All odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
What you need to know for Game 3 of the NBA Finals
Underdog Dubs: The Warriors opened as a 3.5-point underdog tonight, and regardless of where the line locks, it is clear that bookmakers favor the Celtics now that this series has shifted to Boston. Golden State was covered 12 times this season as a ‘dog, but how the Warriors have done it has evolved with time. In their first seven such covers, over tickets cashed six times, but in the most recent five instances, unders are 4-1.
Favored C’s: For the first time in this series, bookmakers are expecting the Celtics to win and there’s an interesting trend tied to when they’ve taken that stance this postseason. When favored, Boston has covered six times, and all six of those games have gone under the total. On the flip side, the five times the Celtics have failed to cover in such a spot, over tickets cashed four times.
Backing Boston? If you like the home team in this critical spot, don’t let the points sway you. Since Jan. 1, when the Celtics win, the point differential is, on average, 11.9 points higher than bookmakers projected. That’s not to say they are a lock to win this game by 15 points, but season trends would suggest that more value rests in betting the Celtics ATS than on the money line.
— Kyle Soppe
Breaking down Game 3
Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics
Wednesday: Live on ABC, 9 p.m. ET, TD Garden, Boston
Line: Celtics (-3.5)
Money line: Celtics (-160), Warriors (+140)
Total: 212.5 points
BPI projected total: 225.7 points
BPI win%: Celtics (80.5%)
Ruled out: None
Questionable: Robert Williams III, Gary Payton II, Andre Iguodala, Otto Porter Jr.
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assume questionable players will play.
Notable: Overs are 12-7 this season when the Warriors are road underdogs this season.
Best bet: Celtics -3.5 and Celtics first half -1.5
Boston got what it wanted with a split the first two games in San Francisco. Outside of the Celtics’ third-quarter woes, they’ve looked like the better team in this series. Coming home to Boston should be a boon for their league-best defense and the role players who struggled a bit in Game 2. The Celtics are 6-0 this postseason when coming off a loss. Klay Thompson struggled in both games at home and his assignment won’t be any easier on the road. I expect the Celtics to jump out early and ride that fast start to a Game 3 win and cover. — Tyler Fulghum
Best bet: Under 212.5 points
Entering this series we all believed that the Celtics would need to slow the pace in order to optimize their potential against the potent Warriors and … so far, so good on that front, as Boston won a slower Game 1 and Golden State won Game 2 that saw the pace increase by 4.5%. Narrative meets reality when you look at pace splits for the Celtics this season (five of their seven slowest regular-season games came at TD Garden and, oddly enough, five of their seven slowest playoff games have also come in front of their home fans), so projecting a possession count similar to that of Game 1 makes sense. There are two sides to every under, and if you watched Game 2, you saw an elite version of the Warriors’ defense. On Sunday night, they coughed up just 0.9 points per possession, matching their best effort since mid-November. — Soppe
Best bet: Stephen Curry over 28.5 points
Curry has been aggressive throughout this series and it shows statistically. In Game 2, he had his 12th career NBA Finals game with 25 or more points and multiple steals, only LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have more. Curry has averaged 27 points per game in the NBA Finals in his career. He’ll exceed that average in Game 3. — Eric Moody
Best bet: Klay Thompson over 2.5 3-pointers
Thompson has shot 30.3% from the field so far in this series and has made 4 of 15 3-point attempts. Thompson is simply too good a shooter for this slump to last. The Warriors are still calling plays for Thompson, so a big game on the road from him would be ideal for Golden State. He has averaged 18.4 points and 3.1 triples per game in the NBA Finals and will bounce back in Game 3. — Moody
Best bet: Jaylen Brown over 6.5 rebounds
Brown’s stats have been up and down all postseason, which has made betting on him challenging. However, he has been a consistent rebounder. During the regular season and playoffs in 2022, Brown is averaging 6.3 rebounds. He has played 37.7 minutes per game at home this postseason. As the Celtics look to take control of this series, Brown will likely get all the minutes he can handle. This is a positive from a betting perspective. — Moody
Best bet: Warriors +3.5, Warriors 3rd quarter money line (-105), Under 212.5
Golden State has been the better team in 7 of 8 quarters so far, with the 40-16 Celtics run on the Warriors’ home court in the fourth quarter of Game 1 being the biggest surprise. The Warriors responded in Game 2 with better bench play, stronger defense, Steph Curry being Steph Curry (29/6/4) and Draymond Green getting feisty in typical fashion. The Warriors are looking to win back home-court advantage on Wednesday. Boston struggled with turnovers (18 in 96 possessions) and in the third quarter of play (more turnovers, 5, than it had buckets, 4) in Game 2. The Celtics struggled from deep as well, making only 15 total, and shooting 34% from 2-point range. Robert Williams reinjuring his knee could be a huge issue for Boston defensively, especially against Green inside. I also have a concern that a pair of long series against the Bucks and Heat might be taking a toll. — Anita Marks
Best bet: Jayson Tatum over 40.5 combined points, assists, rebounds
Tatum has been a force in these playoffs after a loss. He has gone over 40.5 combined points, assists and rebounds in four of his past five games after a loss, with totals between 42 and 59 in those four games. — Andre Snellings
Best bet: Marcus Smart over 13.5 points
Smart scored only 2 points in 25 minutes in Game 2. The minutes played are a key, as in the past three games in which he has played fewer than 30 minutes, he has been under 13.5 points every time. However, he has scored more than 13.5 points in eight of the past nine games in which he has played more than 30 minutes. He has played over 30 minutes in 14 of 17 playoff games, and is a great bounce-back possibility for Game 3. — Snellings
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