Blake Daniels, June 2, 2022
The Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors begin the 2022 NBA Finals on Thursday night at Chase Center.
Boston outlasted the Miami Heat in a tightly fought Eastern Conference Finals that went the full seven games route. The Celtics used a strong start in Game 7 to pull away from the Heat. Miami made a run in the closing minutes but Jimmy Butler missed a possible game-winner with 18 seconds left. Boston escaped and will play in the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.
Golden State had a much easier time advancing to the Finals for the first time since 2019. The Dubs eliminated the Dallas Mavericks via a Gentleman’s Sweep, allowing the Mavs to win Game 4 before closing them out at Chase Center in Game 5. Steph Curry looked unstoppable and with the scoring support from Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole, and Andrew Wiggins, there was no stopping the Dubs.
The Celtics are the third biggest longshot to make the NBA Finals in the last 35 seasons. At 50-1 during the preseason, only the 2020 Heat at 75-1 and the 2002 Nets at 60-1 had longer odds than Boston.
East Finals MVP Jayson Tatum leads Boston with 27 points per game while Jaylen Brown is putting up 22.9 points per game and Marcus Smart 15.5 PPG. The Celtics are shooting 45.4% from the field and 36.2% from deep in the postseason. Boston is 7-2 SU on the road in the playoffs and has covered eight out of their last nine games played in Golden State.
The Celtics are the second-best defensive team in the playoffs and are allowing opponents to score only 101.0 points per game. Their +6.1 postseason point differential is also the best among this year’s 16 playoff teams.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors opened as -155 favorites to win the 2022 NBA championship. With Boston listed at +135, this is the closest series price in the NBA Finals during the last 15 years. Golden State has been the favorite in its last 35 playoff series, the longest streak by any team in the last 35 years.
Steph Curry leads Golden State in scoring in the playoffs at 25.9 PPG while the comeback Klay Thompson is putting up 19.8 points per game while Jordan Poole is scoring 18.4 PPG and Andrew Wiggins contributes 15.8 PPG. The Dubs are red hot at 49.6% from the field and 37.9% from three-point distance. They are 9-0 SU and 7-2 ATS in the playoffs.
Golden State is the top-scoring team in the postseason at 114.5 PPG and is second behind the Celtics in point differential at +5.5 and third in FG percentage and 4th in three-point shooting.
The Celtics are 6-1 SU in their last seven games against the Warriors. Boston is also 4-1 SU in their last five games played in Golden State.
The Celtics are:
The Warriors are:
13-6 SU in their last 19 games played.
4-1 SU in their last five playoff games on the road.
18-12 SU in their last 30 games against the Western Conference.
6-2 SU in their last eight Thursday games.
2-1 SU in their last three games as betting underdogs.
5-1 SU in their last six games played.
11–0 SU in their last 11 games played on the road.
9-4 SU in their last 13 games played in June.
12-3 SU in their last 15 home games against the Eastern Conference.
6-2 SU in their last eight games as betting favorites.
Moneyline Odds: Celtics +145, Warriors -175
Odds from BetOnline as of 06/02/2022
The Celtics head to the Finals with no single player having championship experience. But remember this team took the hardest route to the Finals. Boston swept the preseason betting favorites Nets in the opening round, ousted the defending champions, Milwaukee Bucks, in the second round, and eliminated the East top-seed Miami Heat in the Conference Finals. No matter how you fault them for being inexperienced, this is a team that has been seasoned on the fly in the playoffs.
Golden State is rich in championship experience and its core is still in its prime. No question that the Dubs are hungrier than ever after missing the playoffs during the previous two seasons. With the Splash Brothers healthy, they have looked impressive in the playoffs, especially with the contributions of Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole. Golden State also has the benefit of having more time to prepare than Boston although the Celtics have had enough time to rest too.
Experts are calling for a long series that could go to seven games. And I won’t be surprised if the Celtics win the championship. However, as far as Game 1 is concerned, I think Golden State has a huge advantage not only with their experience but by playing at home. The Celtics have been tough road warriors but they have not faced a team like the Dubs in the playoffs.
Prediction: Golden State Warriors
Celtics vs Warriors Spread Predictions
The Celtics are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games played against the Warriors. Boston is also 8-1 ATS in their last nine meetings in Golden State.
The Celtics are:
15-6-1 ATS in their last 22 games played overall.
20-5-1 ATS in their last 26 road games.
4-0 ATS in their last 4 Thursday games.
8-1-1 ATS in their last 10 games as a road underdog.
5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 playoff games as an underdog.
12-3-2 ATS in their last 17 games as an underdog.
21-6-1 ATS in their last 28 road games versus a team with a winning home record.
10-3 ATS in their last 13 NBA Championship games.
22-8-1 ATS in their last 31 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
22-8-1 ATS in their last 31 road games against a team with a home winning percentage of greater than .600.
19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 games after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
37-17-2 ATS in their last 56 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
35-17 ATS in their last 52 games when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 games following an ATS win.
2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win.
The Warriors are:
5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games.
4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a favorite.
4-0 ATS in their last 4 playoff games as a favorite.
4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a home favorite.
5-1 ATS in their last 6 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600.
5-1 ATS in their last 6 games versus a team with a winning straight up record.
4-1 ATS in their last 5 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
4-1 ATS in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
24-8-1 ATS in their last 33 home games versus a team with a winning road record.
9-4 ATS in their last 13 games following an ATS win.
18-39 ATS in their last 57 Thursday games.
0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 NBA Championship games.
Spread Odds: Celtics +4 (-115), Warriors -4 (-105)
Odds from BetOnline as of 06/02/2022
The Celtics are 8-1 ATS on the road in the current postseason. Boston is 20-4 ATS in their last 24 games played and are 7-1 ATS against Steve Kerr. However, the Celtics have not played Golden State in the Finals.
When you look at the make-up of the teams from top to bottom, it does look like Boston has more talent but the Warriors have a massive advantage when it comes to championship experience as no player on the Celtics team has ever played in a title game. Meanwhile, Curry, Thompson, and Green were the leading men in Golden State’s three-trophy title run from 2015 to 2018.
Looking at their performance in the current postseason, the Warriors have looked much steadier than the Celtics. Golden State’s offense has been very potent and no team has been able to stop them in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Celtics were the best defensive team in the NBA during the regular season. They shut down the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat in the previous two rounds of the playoffs. However, the Celtics have been very inconsistent from game to game and that caused their last two series to go the full seven-game route.
Boston has beaten an elite offensive team in Milwaukee and also eliminated a top-rated defensive team in Miami. However, they have not faced an opponent with the two-way prowess of Golden State. Boston might be able to limit Steph Curry with Marcus Smart but even then, the Dubs have plenty more offensive weapons. Boston struggled to beat a Miami team that only had one reliable scorer in Jimmy Butler. The Dubs have at least three. Too much firepower for Golden State, especially at home.
Prediction: Golden State Warriors -4
Celtics vs Warriors Over/Under Predictions
The total has gone under in 19 out of the last 26 head-to-head meetings between these two teams. The under is 7-0 in their last seven meetings in Golden State.
Boston Celtics over/under trends:
Under is 3-1 in the Celtics’ last four games played.
Under is 5-0 in the Celtics’ last 5 NBA Championship games.
Under is 9-2 in the Celtics’ last 11 against a team with a winning straight up record.
Under is 5-2 in the Celtics’ last 7 games when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
Over is 6-0 in their last games against the Western Conference.
Over is 5-0 in the Celtics’ last 5 Thursday games.
Over is 18-8-1 in the Celtics’ last 27 games following an ATS win.
Over is 20-9-1 in the Celtics’ last 30 games following a straight up win.
Over is 11-5 in the Celtics’ last 16 games as an underdog.
Golden State Warriors over/under trends:
Under is 10-1 in Warriors’ last 11 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Over is 3-1 in the Warriors’ last four games played
Over is 8-1-1 in the Warriors’ last 10 Thursday games.
Over is 4-1 in the Warriors’ last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
Over is 10-4 in the Warriors’ last 14 NBA Championship games.
Over is 9-4 in the Warriors’ last 13 games following a straight up win.
Over is 11-5 in the Warriors’ last 16 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
Over/Under Odds: Over 212.5 (-110) Under 212.5 (-110)
Odds from BetOnline as of 06/02/2022
These teams have combined to score an average of 213.8 points per game in their last 10 meetings and 216.33 points per game in their most recent three encounters. Golden State is the top-scoring team in the playoffs at 114.5 points per game and no one has been able to put the clamps on them so far.
Boston is the best defensive team in the league and we saw that pretty much against the Heat. However, the Warriors simply have too much firepower to handle, even perhaps for the Celtics.
This doesn’t look like it’s going to be a defensive series like the East Finals. Golden State will run the ball up and down the court against a much bigger opponent. The Dubs also have plenty of shooters to pile up those three-pointers. It won’t be a track meet but the total of 212.5 should be too low for a game with the Dubs.
Prediction: Over 212.5