Peter’s Points: NBA Best Bets Today (Expert Predictions, Prop Bets for Jayson Tatum, Celtics-Mavericks Game 3)

Breaking down three plays to make for Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night!
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Can the Dallas Mavericks avoid falling down 3-0 to the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of the NBA Finals?

Oddsmakers seem to think it’s possible, giving Dallas the edge in the odds entering Wednesday’s matchup, but Luka Doncic and company are going to have to play much better than they did in Boston to have a chance to win. 

Boston got away with a poor shooting performance in Game 2, riding a huge game from Jrue Holiday to a win. Now, the C’s will put their perfect road record this postseason to the test.

There are three bets that I’m looking to place in Game 3, and Holiday is on the card for the third straight contest in these Finals. 

NBA Best Bets Record to Date

  • 2023-24 season record: 381-382-13 (-5.18 units)
  • Overall record (last 2+ seasons): 1006-940-21 (+34.75 units)

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on  BetStamp here.

NBA Best Bets Today

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • Boston Celtics Moneyline (+110) vs. Dallas Mavericks
  • Jayson Tatum OVER 15.5 Rebounds and Assists (-108) – 0.5 unit
  • Jrue Holiday OVER 23.5 Points, Rebounds and Assists (-120) – 0.5 unit

Boston Celtics Moneyline (+110) vs. Dallas Mavericks

Boston is set as an underdog in this game, which is shocking to see in the 2023-24 season. This is just the second time in five months that Boston has been set as an underdog. The C’s also haven’t been shorter than a 6.5-point favorite this entire playoff run. 

I am shocked we are getting this gift in Game 3, as Boston has easily outplayed Dallas over the first two games, and it even won Game 2 despite not having its typical success from beyond the arc. 

Boston is a perfect 6-0 on the road so far this postseason, and until Dallas’ role players step up, it simply doesn't have a chance to take down the vaunted top-six players on Boston. 

The lack of production from Kyrie Irving (13-for-37 from the field) in this series has made it extremely tough on Dallas, and even if their role players are expected to play better at home, Jason Kidd’s rotation has not been consistent since he’s still looking for guys who can come in and knock down shots. 

Boston has dominated all season, posting the best net rating in the NBA in the regular season and the playoffs, and it hasn’t really played its A-game yet in this series with Tatum struggling mightily to score the ball. 

Doncic is going to need to play a perfect game for Dallas to have a chance to win, and even if he does, I don’t think the Mavs should be favored entering this matchup. 

I’ll gladly take Boston to win outright at plus money in Game 3. 

Jayson Tatum OVER 15.5 Rebounds and Assists (-108) – 0.5 unit

Jayson Tatum may not be scoring at a high level for the Celtics, but he’s doing everything else in the NBA Finals.

Tatum comes into Game 3 shooting just 12-for-38 from the field, but he’s averaging 10.0 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game in the series, clearing 15.5 rebounds and assists in both games. 

Not only that, but the All-NBA forward has led Boston in minutes, playing 42 in Game 1 and 45 in Game 2. That usage should help him rack up stats – especially on the glass.

Tatum has been guarding the center for Dallas to allow for more switching in the pick-and-roll, and it’s also forced him to be a huge factor on the glass. All postseason long, Tatum has filled it up in these categories, averaging 10.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game.

I’ll trust him to go OVER this number for the third straight game against Dallas in Game 3.

Jrue Holiday OVER 23.5 Points, Rebounds and Assists (-120) – 0.5 unit

There’s a chance that Holiday wins the NBA Finals MVP award, as he’s averaging 19.0 points per game in the series and dominated Game 2, putting up 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting.

Holiday has cleared 23.5 points, rebounds and assists in eight of his last nine games this postseason, averaging 17.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game over that stretch. 

Holiday’s experience in the NBA Finals has been evident, as he hasn’t gotten sped up and is shooting an insane 65.2 percent from the field in the series. 

I have to go back to the well for Holiday with this prop only going from 22.5 to 23.5 after his huge Game 2.


Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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Peter Dewey

PETER DEWEY

Peter is a senior editor for Sports Illustrated Betting. He has worked as a writer and editor for BetSided, NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering the NBA, WNBA, NFL, MLB, and more. A New York City resident, he is a hoops fanatic with a soft spot for his New York Knicks.