Celtics vs. Mavericks Game 3 Prediction, NBA Finals Odds

Edgar Chaput | Updated Jun 12, 2024

NBA: Finals-Dallas Mavericks at Boston Celtics

The NBA Finals shift from Massachusetts to Texas for Game 3 on Wednesday. The Dallas Mavericks need a win about as badly as anybody, with the Boston Celtics leading 2-0.

June 12, 2024, 8:30 PM ET
American Airlines Center
Pointspread +2.5 -105
Moneyline +125
Over / Under o +213.5


Betting Action


Pointspread -2.5 -115
Moneyline -150
Over / Under u +213.5


Betting Action


Every playoff series has a contest like Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night. Was the second match a breathtaking thriller? Not really. It was a big on the sluggish side, but terrific defence and key turnovers helped the Boston Celtics defeat the Dallas Mavericks 105-98 to claim a 2-0 series advantage.

A change of scenery has encouraged the NBA Finals odds to give the Mavericks a slight -1.5 edge, but this is essentially a toss-up.

Celtics vs. Mavericks NBA Finals Betting Odds

Boston has gotten over the hump of where they failed in the 2022 Finals versus the Warriors. Back then, they suffered defeat in Game 2, thus headed back home with the series all knotted at 1-1 against a juggernaut opponent. Not only will Mavs supporters find that simple statistic disappointing, but neither Jayson Tatum nor Jaylen Brown have kicked their games into the sort of high gear most people expect from them, yet still have control of the series.

This marks the first time in these playoffs that the Mavericks have not rebounded from a Game 1 defeat. They have, however, won all three of their Game 3s, regardless of the circumstances.

At this point, one wonders who would bet on the Celtics to win in any fashion (-1000, not exactly a bold move). Banking on Dallas would be significantly more brazen, as they are currently priced at +650 (previously +340).

The outcome favouring the Celtics with the highest odds is a 4-1 series win (+175), followed by a clean sweep (+275). If Dallas musters a couple of wins, that shoots up to +500, and a seven-game Celtics win goes for the same price.

Want to live dangerously? The Mavericks storming back by rattling off four straight wins is +1600, and a price tag of +1000 is placed on the club taking the crown courtesy of a 4-3 series victory.

Boston Celtics

Going back to the earlier point about Game 2 being sluggish – which it was, to be fair – Sunday night showcased that Joe Mazzulla’s squad has more tricks up its sleeve than bombarding the opponent with three-point shots.

Frankly, they had no choice since the typical method of attack was not working at all (10-for-39, 25.6 per cent). Furthermore, what should have made matters worse was yet another mediocre Tatum tally (18 points, 6-for-22). But the truth is far more nuanced. Tatum had 12 dimes (nine boards), often clever, swift passes to open guys. Jrue Holiday was a regular recipient of those passes right under the basket, which paved the way to a team-high 26 points. Jaylen Brown followed with 21 points and seven helpers.

Another difference maker was the Celtics’ 19-for-20 night from the free throw line (and they were missing a lot of shots on the fouls), whereas Dallas was 16-for-24. Winning the turnover battle helped as well (15-11). This was not a sexy performance, but when it comes to the NBA Finals, sometimes one has to grind out a tough win.

Kristaps Porzingis is questionable for Game 3 with a left leg injury.

Dallas Mavericks

So where do the Dallas Mavericks go from here? Through two Finals contests, we have seen Luka Doncic get his usual numbers (32-11-11) and look rather good doing so despite the nagging knee soreness. Those turnaround fadeaways are a work of art.

But Dallas is behind the eight-ball. We wrote in our Game 2 preview that the Mavericks need Kyrie Irving to step up. Daniel Gafford is a good player, as is P.J. Washington, and so is Derrick Jones Jr. is a good player. Even so, those guys are not the answer. Kyrie is. Boston has almost entirely nullified his presence (7-for-18, 16 points). Home cooking must tilt the odds. The real Dallas Mavericks have not shown up so far.

Of utmost importance is to find their passing game and off-the-ball movement. Boston’s one-on-defence is virtually shutting them down. They have the shooters to do it. It’s now or never.

NBA Finals Prediction: Who Will Win Celtics vs. Mavericks Game 3?

NBA Predictions