The NBA Finals begin on Thursday night in San Francisco for an exciting matchup between the Western Conference Champion Golden State Warriors and the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics. Golden State has been waiting to see who would emerge from the Eastern Conference after taking out the Mavericks in five games back on May 26. Boston required seven games to advance once again, and will have three days off to travel, recover, and prepare for Game One.
The Warriors are favorites in Game One at home, where they haven’t lost in the playoffs, but the Celtics have performed better on the road this postseason. Sportsbooks have the Warriors listed as 3.5 point favorites, with the point total currently at 210.5.
Boston Celtics Betting Preview: Celtics in First Finals since 2010
Boston traveled to Miami and defeated a late rally to win Game Seven and proceed to the Finals. Jayson Tatum produced a double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds in Game Seven, while Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown both had 24 points. Despite struggling off the bench, Al Horford had 14 rebounds and Grant Williams had 11 points off the bench.
Jayson Tatum is Boston’s leader offensively and when he’s playing great ball, so are the Celtics, Tatum is averaging 27 points per game in the playoffs, is followed by Brown, who is averaging 22.9 points per game, and Smart, who is averaging 15.5. In the playoffs, Boston is shooting 45.4 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from three.
In these playoffs, the Celtics are 6-0 after a loss and 7-2 on the road, so starting this series in the West isn’t necessarily a bad thing for this team. With Al Horford turning back the clock and Marcus Smart delivering intensity out of the backcourt for the league’s best defense, this young club has experience in the right spots. Since 2016, Boston has a 9-4 record versus the Warriors in regular-season meetings, so this should be a great matchup.
Golden State Warriors Betting Preview: Warriors Look to add to Legacy
Golden State is back in the Finals after finally getting healthy and cruising to victory in the series over the Mavericks. The Warriors have flown past teams this postseason winning in five games against the Denver Nuggets, six games against the Memphis Grizzlies, and five games against the Dallas Mavericks. Klay Thompson scored 32 points in Game Five against Dallas, while Andrew Wiggins recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Curry, who is averaging 25.9 points per game in the playoffs, is followed by Thompson, who is averaging 19.8, Poole, who is averaging 18.4, and Wiggins, who is averaging 15.8. They are shooting 49.3 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from three in the playoffs. The Warriors, who have 123 games of Finals experience to the Celtics‘ zero, are third in the NBA in field-goal percentage (49.3%) and fourth in 3-point percentage in the postseason (37.9 percent).
In the Western Conference playoffs, the Warriors were 9-0 at new Chase Arena, outscoring opponents by an average of 14.6 points per game. Klay Thompson appears to be finding his form, and Andrew Wiggins stepped up against the Mavs in the WCF Finals, plus Draymond Green is securing their defense, while Steph Curry remains a menace on offense.
Free Betting Pick
I believe this series will be decided by Boston’s ability to score consistently against Golden State, who has the league’s second-best defensive rating (106.6). This season, the Warriors had one of the most efficient offenses in the NBA, and their stars are all exceptional shot-makers.
The Celtics will face the finest two-way squad they’ve faced in the playoffs. The Warriors have the second ranked club in defensive efficiency and are holding opponents to 42.2 percent shooting at home. Additionally, unlike the Miami Heat, Golden State will not have just one scorer on the floor at any given time. They’ll use a variety of shooters to bury the Celtics in the opening and that’s why I’m backing Golden State.
4FlushSports Free Pick: Warriors -3.5
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