The series shifts to Boston for a "pivotal" Game 3 on Wednesday, June 8. Pivotal might be an overused in the NBA Finals (every game is pivotal, after all), but historically speaking, Game 3 might decide who goes on to win the championship. The Finals have been tied at 1-1 piece on 38 different occasions, and the team that took Game 3 went on to win the title 82 percent of the time. Pivotal game, indeed, not just for players but bettors as well. For the latter crowd, we have three free betting picks on Game 3 of the NBA Finals right here!
NBA Finals Game 3: Over/Under Pick
|Over 212 points||+135||+135|
|Under 212 points||-155||-155|
We'll begin our picks with the game's over/under, which is set at 212 points by the best online sportsbooks. The first game went over with a combined 214-point output, while the second went under with just 213 total points tallied.
With the series now back in Boston, we expect Golden State's non-starters to struggle. We mean, they already are, but now inside a hostile environment (we all know how rowdy local Bostonians can get), role players are typically the first to lose production. That's a bad sign for a Warriors team that've been overly dependent on Steph Curry so far (he's averaging 31.5 points per game off a barrage of pick-and-rolls).
Jordan Poole is struggling. Sure, he's averaging a third-best 13 points per game, but that's on 38.1 percent shooting. Heck, Klay Thompson isn't a "role" player, but he's been awful so far. Thompson is shooting a miserable 30 percent from the field and 26.7 from three-point range. The Dubs do get Gary Payton II back from injury in this game, but we can't imagine him being a massive factor.
Celtics got to this point with second-to-none defense and that's how they'll need to win in Game 3. We expect them to ratchet up the defense, which should send this game under for the second straight time.
NBA Finals Game 3: Spread Pick
The most-used NBA betting sites are pegging this game uber close. The home team are the spread favorites, but not by all that much. Here are the current Game 3 odds on the spread:
|Golden State Warriors (+3.5)||-110||-110|
|Boston Celtics (-3.5)||-110||-110|
Is it time to worry about the C's offense? If not for the fourth quarter in Game 4 when they couldn't miss a shot (they nailed the first seven 3-pointers to open the period), this team would be in a convincing 0-2 hole. In Game 2, Boston's turnover woes — that've happened on more than one occasion this postseason — reared its ugly head again. They coughed up the ball 19 times, which led to 33 points for the Dubs.
You'd think that the Celtics' Game 2's turnover problems won't repeat in Game 3 back in Boston. But at the same time, the team isn't going to shoot lights out like it did at the end of Game 1 either. So throw out those two extreme situations and what's this Boston offense really made of? It's honestly tough to say.
Our money is on Game 3 going down to the wire. In that scenario, a Warriors cover feels very likely unless the game goes down to the final shot. That's certainly plausible, but so are end-of-game free throws that can sway it. Either way, we're taking Golden State and the 3.5 points!
NBA Finals Game 3: Moneyline Pick
|Golden State Warriors||+135||+135|
Don't overlook this stat: the Celtics have not lost two straight games these playoffs yet. We don't think that's a fluke either. This team is that well-coached enough to fix prior miscues (which in Game 2, was a lot as mentioned). That's why we're making Boston our Game 3 moneyline pick.
This team had a really bad Game 2, ok? Beyond the turnovers, it got four points combined from two starters, Al Horford and Marcus Smart. That's not going to happen again. No way.
One final thing that we've neglected to mention: Draymond Green's "bully" tactics. It worked in Game 2 when the refs seemingly turned a blind eye to his football-style blocking. It worked when it got into the head of Boston role player Grant Williams. We can't imagine it working in Game 3, though. Not on the Celtics' home floor. Not when there was so much scrutiny on the refs for not calling those fouls last game.
In the city's first NBA Finals game in a decade, we fully expect Boston to come out firing. It won't be easy, but its defense will vault them to a close victory. Bank on it!
How To Bet On NBA Finals?
You following our betting picks or you fading 'em? Whatever your choice is, you can "put your money where your mouth" is by betting on the NBA Finals at one of the trusted betting sites underneath. Not only will you find the aforementioned Game 3 odds, but a slew of others too. Props, in particular, are heavy. These wagers include how many points, rebounds, and assists Curry will combine for, as an example. To get a full scope of all the Finals bets currently available, head to one of the below bookmakers right away!