The Boston Celtics need to respond with a big-boy performance in Game 3, with the Miami Heat heading to South Beach with a 2-0 series lead. The Heat are 5-0 during the playoffs on their home court, and the home crowd will be extra amped on Sunday with a chance to go up 3-0. As we all know, no team in the history of the NBA has dug out of a 0-3 hole.
The NBA odds list the Celtics as risky favorites in Game 3, but we’re here to talk Game 3 props. The Celtics need to win this game, and if their roster is going to go off, it has to happen. Their desperation could lead to some explosive performances by Boston.
Jaylen Brown Over 23½ Points (-120)
I’m betting on a bounce-back game for Jaylen Brown after two disappointing performances in the Eastern Conference Finals. Brown averaged 26.6 PPG during the regular season but just 19 in this series.
Lowest 3P% by a player with 5+ 3PA per game in a Conference Finals:
15.4 — Jaylen Brown
15.8 — LeBron James
Both are happening this year. pic.twitter.com/2Oq9vmlaq4
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 21, 2023
Brown shot a terrible 7-for-23 with a plus-minus of 24 in the Celtics’ Game 2 loss. It was his worst playoff game this season, and Boston needs him to step up and perform. But Brown is all about bounce-back games. In the two postseason games where he scored fewer than 20 points, he dropped 25 or more in the next game.
Brown averaged over 30 PPG during the regular season against the Heat, and I think his NBA lines in this game are a bit low. It’s a tremendous buy-low spot to take a chance on Brown.
Jayson Tatum Over 45½ Total Points + Rebounds + Assists (-125)
This prop feels like a gimme, and I’m surprised the Las Vegas NBA odds aren’t longer for him in Game 3. The star of this team went well over this total in Game 2 with 34 points, 13 boards, and eight assists. Tatum has gone over 30 points in four of his last five games, and I don’t see any player on the Heat that can be expected to slow him down on offense.
For as good of a rebounder and facilitator as Tatum is, and the Celtics in panic mode, Tatum is a strong NBA bet to go over this total for the second straight game.
Highest Scoring Quarter to be the 2Q (+225)
My third NBA picks for Sunday night is not a player prop but a game prop. The 2nd quarter to see the most points make sense because of the gap between the Celtics’ offense and the Heat’s defensive number heading into halftime.
Boston averaged the third-most points in the league during the second quarter and dropped 36 in Game 1.
While looking at these stats, I should mention that the Heat average the fewest points in the NBA during the third quarter (26.4). Both defenses rank in the top 10 coming out of the half. If you plan on MLB live betting this game, think twice about trusting Miami to win the third quarter with an in-play wager.