Celtics vs. Mavericks Game 3 NBA Best Bet: The Forecast Calls for Raining Threes

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Top-rated sportsbooks have released their NBA odds for Game 3 between the Celtics and Mavericks. For your best bets, I will recommend investing in the “over”.

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NBA Pick: Over 213 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Over 213 (-110)
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Boston Celtics vs. Dallas Mavericks

Wednesday, June 12, 2024 – 08:30 PM ET at American Airlines Center

The Opportunities Are There

Throughout this series, both teams have had numerous open and wide-open three-point opportunities that they failed to convert. The chances to score more points from three are there, but neither team has taken advantage despite their general ability to do so.

Game 2, which totaled 203 points, saw even more brutal three-point shooting from both teams than Game 1: Dallas shot 23.1 percent from deep while Boston converted 25.6 percent of its three-point attempts. Both teams have too many good three-point shooters to continue to shoot so poorly from behind the arc.

If Dallas’ season-long home three-point shooting percentage were an overall (instead of just home) statistic, the Mavs would be eighth in three-point shooting percentage, ahead of Boston’s road three-point conversion rate by .1 percent.

Guys Are Open

Boston is leaving the likes of P.J. Washington open in order to pack the paint.

Washington has enjoyed tremendous games in this postseason – making as many as seven threes in one game – primarily by getting hot from behind the arc. He is someone who has too much three-point shooting potential to continue to struggle from deep. The same goes for guys like Josh Green and Maxi Kleber.

Boston wants to pack the paint in order to undercut the success that Dallas’ centers found in their series against Minnesota, although Daniel Gafford started to figure things out in Game 2 with his 13-point performance.

However, especially because role players tend to thrive at home, the Mavericks must be expected to punish Boston for leaving them open from deep.

Kyrie Irving

Dallas is struggling to score primarily because it is only able to count on the offensive production of superstar Luka Doncic.

Kyrie Irving, who is visibly rattled by the Boston crowd that hates him as a former Celtic, has underperformed. He’s missing open shots, dribbling the ball off himself, and so on. He also struggled in the regular season in Boston, yet he succeeded in Dallas against the Celtics, illustrating his capability to score effectively against this team.

As one of the best iso players in the sport, he should revive what had been an excellent postseason for him despite the various strong on-ball defenders whom he had faced. Again, one can also look at it simply in terms of three-point shooting: he is 0-for-8 from deep in this series, which is absurd in view of his typical efficiency. Dallas knows that, in order to compete with Boston, it has to get Irving going.

There are two strategies it knows it can employ to get him going: one is to have him operate as the primary ball-handler. The effect of this first strategy is twofold: one, Irving gets to use his characteristic quickness against a Boston defense that has less time to set itself up; two, in using his characteristic quickness, Irving helps inject more tempo into the game, which Dallas knows Indiana did with significant success against Boston’s defense.

Down 0-2, the Mavericks need to shake things up. They have played faster in previous playoff rounds, and especially with Irving they have the personnel to speed things up. Secondly, to get Irving going, Dallas can set more screens for him, freeing him up more to operate.

Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum helps Boston achieve high point totals; even when he and his teammates shoot poorly, he compensates with his intelligence

When double-teamed, Tatum understands what plays to make. He finds teammates, putting them in a position to succeed with a numerical advantage. Tatum himself, though, will score more: in Game 2, his shot-missing was uncanny, as so many of his attempts around the rim somehow failed to go in.


For the game to go “over,” it is primarily Dallas that needs to score more points relative to what it did in Games 1 and 2.

Luka will continue to be Luka, but Kyrie is also going to thrive now that the series moves outside of Boston and because there are various ways to ensure that he gets going. He did have significant stretches of good offensive play in Game 2, so we already see that the potential is there for him to continue his strong postseason.

Luka and Kyrie’s supporting cast will live up to their potential at home. Gafford is already figuring things out. Washington, but also guys like Green and Kleber, will find their stroke from deep.

Boston is already approaching 110 points for a given game. The Celtics simply need to approach their team potential from behind the arc. Tatum is such a dynamic scorer, with his driving and step-back abilities, his moves inside, and his shot. He is going to score more when he isn’t continuing to amass assists by getting teammates involved.

The Side

If you want to play the side, I lean toward Boston. The Celtics are the better team getting plus money. They are the underdogs because they are playing away from home, yet playing on the road does not bother them. They are undefeated on the road.

Moreover, they seem to have an extra gear they can access in crunch time when their opponent threatens to win. Relatedly, they have the experienced veterans who can execute in crunch time. But Dallas also has stars who can close out games.

Because I like the Mavericks’ offense in this game, I prefer playing the “over” to playing Boston.

NBA Pick: Over 213 (-110) at BetOnline

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Over 213 (-110)
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