Centineo was born in Miami, Florida to Kellee Janel (née Andres) and Gregory Vincent Centineo. He was raised in Boynton Beach, Florida, with his older sister, Taylor. He attended BAK Middle School of the Arts for his elementary education. Centineo then attended Boca Raton Community High School for ninth and tenth grade, where he played soccer. In 2012, he left Boca Raton in order to move to Los Angeles.
In 2009, Centineo starred as the lead, Josh Peters, in the family film The Gold Retrievers. He then had small roles in the Disney Channel sitcoms Austin & Ally and Shake It Up. Centineo subsequently co-starred as Jaden Stark in the Disney Channel romantic comedy film How to Build a Better Boy (2014). That same year, he was cast as Ben Eastman in the Disney Channel comedy pilot Growing Up and Down, but the project was not picked up to series. In 2015, he took over the main role of Jesus Adams Foster in Freeform's drama series The Fosters. He made his first appearance in season three's episode "Lucky", which aired on August 17, 2015. In 2017, Centineo was nominated for the Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer TV Star: Male for his performance.