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Having predicted a close series, and currently tied at 1-1, Mark Ross is here to give his NBA Finals Game Three preview.

Two games into the NBA Finals and we are no further forward to crowning a winner. Boston fought back in Game One to claim a 120-108 victory in San Francisco. Then, in  Game 2 in San Francisco, the Golden State Warriors levelled the series on the back of outstanding play from Stephen Curry. Golden State ran away to a 107-88 victory. The series now travels to the East and the Boston Celtics get their chance to play in front of their home fans.

Through the first two games, the three-point shooting has been fantastic to watch. Game one set a record for the most in a finals matchup and it continued in Game 2. Not least from Stephen Curry and Jayson Tatum. Tatum struggled in Game 1 but bounced back with a solid effort in Game 2, finishing with 28 points including six of nine from long range. Steph Curry racked up 29 points and now has 63 in the seven quarters that he has played in the Finals. Making him the far and away favourite for the Finals MVP to date.

The last time (and only time) these teams met in the NBA Finals was 1964 and that out two greats against each other. Just like Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell battled for supremacy back then, Jayson Tatum and Steph Curry are doing it today. Steph and his experience shine through in Game One as he racked up six three-pointers in the opening quarter to set a new NBA record for most threes in a quarter during the finals. He went on to have 21 points in that quarter, which is the most since Michael Jordan in 1993. A hot start from the league-best ever shooter.

Tatum took on a different role in Game 1 and was the provider. He finished the game with 13 assists, which is an NBA record for a final debut. He changed to scorer in Game 2, however, as he battled to keep his Celtics in the game. Unfortunately for him, the Warriors went wild in the third quarter and secured the victory. They were far enough ahead that Steph rested up for the final quarter.

Moving ahead we have Game Three taking place in Boston. Luckily for Boston, if a Finals series is tied at 1-1 the team that wins game three goes on to win the whole thing 82.1% of the time. Boston is currently at 3/5 to win Game 3 in the money line and you can get them with a -3.5 handicap at 7/8. So far both games have been a bit of a blowout so if you fancy Boston to win in front of a home crowd then get your money on this.

So far each game has combined for over 195 points. Surprisingly, the famed Boston defence has been unable to stop the Warriors from scoring 100 points in either of the games so far. In fact, it was the Warriors’ defence that stepped up and held the Celtics to a measly 88 points in Game Two. Boston is renowned for their tough basketball and their solid defence and as a result, I predict a big defensive performance in their home opener of the finals. Boston to hold Golden State under 104.5 points is currently 20/21. Something they have been unable to do so far but with that raucous Boston crowd getting behind the defence, it is certainly doable.

In both games, the Golden State Warriors have been leading after the first quarter, as they got off to a hot start. This is something they will need to do in Boston to try and quieten the crowd. If there has ever been a player that is capable of quieting a crowd, it is Steph Curry. A few long-range threes will really silence the crowd and allow the Warriors to get out to another hot start. Golden State is the first team to reach 30 points is 21/20 compared to the Celtics at 3/4. It is vital the Warriors get a foothold in this game straight from the jump and this would be the way to do it.

If you fancy a bet builder, these are a couple of my favourites:

Jaylen Brown over 3.5 assists and over 2.5 threes made – 23/10. Brown has been vital to the Celtics’ efforts so far and along with Tatum, he is the focal point of this offence.

My favourite bet for Game Three, and available at 16/1 is Golden State to win and in the process, Steph Curry racks up over 28.5 points. This should be easy as the offence is run through the star player. Further, Marcus Smart to get over 5.5 assists and Andrew Wiggins to chip in with at least two assists. Something that Wiggins did in Game 2 but Smart is yet to do in this series.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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