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The Boston Celtics will look to close in on yet another championship when they battle the Dallas Mavericks in Game 3 of their 2024 NBA Finals series on Wednesday. Boston held off Dallas 105-98 in Game 2 on Sunday to take a 2-0 series lead and move halfway to claiming an NBA-record 18th title. The Celtics (64-18), the top team in the East, have cruised through the postseason so far, winning 14 of 16 games. The Mavs (50-32), the fifth seed in the West, are looking to win their second NBA championship. Kristaps Porzingis (leg) is questionable for Dallas.

The game from American Airlines Center in Dallas will tip off at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Celtics have the best postseason point differential at plus-10.3 this year, while Dallas is fifth at plus-2.3. The Mavs are 2.5-point favorites in the latest Celtics vs. Mavericks odds from SportsLine consensus, while the over/under for total points scored is set at 213.5. Before making any Mavericks vs. Celtics picks, be sure to check out what legendary SportsLine handicapper Bruce Marshall has to say.

Synonymous with the The Gold Sheet, the famous sports betting newsletter, for years, Marshall has won various handicapping titles and also is working on several book projects. Marshall has crushed his NBA picks this season for SportsLine members, entering this matchup on a 196-145-3 run that has returned nearly $3,700 for $100 players. Anybody following is way up.

Now, he has set his sights on Celtics vs. Mavericks and just locked in his picks and NBA Finals predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see his picks. Here are the NBA lines and trends for Mavericks vs. Celtics:

  • Celtics vs. Mavericks spread: Dallas -2.5 
  • Celtics vs. Mavericks over/under: 213.5 points 
  • Celtics vs. Mavericks money line: Dallas -149, Boston +126
  • BOS: The Celtics have hit the first-half money line in 40 of their last 47 away games (+29.75) 
  • DAL: The Mavericks have hit the game total Under in 26 of their last 38 games at home (+12.80 units) 
  • Celtics vs. Mavericks picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why the Mavericks can cover 

Power forward PJ Washington had his best offensive performance in nearly a month, when he scored 17 points and added seven rebounds in 40 minutes on Sunday. He scored 14 points and added eight rebounds in a 105-98 Game 1 loss. Washington has registered three double-doubles this postseason. In a second-round Game 2 win at Oklahoma City, he scored 29 points, while adding 11 rebounds and four assists. He also had 27 points in Game 3 on May 11 and 21 points and 12 rebounds in Game 4 on May 13.

Small forward Derrick Jones Jr. is coming off an 11-point effort in Game 2, where he also added three rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal. He has played well of late and, in 19 playoff starts, is averaging 9.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists and one block in 31.2 minutes of action. He played a decisive role in the Western Conference semifinals Game 6 win over Oklahoma City, scoring a playoff-high 22 points, while adding four rebounds and two assists. See which team to pick here.

Why the Celtics can cover

Point guard Jrue Holiday, a former member of the Milwaukee Bucks, has brought championship experience, and it has paid dividends for Boston. In 16 playoff games, Holiday is averaging 13.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals. In the Game 2 win over Dallas, Holiday poured in 26 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and added three assists. He had 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 35 minutes in Game 1. In two regular-season matchups against the Mavericks, Holiday averaged 14 points, 6.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds, one block and one steal.

Center Al Horford has also provided Boston with a veteran presence. The 38-year-old scored five points and added seven rebounds and two assists in Game 2. He opened the NBA Finals with a 10-point, seven-rebound, three-assist and two-block effort. He has reached double-digit scoring in six playoff games, including one double-double. In a close-out victory over Cleveland in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Horford scored 22 points, while grabbing 15 rebounds. In 16 postseason games, including 12 starts, he is averaging 9.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and two assists in 30.2 minutes. See which team to pick here.

How to make Celtics vs. Mavericks picks

Marshall is leaning Under on the point total. He has also identified a critical X-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. You can only see his NBA picks and analysis at SportsLine

So who wins Mavericks vs. Celtics in Game 3 of the 2024 NBA Finals, and which side of the spread is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Celtics vs. Mavericks spread to jump on, all from the expert who has returned nearly $3,700 on his NBA picks this season, and find out.