2022 NBA Finals: Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors Game 1 Betting Lines, Odds & Predictions
Klay Thompson (57) and Stephen Curry (60) have combined for 117 three-pointers this postseason. They are playing at the level they did between 2015-2018. They face the roaring Boston Celtics who stunned the Milwaukee Bucks and then the Miami Heat in their last two series. Like Klay and Steph, it is Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum who headline the Celtics’ offense. Tonight, the first game of the 2022 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics is set to tip-off at 9:00 PM EST. at the Chase Center.
Many pundits expect the Warriors to win this series somewhat easily due to their immense championship experience. Members of Golden State have played in a combined 123 NBA Finals games while not one member of the Boston Celtics has ever suited up in the world’s biggest state. However, one Celtic was at least behind the scenes during the 2007 NBA Finals. Tatum’s godfather is former NBA All-Star Larry Hughes. When the Cavaliers made the NBA Finals in 2007, Hughes let Tatum sit with the team and enjoy the facilities before and after Game 3 and Game 4. Tatum’s father played ball with Hughes from an early age and the youngster was introduced to the NBA stage by his godfather when he was just a kid. So although Golden State has a massive advantage in the experience category, something tells me that Tatum is going to lead by example and keep his team competitive in this life-changing series.
All that said, the Warriors could very well be at full strength for the first time in a while. Gary Payton II, Andre Iguodola, and Otto Porter all practiced yesterday and are reportedly hopeful to suit up for tonight’s Game 1 in California.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best bets to consider for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
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Best Bets of the Night
Game: Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors -3.5
Golden State comfortably secured their path to the NBA Finals after defeating the Dallas Mavericks in five games during the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors truly stepped up their game in that series in comparison to their series against the Memphis Grizzlies. Specifically, we are seeing much better shooting across the board from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson who have now combined to score nearly 120 three-pointers this postseason. The Warriors have scored at least 109 points in their last seven contests and have set the bar high for how much scoring needs to be done by the other team to keep things interesting.
Still, the Boston Celtics have had a much harder road to climb than the Warriors throughout these playoffs. While they swept the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, they had to go to a Game 7 against the Bucks and avoided two elimination games (Games 6 & 7) to earn their spot in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. That series also went to seven games, but Boston was victorious. The Celtics are playing with unquantifiable grit and a determination to win. While this series will go at least six games in my opinion, the Celtics will concede Game 1 on the road by at least four points.
This matchup essentially comes down to whether you think Golden State’s offense or Boston’s defense will prevail. Although the Celtics have Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, a few solid defensive wings in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, and a massive shot-blocking presence in Robert Williams III, the Warriors’ offense is simply too difficult to contain. It’s incredibly difficult to contain Curry and Thompson while also playing tight defense on Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, and Draymond Green. The Warriors can score in a variety of ways and aren’t too shabby on the defensive end themselves.
The Pick: Golden State Warriors -3.5 (-110)
Total: Over or Under 213.5 Points
The Warriors averaged 121.9 points per 100 possessions in the first round of the playoffs, and 120.3 points per 100 possessions in the Western Conference Finals. Largely due to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Golden State’s offense has been the most efficient throughout these playoffs. The fact that they averaged at least 120 points per 100 possessions in two of their three playoff series shows just how many points they are capable of dropping numerically. To see it for yourself is a different thing. Consider the 142 points the Warriors scored in Game 5 of the second round against the Grizzlies or the 126 points they recorded in Game 2 against the Mavericks.
The Warriors set an offensive pace, especially during their home games, that must be matched. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum played terrifically in the Eastern Conference Finals, improving on their first two playoff series. If the Warriors score 115 points tonight, expect the Celtics to keep it within 10. This should be a high-scoring series altogether despite each team’s excellent defensive prowess. Simply put, both these offenses are too good to produce fewer than 213 points. Furthermore, both teams will feed off each other’s energy to score more.
The Pick: Over 213.5 Total Points (-110)
Best Game 1 NBA Player Props
Robert Williams III to record a double-double (+1000)
While the odds for this prop say it all, Williams is very capable of recording double-doubles. This season, he averaged 10 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Against the Heat, Williams had a tough time on the glass in Game 6 and Game 7. However, he hauled in 10 rebounds in Game 5 and nine rebounds in Game 4 after returning from a torn meniscus earlier in the Spring. Against the Warriors, he has the upside over a big like Kevon Looney. In contrast to Bam Adebayo who disrupted his performance, Williams will have a chance to produce more efficiently against the Warriors than against the Heat. While this pick isn't a lock, why not throw a couple of bucks on here and see if Williams really gets big in the paint. Quite frankly, I'm surprised this prop has such long odds. Williams is definitely capable of a 10-point and 10-rebound night so long as he stays out of foul trouble.
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