NBA

FanDuel Daily Fantasy Picks and Helper: NBA Finals Game 3 (Celtics at Mavericks)

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Picks and Helper: NBA Finals Game 3 (Celtics at Mavericks)

Since NBA DFS is easier to predict than baseball or football, it would likely get plenty of votes as the best sport to play on FanDuel. Basketball players usually stick to the same minutes and produce at roughly the same rate. Sounds easy, right? Trust me -- it's not!

As a result, NBA daily fantasy is highly reliant on a player's opportunity, so you'll need to ensure that you're up to date with key injuries. Our projections -- which are powered by numberFire -- update throughout the day to reflect current news. You can also turn to numberFire for player news updates as well as a matchup heat map and lineup optimizer to help give you an edge.

On top of all that, here at FanDuel Research, we'll come at you each day with this NBA DFS primer, which breaks down some of the day's top plays at each position.

Let's dive into Game 3's Boston Celtics-Dallas Mavericks single-game slate on FanDuel.

NBA Finals Single-Game DFS Picks for Celtics-Mavericks

Game 3 Preview

All NBA odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook.

Date and Time: Wednesday, June 12th at 8:30 p.m. ET

Spread: Mavericks -1.5 (-114)

Total: 212.5 (-110/-110)

Studs to Target

Luka Doncic ($17,500) -- Luka Doncic is, again, the chalk choice for the 2x MVP multiplier slot. Luka's cracked 30 real-world points and 10 rebounds in both games this series, but a bounce back in the assist department was what fueled his monster Game 2. After Boston held him to just one dime off seven potential assists in Game 1, Luka dished out 11 via 14 potential assists in Game 2. The triple-double was his sixth of the postseason while his 65.7 FanDuel points (FPs) were a playoff-high. He has +260 odds to record a triple-double in Game 3 and has proven capable of breaking the slate regardless of game outcome. I'd hesitate to stray from Doncic at MVP in most formats.

Jayson Tatum ($15,000) -- Considering his periphery numbers, Jayson Tatum is still the Celtic I'd want as my contrarian MVP -- even if he's now the least-efficient NBA Finals shooter of the last 60 years. Even so, Tatum has racked up 20 rebounds and 17 assists this series, notching 33.7 and 46.7 FPs, respectively. He's yet to crack 20 real-world points, but that hasn't stopped him from leading Boston in shot attempts in both games. With that high usage, he's the only player who can rival Luka's ceiling. There's enough value with Dallas' role players to fit Tatum in alongside Doncic, but I'd prefer to utilize him in true contrarian builds sans Luka. Otherwise, Jaylen Brown ($14,000) makes a lot more sense given his identical fantasy production at a lower salary.

Mid-Range Options

Kyrie Irving ($13,000) -- Kyrie Irving has burned us twice this series, failing to crack 20 actual nor 30 FanDuel points in either game. But we're talking about the same Kyrie Irving who went for 36 actual and 48.3 FanDuel points in the Mavs' closeout win in the Western Conference Finals. There's still upside here, especially with Dallas at home, somewhere he's averaged 24.1 points per game on 47% shooting this postseason. It's also worth noting this isn't the first time Irving's struggled this postseason -- he was held under 25 FPs in three straight games during the Conference Semifinals. We aren't getting any sort of salary discount here despite the two down performances, but Kyrie still has upside in a must-win for Dallas.

Derrick White ($11,000) -- You're essentially playing roulette picking between Boston's starting five in DFS -- and not the FanDuel Casino version. Still, it's really easy to talk yourself into Derrick White at $11K. White popped for 41 FPs in Game 2, yet his salary dropped $500. Assuming his usage rate continues to hover around 20%, I'll continue to roster the defensive stalwart. His defensive contributions have been the bread and butter of his fantasy game this postseason. White's recorded at least three combined steals and blocks five times in 16 playoff games. In those games, he's averaging 46.3 FPPG.

Value Plays

Daniel Gafford ($9,500) -- I've been more into Dereck Lively ($8,500) this postseason, but Daniel Gafford has looked like the better play against Boston. Lively's been held to 10.5 and 8.4 FPs through two games whereas Gafford's gone for 16.1 and 26.8. He notably scored 6 of his 13 points off three post-ups and saw the fourth-most touches (32) on the team. Gafford's averaging 8.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks at home this postseason. The big man's rebounds prop is notably set at 5.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook -- a mark he's gone over in three of his last four games.

Derrick Jones ($8,000) -- Derrick Jones Jr. showed some life in Game 2, cracking 20 FPs for just the second time in his last seven games. He's been significantly better at home this postseason, averaging 11.6 actual and 22.6 FanDuel points while shooting 48.1% from beyond the arc. Though Jones has only reached for 30 FPs twice in 19 playoff games, he offers some much-needed salary relief for Luka-MVP builds.


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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.