- NBA playoff action continues with Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final on Saturday, May 21st
- The best-of-seven series is deadlocked at 1-1 as the action switches locations to Boston’s TD Garden
- Read below for the latest NBA player props and best bets
Two games of the NBA’s Eastern Conference final between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat has provided two completely diverse outcomes.
In Game 1, the Heat’s Jimmy Butler turned it on. Butler poured in a game-high 41 points as the Heat whipped the Celtics 118-107. No other Heat player got to 20 points. However, four of five Miami starters did score in double digits.
Game 2 was all Boston. The Celtics were 127-102 winners. Boston led by as much as 32 points in the fourth quarter. Jayson Tatum hit for 27 points to lead the Celtics. Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart each came through with 24 points.
What will Game 3 provide for basketball fans? Well, oddsmakers are going with the hometown Celtics as 6.5-point favorites to claim the lead in the series. Boston is 4-2 straight up at home in the playoffs but just 2-2 SU over the past four games.
May 21st NBA Player Props
|MIA @ BOS||Points||Rebounds||Assists||Three Pointers Made|
|Jimmy Butler (MIA)||26.5 (Ov -115 | Un -110)||7.5 (Ov +100 | Un -130)||4.5 (Ov -155 | Un +115)||1.5 (Ov +160 | Un -210)|
|Bam Adebayo (MIA)||13.5 (Ov -125 | Un -+110)||7.5 (Ov -150 | Un +115)||2.5 (Ov +110 | Un -145)||OFF|
|Max Strus (MIA)||11.5 (Ov -105 | Un -120)||3.5 (Ov -135 | Un +100)||1.5 (Ov -110 | Un -120)||2.5 (Ov -150 | Un +115)|
|Al Horford (BOS)||9.5 (Ov -110 | Un -115)||7.5 (Ov -120 | Un -110)||2.5 (Ov -145 | Un +110)||1.5 (Ov +125 | Un -165)|
|Grant Williams (BOS)||8.5 (Ov -120 | Un -105)||3.5 (Ov +110 | Un -145)||0.5 (Ov -135 | Un +100)||1.5 (Ov -105 | Un -120)|
|Jaylen Brown (BOS)||23.5 (Ov -125 | Un -105)||6.5 (Ov -+110 | Un -135)||3.5 (Ov -140 | Un +105)||2.5 (Ov -158 | Un +124)|
|Jayson Tatum (BOS)||27.5 (Ov -120 | Un -105)||5.5 (Ov -150 | Un +110)||5.5 (Ov +125 | Un -165)||2.5 (Ov -160 | Un +125)|
|Marcus Smart (BOS)||14.5 (Ov -110 | Un -110)||3.5 (Ov -145 | Un +110)||6.5 (Ov -110 | Un -120)||2.5 (Ov +110 | Un -140)|
|Robert Williams (BOS)||7.5 (Ov +115 | Un -150)||7.5 (Ov +115 | Un -155)||1.5 (Ov +145 | Un -195)||OFF|
Odds as of May 21st at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Which direction should you take in terms of best bets in NBA player props action? Is it wise to stick with the hot hands, or should the savvy bettor be looking for a little home cooking to get the juices flowing for the Heat and Celtics?
Prop #1: Book A Board Meeting With Tatum
It’s going to be tempting to play the over 27.5 points prop on Boston forward Jayson Tatum and we’re not necessarily saying that’s a bad move. In the first two games of this series on the road, Tatum has scored 29 and 27 points.
That works out to 28 points per game and logically, it would be prudent to expect an uptick in output from the Celtics’ key offensive performer as they return to their home court.
Jayson Tatum ranks No. 1 in the NBA in both deflections (50) and loose balls recovered (17) this postseason. Just proving his case as an all-around superstar. pic.twitter.com/k3Buh9zUL9
— Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) May 20, 2022
There’s another area of the game in which Tatum excels most especially at home and it will make for a safer, albeit less-rewarding play. He’s set at 5.5 rebound as his Game 3 total. There are -150 odds on Tatum going over that total.
He should be able to do that without breaking much of a sweat. In four of his past five home games, Tatum has grabbed at least six boards. At home this season, he is averaging 7.7 rebounds per game.
- Pick: Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum over 5.5 rebounds (-150). 1 unit
Prop #2: Butler Won’t Do It
Butler was an absolute dominant monster in Game 1 and there’s no doubt that he’s capable of such outstanding games. As well, there’s ample evidence to suggest he could go over his total of 26.5 points in Game 3. Butler has hit the over on that play in each of his last three games and four of the past five games. He’s also done it in four of his last five road games.
"I promise you, I will figure it out."
– Jimmy Butler ✊ pic.twitter.com/0XI7cl2lWJ
— Heat Nation (@HeatNationCom) May 20, 2022
However, when Boston is added as the other team in this equation, the math doesn’t work out as easily. In seven games with the Heat at Boston, Butler went over 26.5 points once. He’s only done it twice in his past 14 games at TD Garden.
In six career playoff games at Boston, Butler got over 26.5 points once. He’s averaged 19.5 points per game over those six postseason contests at TD Garden.
- Pick: Miami Heat Jimmy Butler under 26.5 points (-110), 1 unit