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Celtics vs Warriors Prediction, Odds & Best Bet for 2022 NBA Finals Game 1 on FanDuel Sportsbook

Max Staley
Boston Celtics vs Golden State Warriors prediction, odds and best bets to make in Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals.
Boston Celtics vs Golden State Warriors prediction, odds and best bets to make in Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals. / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
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Celtics vs Warriors Game 1 Info

2021-22 NBA Playoffs — NBA Finals Game 1 (Series Tied 0-0)
Boston Celtics (51-31, 23-18 Away) vs. Golden State Warriors (53-29, 31-10 Home)
Date: Thursday, June 22, 2022
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Venue: Chase Center — San Francisco, CA
Coverage: ABC

The Boston Celtics enter the NBA Finals coming off back-to-back seven-game series. The Golden State Warriors, meanwhile, are well-rested after demolishing the Dallas Mavericks in a gentleman's sweep. Rest could be a factor here, but rust could too, as GSW will have a full week off.

The matchup is an intriguing one, and Boston could have more of an edge than people realize. A cursory look at pretty much any number since early January will tell you the same thing: Boston is the best team in basketball. The Warriors have more firepower on offense, but the Celtics' lethal combination of size and athleticism on defense should make this a very competitive series.

Celtics vs Warriors Odds & Spread

All NBA betting lines, odds and prop bets are available on FanDuel Sportsbook.
Moneyline: BOS: (+140) | GSW: (-166)
Spread: BOS: +3.5 (-110) | GSW: -3.5 (-110)
Total: 211.5 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)
Odds to Win NBA Finals: BOS: (+130) | GSW: (-160)

The Warriors open up as sizable 3.5-point favorites here, and that feels a bit high. Golden State opened as 5-point home favorites in Game 1 against Dallas, and you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks the Celtics are only 1.5 points better than the Mavericks.

The total feels a bit high, too. Boston has gone under this threshold in three of its last four games, averaging a combined 204.7 against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Warriors' offense is a different beast than Miami's, but Game 1 could be a lower-scoring affair than people think.

NBA Finals MVP Odds 2022

All NBA Finals MVP odds are available on FanDuel Sportsbook.

- Stephen Curry (+105)
- Jayson Tatum (+180)
- Jaylen Brown (+1000)
- Klay Thompson (+1400)
- Draymond Green (+1400)
- Jordan Poole (+3600)
- Marcus Smart (+3800)
- Andrew Wiggins (+4100)
- Al Horford (+12000)
- Keveon Looney (+18000)
- Robert Williams (+23000)

I'm rolling with the Celtics to win this series. Jayson Tatum is the obvious choice for MVP if the C's win, but the value just isn't there when looking at the odds. Boston is +130 to win the series and Tatum is +180 to win MVP. If you like Boston to win the series, you're better off betting that.

From a value perspective, it's hard not to like Jaylen Brown at 10-to-1 odds. He averaged 24.0 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 3.0 APG against Miami, which isn't too far off the 25.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG, and 5.6 APG that Tatum put up. Notably, Brown was considerably more efficient than Tatum. Brown can have these stretches where he looks absolutely unstoppable, as we saw with a 40-point showing in Game 3 against Miami; Brown feels like the only Celtic with a legitimate shot to steal this award from Tatum.

Celtics vs Warriors Prediction & Pick

All NBA win probability predictions and picks are according to ESPN's Basketball Power Index (BPI).
Prediction: Boston Celtics win (60.3%)

I think Golden State is in for a rude awakening in Game 1. The Warriors cruised by an undermanned Denver Nuggets team in Round 1 and manhandled a one-man Dallas Mavericks squad in the Conference Finals. The only team that has given GSW trouble in the postseason is the Memphis Grizzlies, and Boston is basically a supercharged version of Memphis on the defensive end.

If Robert Williams is at or near full strength, this is the best defensive team in basketball. And it's not close. Boston has the NBA's best defensive rating at 106.4 since January 7. Memphis is the second-best team in that regard at 110.4. For reference, the gap between No. 1 and No. 2 is as wide as the gap between No. 2 and No. 15 (Cleveland Cavaliers; 114.4).

Look for Boston to impose its will from the opening tip in Game 1.

Final Score Prediction: Celtics: 110 | Warriors: 98

Celtics vs Warriors Betting Trends

- Boston is 12-5 against the spread (ATS) in its last 17 games.
- Boston is 4-0-1 ATS in its last five games against Golden State.
- Boston is 12-1 ATS in its last 13 road games.
- Golden State is 5-1 ATS in its last six games.
- The total has hit the under in 11 of Golden State's last 13 games against Boston.
- Golden State is 11-0 straight up in its last 11 home games.

The betting trends reveal some very interesting points here. Golden State is incredible at home, as the Warriors have yet to drop a single home game during this postseason run. But Boston is historically great on the road. The Celtics are 7-2 on the road this postseason and have the league's second-best road record since January 7, going 16-5.

But that doesn't tell the whole story. Boston has a plus-303 point differential on the road since January 7, topping the Phoenix Suns (plus-159). The Celtics are more than capable of stealing a win on the road in Game 1.

Celtics vs Warriors Best Bet

All NBA betting lines, odds and prop bets are available on FanDuel Sportsbook.

No one in the NBA can defend Steph Curry like Marcus Smart can. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year has been incredible against the two-time league MVP. Curry shoots a putrid 29.0% from the floor throughout his career with Marcus Smart as the closest defender, per Second Spectrum. The Warriors have an offensive rating of just 85.0 when Smart is on Curry, which is the second-lowest among all qualified defenders.

Smart won't be able to keep Curry in check all series, but his physicality could take a little while to adjust to. Curry has scored 27 points or fewer in eight of his 16 postseason appearances this year, and he just hasn't faced many defenders like Smart during this run.

Bet Stephen Curry Points: Under 27.5 (-114)

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