NBA Player Props: Expert Best Bets for Game 3 (5/21/23)

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The pressure is on Boston to win Game 3 on the road after dropping both home bouts to the No. 8 seeded Miami Heat, who are looking for revenge after the C’s knocked them out of the Eastern Conference Finals in last year’s playoffs.

Who do we feel will have a monstrous performance in Game 3? Check out our three favorite player props for Game 3 of the ECF below, featuring our expert analysis.

Jimmy Butler o2.5 Stocks (Steals+Blocks) (-110)

“Playoff Jimmy” has been in full force through the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics, a team that was heavily favored to make quick business of Miami and eventually win the NBA Finals. Yet, here we are, with the Heat boasting a 2-0 lead on their way back to Miami.

One aspect of Jimmy Butler’s game that is unbelievable, which does not get quite as much attention, is his on-ball defense. Butler has destroyed the C’s in every facet of the game so far this series, but he has been especially impressive defensively, recording six steals in Game 1 and three steals with two blocks in Game 2. All we need is three combined in this series-altering Game 3 at home.

The bottom line is Butler has hit the over on this line in four of his past five games, and as the games become more and more important, “Playoff Jimmy” plays better and better. We will ride with him to have yet another disruptive defensive performance in Game 3.

Jaylen Brown u2.5 Threes (-135)

Miami has been known for its defense for a number of years, but the 2022-23 regular season was not its best campaign; however, in the 2023 Playoffs, the Heat have returned to form, forcing turnovers and contesting every shot.

Jaylen Brown, in particular, has had some trouble consistently scoring on this Heat defense, often turning it over or missing badly. Through the first two games of this series, Brown has shot just 17-44 from the field and 1-13 from behind the arc. Brown has had decent volume, shooting six in Game 1 and seven in Game 2, but with the cold streak he is experiencing, this will likely not be enough.

Miami seems to have figured out Brown’s offensive game, too, as it has not just been the past two games he has struggled from deep; he has failed to hit three or more three-pointers in five of his past six postseason games against the Heat.

Jayson Tatum o1.5 Stocks (Steals+Blocks) (-175)

It is easy to see odds like this and quickly dismiss the prop because you won’t get as significant of a return; however, we are in this game for gaining an edge on the sportsbooks, not to only bet things around -110 or longer (plus odds.)

With Boston’s back up against the wall, the pressure will be on to lock up on the defensive end of the floor, and Tatum will be at the helm of that as the leader of the Celtics.

As a matter of fact, Tatum has been a strong defender on the road in the 2023 Playoffs, boasting averages of two blocks and 1.3 steals per game; he has eclipsed this line in every one of the Celtics’ six road games.

It is hard to ignore the past two games against Miami when Tatum has only racked up one block and zero steals, but this is a great spot to capitalize on the situation (under pressure, every possession counts) and his defensive play on the road this postseason.