NBA Finals Game 3 Betting Picks and Prediction (Celtics-Mavericks)

Riley Thomas
Riley Thomas_riley8

The Boston Celtics enjoyed another comfortable win over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2 of the 2024 NBA Finals. Boston would lead by at least eight points for most of the fourth quarter, going on to win 105-98. The Celtics are sitting pretty with a 2-0 lead; teams are 31-5 all-time in the NBA Finals when leading the series 2-0. This is reflected in FanDuel Sportsbook's NBA Finals odds, which have Boston -950 to win this series.

Dallas' situation is dire as they head back home for Game 3. Wednesday will be an absolute must-win scenario as no team has ever came back from a 3-0 deficit to win a series in NBA playoff history.

The point spread has shifted to the Mavericks' favor for Game 3. Dallas is favored by 1.5 points thanks to their home court advantage. This will be the Celtics' first time in the underdog role in the 2024 postseason. In fact, they have yet to be favored by fewer than 6.5 points. How will Boston respond as the underdog on the road?

What will Game 3 of the NBA Finals have in store? Let's break down the upcoming matchup and reflect on Game 2's results. What could be the best game lines to back?

All NBA odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook and may change after this article is published.

NBA Playoffs Betting

Celtics-Mavericks Betting Odds

Date and Time: Wednesday, June12th at 8:30 p.m. ET

Spread: Mavericks -2.5 (-108)

Total: 212.5


  • Celtics: +116
  • Mavericks: -136

Celtics vs. Mavricks Advanced Stats Breakdown

nERD via numberFire. Adjusted offensive/defensive ratings and pace via DunksAndThrees.

  • Celtics:
    • nERD: 80.8 (1st)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 122.0 (1st)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 111.2 (2nd)
    • Pace: 97.7 (19th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 41-36-5
  • Mavericks:
    • nERD: 57.1 (12th)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 117.5 (7th)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 115.3 (18th)
    • Pace: 100.4 (8th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 48-34-0

Celtics vs. Mavericks Best Bet

Celtics Moneyline (+116)

Considering the Celtics' success through two games, the moneyline for the road underdog is looking very intriguing. Boston hasn't been available at this kind of value for the entire postseason. The story of the Finals thus far has been Dallas' lack of scoring and the Celtics' well-balanced roster shining through.

During the regular season, Luka Doncic, who totaled 33.9 points per game (PPG), and Kyrie Irving (25.6 PPG) combined for 59.5 PPG of the Mavs' average of 115.7 PPG. That's about 51.4% of Dallas' scoring. This has carried over to the playoffs with Luka (29.0 PPG) and Kyrie (21.9 PPG) totaling about 47.8% of their 106.4 PPG scoring average during the postseason.

Doncic has remained productive in the Finals with 31.0 PPG while shooting 51.1% from the field. However, Irving has been like Harry Houdini, completely disappearing with only 14.0 PPG and a 35.1% field goal percentage (FG%) in this series. Kyrie has been like Robin with Luka posing as Batman. Take away Doncic's top running mate, and he's left with little scoring help.

It's been a different kind of story for Boston. While Jayson Tatum (17.0 PPG; 31.6 FG%) has been well under his usual numbers, it hasn't matter thanks to teammates stepping up. Jaylen Brown has remained steady with 21.5 PPG while shooting better than 55.0% from the floor. Kristaps Porzingis was the story of Game 1 with 20 points followed by Jrue Holiday taking over Game with a team-high 26 points. Boston's balance has been on fully display, and frankly, it looks like Dallas doesn't have the tools to overcome it.

The exceptional defensive backcourt of Holiday (98.0 defensive rating in the Finals) and Derrick White (97.9 defensive rating) have had their fingerprints all over this series. Holiday has thoroughly outplayed Irving, boosting the Celtics to their 2-0 lead.

The Mavs' three-point shooting has also been dreadful, making only 13 of 53 attempts from deep (24.5%). Meanwhile, Boston is jacking up 40.5 treys per game in the series -- right on par with their postseason average of 39.9 (the most among playoff squads).

From what we've seen so far, the Celtics as an underdog in any game is worth a bet. They've thoroughly outshot Dallas from three, which plays right into their strength. Boston has shown off their well-rounded team even with Tatum struggling, and the defensive backcourt has helped pretty much erase the Mavericks' second-most important player, Irving.

Even potentially without Porzingis in Game 3, the C's should be favored until we see otherwise.

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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.