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Boston Celtics vs Dallas Mavericks Predictions, Odds, Injuries & Public-Betting Splits for Game 3

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in NBA Basketball

Updated Jun 12, 2024 · 7:32 AM PDT

Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving goes for a layup against the Boston Celtics
Jun 9, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) shoots the ball against Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) during the fourth quarter in game two of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
  • The Dallas Mavericks head home in an 0-2 hole in their best-of-seven NBA Finals with the Boston Celtics
  • The Mavericks are slight 2.5-point home favorites to win Game 3 on Wednesday, June 12
  • See the Game 3 Boston Celtics vs Dallas Mavericks predictions, odds, and public-betting splits

Game 3 between the Boston Celtics (78-20, 33-14 away, 50-43-5 ATS) and Dallas Mavericks (62-39, 32-20 home, 58-42-1 ATS) on Wednesday night will determine whether the 2024 NBA Finals is an actual series or a runaway.

After a pair of victories at home, the Celtics can take a 3-0 stranglehold on the best-of-seven series in Game 3 at American Airlines Center in Dallas (8:40 pm ET). But the Celtics vs Mavericks odds list the home team as a small favorite to close the gap. Dallas is currently a 2.5-point favorite against a Boston team that will likely be missing Kristaps Porzingis.

Boston Celtics vs Dallas Mavericks Game 3 Prediction

  • Mavericks first quarter-1.5 (-108)
  • Under 213 points (-110)
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Wednesday’s game will mark just the third time in 98 games this season that Boston has been an underdog. The C’s are 1-2 straight-up in the previous three. They crushed Sacramento 144-119 on the road as four-point underdogs with a depleted lineup on Dec. 12, but lost twice at Milwaukee, falling by 23 as two-point underdogs on Jan. 11 (135-102) and by 13 as 3.5-point underdogs on April 9 (104-91).

Boston is likely to be shorthanded again on Wednesday due to Porzingis’ “serious” leg injury (more on that below) and his absence is going to be a welcome sight for any and all Mavericks hoping to finish around the rim. Porzingis racked up five blocks in just 44 total minutes during Games 1 and 2, and he was a serious part of the MVP conversation despite coming off the bench.

YouTube video

The Celtics were in a similar position in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pacers, winning two at home before the series shifted to Indiana for Games 3 and 4. Boston somehow left Indianapolis with a sweep despite trailing both games by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter.

I expect the adage about teams coming home down 0-2 to hold true tonight, meaning a big first-quarter and first-half performance from the desperate Mavericks. Despite remaining on the Dallas injury report, Doncic showed in Game 2 (32 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists in 42 minutes) that he’s fully healthy, and if his supporting cast – especially Kyrie Irving, who has just 28 points on 35.1% shooting in the series – can even marginally improve, Dallas should be able to build an early lead against a Boston team missing its best rim protector.

I am also going to bet the under in Game 3, motivated largely by the pace-of-play exhibited so far in the series. Boston, in particular, has been in no hurry to run the floor. Overall, their pace has dropped from  97.98 in the regular season all the way to 92.62 in the postseason. Dallas is also playing at a considerably slower tempo, dropping from 100.60 to 93.63.

Celtics vs Mavericks Odds for Game 3

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Boston Celtics +2.5 (-110) +114 O 213 (-110)
Dallas Mavericks -2.5 (-110) -135 U 213 (-110)

The Celtics vs Mavericks odds for Game 3 are fairly uniform across all sportsbooks by this point. The seven main North American books (BetMGM, bet365, Caesars, DraftKings, ESPN Bet, Fanatics, and FanDuel) all list the spread at 2.5 points.  The best odds on the Celtics +2.5 are -105 at Caesars, while the best odds on Dallas -2.5 are -110 (at five different books).

The best moneyline price on Boston can also be found at Caesars, not coincidentally, where the Celtics are priced at +130. The best moneyline price on Dallas is -135 at DraftKings.

Wednesday’s NBA odds show considerably more variation on the game total. The over/under is as low as 212.5 at BetMGM and as high as 213.5 at Fanatics and FanDuel.

BOS vs DAL Game 3 Injury Reports

The big news after Game 2 was the leg injury to Porzingis, who piled up 32 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks in just 44 minutes over the first two games of the series. Porzingis is officially listed as “questionable” on the Boston injury report but his injury  – technically described as “”torn medial retinaculum, allowing dislocation of the posterior tibialis tendon” – has been described as “serious” and the expectation is that Porzingis will not be in the lineup.

The only good news for Boston is that their 7’2 center is the only player on the C’s injury report.

On the Dallas side, Luka Doncic is still listed on the injury report – listed as “probable” – with his lingering knee and ankle issues. Doncic had a 32-point triple-double in the Mavs’ 105-98 Game 2 loss, playing 42 minutes.

Boston vs Dallas Betting Splits for Game 3

Team Spread ATS Handle% ATS Bet% Total Points O/U Handle% O/U Bet% Moneyline ML Handle% ML Bet%
Boston Celtics +2.5 63% 68% 213 72% 77% +114 34% 41%
Dallas Mavericks -2.5 37% 32% 213 28% 23% -135 66% 59%

The NBA public-betting splits for Game 3 tonight show an interesting dichotomy. The Celtics are getting 63% of the ATS handle as 2.5-point road underdogs, but the Mavericks are getting 66% of moneyline handle as -135 home favorites.

The public is, for the third straight game, hammering the over. Despite the first two games staying under (by 18.5 and 11.5 points, respectively), the public has put 72% of game-total handle on the over as of 10 am ET, along with 77% of the wagers.

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