130)

The NBA Finals will be sent out west with the Dallas Mavericks set to host the Boston Celtics for Game 3.

We should expect the Mavs to come out swinging after dropping both games in Boston, and some key injury news for the Celtics could help Dallas make this a series.

Kristaps Porzingis sustained a torn medial retinaculum and is considered day-to-day.

However, considering this has been classified as both a rare and serious injury, the larger concern may be whether Porzingis can make a return to the Finals at all. I'm not expecting him to play on Wednesday, so let's target Jayson Tatum's rebounding prop.

Tatum over 9.5 rebounds is a good spot to look at regardless of KP's status. In six playoff games alongside Porzingis, Tatum is averaging 10.0 rebounds and has cleared this prop in all but two games.

With KP out -- or at the very least, limited -- Tatum should take on a bigger share of board duties. He is averaging 10.5 rebounds and secured over 9.5 boards in 8 out of 10 playoff games sans Porzingis.

Porzingis, despite limited minutes, has still been averaging 10.0 rebound chances in the Finals. Past Tatum, Boston's only consistent rebounder is Al Horford (7.3 rebounds per game), but Horford is much more volatile than Tatum, grabbing as many as 15 rebounds and as few as 2 rebounds in Porzingis-less playoff games.

Derrick White Over 19.5 Pts + Ast (-104)

I don't think that Derrick White's combined points and assists (PA) prop should be set this low.

White averaged 20.4 PA in the regular season and has received an even bigger boost in the postseason, averaging 22.0 PA each night.

He's cleared 19.5 PA in seven straight games and has managed to get over this hump in 11 out of 16 postseason battles. I'm not quite seeing how a 50.9% probability, courtesy of these -104 odds, is fitting into the equation here.

Similar to most NBA players in the postseason, White has performed better at home. But, even still, he's accumulating 20.5 PA in road playoff games, so the drop-off isn't too steep.

Dallas has yet to prove that they can stop Boston from shooting threes at will. As we look for this trend to continue in Game 3, I'm keen on backing White, who is averaging a team-leading 8.5 three-point attempts (3PA) per game.

It's important to keep in mind that White's seven-game streak of clearing this prop hasn't come amid abnormally-great shooting nights for him. In fact, he has shot below average from the field in five of these games.

One or both of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are probably due for a scoring outburst, but regardless, White's role on the offensive end has remained steady throughout the regular season and into playoff time.

Dereck Lively Over 13.5 Pts + Reb (-128)

Dereck Lively is averaging 17.6 combined points and rebounds (PR) across Dallas' 12 playoff wins but is netting a mere 9.3 PR in their six losses.

The Mavericks should do everything in their power to get him involved in Game 3.

That won't be an easy task since Boston has found an answer for everyone but Luka Doncic up until this point, but Dallas could find new life on their home floor.

It's no fluke that Lively is netting 18.0 PR in home playoff games -- not including one 9-minute game he left due to injury -- and has exceeded 13.5 PR in five out six contests in this split, missing by the hook on one instance.

We've seen Dallas play team basketball to a much higher degree at home than on the road. Notably, they're averaging 22.9 assists in home postseason games and 20.7 assists on the road. They're also less reliant on scoring in isolation -- in part due to Doncic's 31.1 points average on the road and 26.1 points average at home.

Doncic has been great at creating easy inside looks for his teammates; we just haven't seen that come out much in the Finals. The Doncic-to-Lively lob has invigorated the Mavs on many occasions throughout the playoffs, so I'd expect that to be a part of the game plan heading into Wednesday.

Boston has excelled at protecting the rim in this series, but with Porzingis potentially out, they will lose their main protector. Lively could be unleashed if Porzingis sits, and we know the Dallas rookie doesn't have a hard time keeping up his end of the rebounding bargain.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.