The Golden State Warriors’ dynasty remains alive and well. After a two-year absence from the NBA Finals, Steph Curry and the Warriors are playing for the NBA championship for the sixth time in eight seasons. The Warriors face the Boston Celtics, champions of the Eastern Conference, in the best-of-7 series. Game 1 is June 2 in San Francisco.
The Warriors are 3-2 in NBA Finals series helmed by Curry. The Celtics, one of the more decorated franchises in NBA history, make their first appearance in the final round since 2010.
Golden State and Boston split their season series, each winning on the road. The March 16 matchup, won by the Celtics 110-88, was marred when Marcus Smart dove into the leg of Curry going for a loose ball, causing the superstar to miss the final 12 games of the regular season.
Ahead of Game 1 on Thursday, let’s break down the series and make our NBA picks to back on betting apps.
NBA Finals Celtics vs Warriors Series Odds
|Market||Warriors Odds||Celtics Odds|
|To Win Series||-150||+130|
|To Win 4-0||+1200||+1400|
|To Win 4-1||+450||+900|
|To Win 4-2||+550||+370|
|To Win 4-3||+310||+650|
|Total Games Played||7 Games||6 Games||5 Games||4 Games|
NBA Finals Betting Tips
Marcus Smart Key
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been the 1-2 punch for the Celtics and that includes the two games vs. Golden State. But Smart averaged 19.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists vs. the Warriors this year.
In the regular season he was at 12.1/3.8/5.9, but in these playoffs he is at 15.0/4.2/6.5. He’s picked up his game in the postseason and was already great vs. Golden State.
Boston ranks No. 1 in the NBA in fewest points allowed while Golden State is a solid third. But each has issues vs. specific positions. The Celtics allowed the fourth-most production to power forwards and eighth-most to small forwards – good news for Jonathan Kuminga and Andrew Wiggins.
The Warriors, however, rank No. 5 in most production allowed to point guards and No. 10 to small forwards, offering favorable matchups for Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum.
Lack Of Scoring Depth For Boston
The Warriors’ reserves have scored 37.8 ppg in the postseason, most in the league, with a +/- rating of 1.8 points, second only to the Hawks. Boston’s bench ranks No. 3 in +/- at 1.7 due to the defense.
Its bench is scoring only 23.4 ppg, 14th out of 16 playoff teams. Expect continued big minutes from the starting five of Boston.
NBA Finals Picks & Predictions
First, kudos to both teams for getting this far. When the season began, the Warriors (+900) were behind the Lakers in the West to win the title, while the Celtics (+4000) were No. 6 in the East, right behind the Atlanta Hawks on the NBA betting board.
Golden State is -150 to win the series at most online sportsbooks. Boston comes in at +130. It’s not a shock, given the proximity of the team odds, that Warriors in 7 is the most likely outcome on the table at +310, followed by Celtics in 6 (+370).
Boston was one of my picks to win the NBA title at the All-Star Break on the NBA futures market, but I won’t double-down on the Celtics here. Instead, I’ll offer a slight hedge for a Warriors team that, finally healthy, is 16-4 in the playoffs.
Boston matches up well with Golden State, but to fade Steph and Klay here doesn’t sound … sound. This has the makings of a seven-game series. Take Golden State in 7 at NBA odds of +310, especially if you already have a Celtics title ticket in your pocket.
NBA Finals Schedule & TV
- Game 1: June 2, Boston at Golden State, 9 p.m. ET, ABC
- Game 2: June 5, Boston at Golden State, 8 p.m. ET, ABC
- Game 3: June 8, Golden State at Boston, 9 p.m. ET, ABC
- Game 4: June 10, Golden State at Boston, 9 p.m. ET, ABC
- Game 5: June 13, Boston at Golden State, 9 p.m. ET, ABC*
- Game 6: June 16, Golden State at Boston, 9 p.m. ET, ABC*
- Game 7: June 19, Boston at Golden State, 8 p.m. ET, ABC*