NBA Finals Picks & Predictions: Our Best Bets for Lakers vs. Heat Game 3 (Sunday, Oct. 4)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
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- Our NBA experts are looking at the spread, player props and totals for Game 3.
- Check out their analysis and picks for Lakers vs. Heat below.
Looking for our favorite bets for Game 4? Click here.
With two games in the books and the Los Angeles enjoying a comfortable 2-0 lead of the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, Game 3 feels like a last stand for the underdogs.
So, where’s the value today? Our staff is here to break down their favorite NBA bets for tonight’s NBA Finals matchup:
- 9 p.m. ET: Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers
NBA Finals Game 3 Betting Picks
Matt Moore: Lakers vs. Heat
|Lakers Odds||-9.5 [BET NOW]|
|Heat Odds||+9.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-500/+390 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||219 [BET NOW]|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
Anthony Davis should regress shooting the ball. There’s a high probability it will occur sometime in this series.
Context: AD in these playoffs is shooting a career-high from short mid-range (has never done this before in RS or playoffs)
AND from long mid-range
AND from 3PT
AND at the rim
The odds of him hitting all of his current marks for an entire playoffs was less than 1 in 1000. https://t.co/C9m9SZj9Jo
— Div B (@statcenter) October 3, 2020
However, it hasn’t yet. He has shot well the entire playoffs. You can fill in the gap with whatever you want. “He stepped up when the games mattered most” as if somehow NBA players don’t want the ball to go in all the time on jump shots. “The absence of fans has dramatically altered shooting” which is absolutely true but shouldn’t have maintained for going on three months.
It doesn’t really matter. Davis is shooting the absolute lights out and as long as that’s happening, the Lakers can’t be stopped. I grabbed Lakers -8.5 when it dipped as soon as Bam Adebayo said he intends to play (still listed as doubtful in our NBA Insiders tool).
I’m also taking Davis over 30.5 points. At this point it’s safer to just go ahead and assume a new temporary reality than bank on the regression finally showing up to the show this late.
The Pick: Lakers -9.5 (Wouldn’t bet past this number) | Davis over 30.5 points
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Brandon Anderson: Lakers vs. Heat
Two games to go! At least it sure feels that way.
The Heat have no answers for the Lakers, not without Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic, both of whom are doubtful for Game 3.
Consider a few stats from Game 2: The Heat shot 51/41/91 from the field, only the fourth 50/40/90 team shooting game ever in the Finals. Jimmy Butler put up a 25-8-13 line. Kelly Olynyk scored 24 off the bench. The Heat made 31 free throws to just 10 for LA. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Danny Green shot 3-for-19 behind the arc.
And the Lakers still led by double digits for most of the game and never looked in trouble at any point.
I will always believe this would’ve been a series with healthy rosters, but we’re getting nothing of the sort now. Which means the only thing left to figure out is NBA Finals MVP.
You know who really wants to win Finals MVP? LeBron James. James can already hear us talking this winter, “Oh sure, four rings but only three Finals MVPs, and Jordan was six-for-six!” James is not going to let that happen.
Game 4 will be too late to matter. This is Miami’s last chance to make a push, and James knows this is his last chance to make a Finals MVP argument. He always has a sense of the moment. He knows what’s at stake.
Look for an aggressive LeBron in Game 3. He’s going to want to put up a stat line to remember. James was an assist away from a triple-double in Game 1, and he was one assist and one rebound away in Game 2.
That also puts LeBron one board and two dimes away from averaging a triple-double in the Finals. Guess how many people have done that? (Just him in a losing 2017 effort.)
I’m in on all the LeBron overs for Game 3. I like his points, I like the assists, I like some of the combos, and I definitely like him at +250 to get a triple-double. He’s been a coin-flip to get there the last two days without even having to try.
Time to go get that Finals MVP.
The Pick: LeBron James records a triple-double (+250)
Raheem Palmer: Lakers vs. Heat
I wrote in more detail about this matchup in Sunday’s NBA Finals Game 3 guide, but I’ll sum up my thoughts here as well.
The value is on the total tonight. The Heat have shown no signs of stopping LA’s offense and even without Dragic and Adebayo, they’re not having trouble generating offense of their own. The Lakers and Heat have hit the first half over in both games of this series.
Going back even further, the Lakers and their respective opponents (Heat, Nuggets, Rockets and Trail Blazers) have scored greater than 109 points in the first half of 15 out of their 17 playoff games. There’s a clear trend in Lakers games where we see a ton of points in the first half with scoring slowing down in the second half.
After Game 2, Oddsmakers adjusted the total of the full game from 216 to 219, fortunately for us they haven’t adjusted the first half enough.
The Pick: Over 110 1H