NBA Player Props & Picks: Back Butler, Smart in Game 3 (May 21)

NBA Player Props & Picks: Back Butler, Smart in Game 3 (May 21) article feature image

Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images. Pictured: Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics.

  • Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals tips off at 8:30 p.m. ET on Saturday night.
  • With the Heat and Celtics tied 1-1 there are some situational props to look for entering the matchup.
  • Tyler Schmidt gives his two favorite plays for tonight's game.

This Miami Heat and Boston Celtics series shifts venues to TD Garden for Game 3 tonight after splitting the two games in Miami. The Celtics have climbed to heavy favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference, but this game should be competitive.

As always, we're firing up the Action Labs Player Prop tool to find value in the prop markets for Saturday's matchup and there are two bets really provide great value tonight.

Let's get right into our Game 3 prop bets.

NBA Player Props & Picks

Jimmy Butler, Over 26.5 Points (-115)

Celtics vs. HeatCeltics -6.5
Time | TV8:30 p.m. ET | ABC
Best BookPointsBet

After a convincing Game 1 victory, the Miami Heat got destroyed in Game 2 losing by 25 points, but it honestly wasn't even that close for most of the game. They look to rebound on the road where they went 24-17 this season. It will be a tall task against the Celtics who went 28-13 at home this season.

Jimmy Butler has taken his game to a whole new level during this postseason run. He is averaging 29.8 points per game, which ranks fourth most for the entire league. Butler also has a 30% Usage Rate during the postseason and he has averaged 32.2% usage rate per game in the two games in this series.

Butler's stats are a major increase than what he was doing during the regular season where he averaged 21.4 points per game. No one on the Heat is averaging 14 or more points per game in the playoffs, so they have all relied on Butler's ability to fill up the scoreboard, which he will continue to do tonight.

Butler has scored 27 or more points in five of his last six games. During that time he is averaging 33 points per game, which is well above this points prop. This certainly is not an easy matchup, but Butler is also averaging 14.9 drives per game. I would take this points prop up to 27.5 points. Love Butler tonight.

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Marcus Smart, Over 3.5 Rebounds (-135)

Best BookCaesars

The Celtics are the heavy favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference after they split two games in Miami. They are 6.5-point home favorites tonight, but two home games against Milwaukee in their last series as similar favorites. This game should be competitive, which makes this over prop a little bit better.

Marcus Smart missed Game 1, but returned in Game 2 and finished the game with a near triple-double with 24 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds! By far one of the best games in the playoffs in his career. Smart led the team in both rebounds and assists as he played 40 total minutes as they won by 25 points.

Smart has gotten four or more rebounds in four-straight games while having an average of 6.3 rebounds per game. Also during that time, he has averaged 10.3 rebound chances per game. He is playing 40 or more minutes even if the game isn't all that competitive, which only boosts Smart's opportunities.

The Heat have the fifth-best rebounding percentage in the playoffs and lead all four teams that are left. However, even though the Heat out-rebounded the Celtics in Game 2 despite losing by 25 points, Smart still was able to pull down nine boards. This is line is too short and I would take this up to 4.5 rebounds.

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Nick Sterling
Jun 16, 2024 UTC