Monday, July 15, 2024

NBA Finals Game 3 Celtics vs. Mavericks: Predictions, betting odds

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The only way for the Dallas Mavericks to turn the NBA Finals into a competitive series is by winning Game 3 on Wednesday.

Trailing 2-0 to the Boston Celtics, the Mavericks can’t afford a 3-0 deficit. No team has come back from down 3-0 to win a series in NBA playoffs history (0-156 and 0-14 in the Finals) and just four teams in those 156 series have forced a Game 7.

Game 3 is imperative for the Mavericks.

The Mavericks were back home – though they’re not dramatically better at home than on the road in the playoffs but the excitement of a Finals game in Dallas should provide some boost especially for Kyrie Irving who struggled offensively in the first two games against the Celtics.

“We can’t really score. That’s our main problem right now,” Mavs star Luka Doncic said. “We are getting some great looks. Like I say, we have confidence everybody can make a shot shooting the ball on our team. We just got to keep believing in it.”

The Mavs can’t rely on the home-court advantage because the Celtics are 6-0 on the road in the playoffs. Dallas needs to play its best game of the series.

Here are odds and USA TODAY Sports staff predictions for Game 3:

NBA Finals Game 3 Mavericks-Celtics predictions

Scooby Axson, USA TODAY

Mavericks 111, Celtics 109

Mike Freeman, USA TODAY

Mavericks 111, Celtics 109

Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY

Mavericks 109, Celtics 106

Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY

Mavericks 103, Celtics 99

Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY

Mavericks 108, Celtics 100

(Series predictions from USA TODAY staffers)

Why Celtics will win Game 3

Same story for the Celtics as the first two games: they have too many offensive options (Jrue Holiday’s scoring, Jayson Tatum’s smart decisions) and defensive versatility (Derrick White’s blocks) to slow down the Mavericks’ offense. It’s a trend that has emerged over a long regular season and reinforced during the playoffs.

Why Mavericks will win Game 3

Getting back home for a Finals game is just what the Mavericks need to restore their offense, and if the offense is there (talking Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving) and as long as they defend the Celtics like they did in Game 2, the Mavs will make this a tighter series.

NBA Finals Game 3 odds Celtics-Mavericks

Odds via BetMGM:


Celtics: +105

Mavericks: -130


Mavericks: -1.5


Over 212.5: -110

Under 212.5: -110

How to watch Game 3 of the NBA Finals

Game 3 of Mavericks-Celtics is Wednesday, June 12, on ABC at 8:30 p.m. ET. Also available via streaming on the ESPN app.

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