Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors NBA Playoff Odds & Betting Tips: Game 1

The 2022 NBA Finals are set to showcase two of the league’s model franchises: the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors. No NBA team has won more championships in the last decade than the Warriors, who seek their fourth in the Steph Curry-Steve Kerr era. No team in NBA history has won more championships than the Celtics, who can break a tie with the Lakers for a record-setting 18th championship.

Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors Top Two Picks

Golden State -4 @ -110

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Under 212.5 Points @ -110

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No team was hotter to start this NBA season than the Warriors with their 18-2 record. No team was hotter since late January than the Celtics, who were 28-7 (.800) to close the regular season. Fittingly, they meet in the Finals after finishing the regular season as the top two teams in Defensive Rating.

But the Warriors have been able to pick up their offensive prowess this postseason after finally getting the trio of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green back together healthy after a tumultuous couple of seasons. This trio is 3-2 in the NBA Finals with a blown 3-1 lead (2016) and a tough loss to Toronto (2019) that saw multiple stars injured for the Warriors. It has been a long road back to this point, but this team is extremely difficult to beat four times in seven games.

Boston stayed the course with its core of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Robert Williams while adding veteran center Al Horford, who is playing in his first NBA Finals. Rookie head coach Ime Udoka was hired to get this team over the hump that Brad Stevens could not in seven seasons. While it was a rocky start, the Celtics have been playing great basketball since January and have really excelled on the road with the fourth-best scoring differential (plus-7.5 points per game) in road games in NBA history (including playoffs).

Great defense, timely shooting, and strong coaching adjustments are just some of the traits these teams share. They should bring out the best in each other in this series. While Curry and Tatum are the superstars, the supporting casts have been huge all postseason for both teams with different players playing the role of hero. Which team gets the most out of those secondary players should win this series.

With the NBA Finals getting under way, make sure to check out the rest of our NBA daily expert picks.

Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors Game 1 Info

Date/Time: Thursday, June 2, 2022, 9:00 p.m. ET


Location: Chase Center, San Francisco, California

For all the information on where you can watch this game, see our streaming guide.

Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors prediction

Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors Odds Analysis

The Warriors are a 4-point home favorite in Game 1. These teams split their regular-season meetings with the Warriors winning by four points in December and getting blown out by 22 points in March in the game where Curry was injured. But neither matchup is very telling of where the teams are in June. Boston is 33-16-1 ATS on the road, the best record in the NBA in either of the last two seasons. The Warriors cover at home 62.5% of the time for the second-best record this season.

The total for this game is 212.5 points, a low number for two stingy defenses. In games with a total of under 215 points, the over is 4-8 in Golden State games this season. In Golden State games with a total under 215 points, the over is 4-8. This will be the 52nd game this season for Boston with a total under 215 points, so the Celtics are used to lower scores. But the over is 49-50-1 in Boston games compared to 45-51-2 in Golden State games.

Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors Predictions

Golden State -4 (-110 at FanDuel)

If there was a team capable of withstanding Golden State’s usual excellence at home and in the third quarter, it should be Boston. The Celtics were the only team with a better Net Rating in the third quarter than Golden State this season, and the Celtics are 21-5 in their last 26 road games, including a 7-2 record in the playoffs.

But the Warriors getting home court for this series is huge, especially for Game 1 as the NBA has gone nearly two decades of the home team dominating Game 1 of the Finals. Since 2005, the home team is 16-1 in Game 1 of the Finals with every win by at least eight points. The only loss was the 2013 Heat against San Antonio, a 92-88 defeat, which was the only game decided by fewer than eight points.

That is the kind of history the Celtics are up against here, as well as having a couple fewer days to prepare after needing a Game 7 win in Miami on Sunday. It was the second straight Game 7 for the Celtics while the Warriors have not been pushed beyond six games this postseason. This time off could also help the Warriors field their most complete roster of the playoffs with Andre Iguodala, Otto Porter Jr., and Gary Payton II all practicing this week.

After watching the Celtics nearly blow a 13-point lead late in Miami, it is too easy to picture the Warriors going on one of those classic runs of three-point shots to blow this game open at the end and cover a small spread. Let’s trust the Warriors in Game 1 of what will hopefully be a long, entertaining series.

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Under 212.5 Points (-110 at BetMGM)

Once upon a time, Game 1 of the NBA Finals used to be a low-scoring affair. From the beginning of Michael Jordan’s dynasty run with the Chicago Bulls through some of those early 2010s series between the Heat and Spurs, it was very common for Game 1 of the Finals to finish under 200 points.

  • From 1991 through 2013, under 200 points happened 20 times in 23 Game 1s.
  • From 1996 through 2017, a bet on a Game 1 total of under 212.5 points would have been a perfect 22-0.

But the NBA has since evolved towards more scoring thanks to the three-point shot, and each of the last four Game 1s in the Finals had at least 214 points scored. However, with the potential of another Game 1 blowout by the home team or a defensive struggle between these teams, the under should still carry some value with both teams coming off an extended rest.

In games with a rest advantage, the Warriors hit the over just 36.0% of the time (9-16 record), the second-lowest over rate in the league. Oddly enough, the Celtics had the third-lowest over rate in such games at 38.9% (7-11).

Golden State has been very up and down this postseason with its games hitting the over, but for Game 1, let’s go with the under as these teams start to figure each other out.

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Bonus Player Prop Pick: Jaylen Brown Over 2.5 Three-Pointers Made (-136 at FanDuel)

For a prop pick on FanDuel, look at Jaylen Brown’s three-point shooting. He has been a sharpshooter on the road this postseason as four of his five games with at least four made threes were on the road. He has scored more than 20 points in all but one road playoff game this year. With the defense focusing on Tatum, Brown is a great option in this game and perhaps the best dark horse pick for Finals MVP if it doesn’t end up going to Curry or Tatum. Brown making at least three threes would be a good start for him in this series.

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