Best Bet for Warriors vs. Celtics: Experience Will Prevail

Game 6 takes place in Boston with added pressure for both sides. The Warriors need to win to end the series and capture their fourth NBA championship in the last eight years. The Celtics need to win to extend the series in a Game 7 back in the Bay. Where does the advantage lie for the matchup?

According to ActionNetwork, the consensus line for most sportsbooks has the Celtics favored by 4 points (-4) with their money line value at -170 (Bet $170 to win $100). During this series, all home teams have been the favorite by at least 3 points or more. When this line opened late on Monday night after Game 5, the oddsmakers had it set at Boston as a 3-point favorite (-3).

Since that line has been open, the money has significantly favored the Celtics with 84% of the money going to the Celtics. The tickets are split almost 50/50 on both the spread and money line bets, but the Celtics again are collecting big on the money side of the tickets. When the money is dispersed more towards one side, this means most sharps (nickname for professional cappers and bettors) are on the Celtics. Due to the amount of money being drawn to Boston, the lines move more in favor of Boston. This happens so more of the public will bet on the Warriors as the line for both the spread and money line increase.

via ActionNetwork

While I agree that Boston seems to have the edge playing at home in a do-or-die game, the experience with the Warriors says otherwise. Let’s look at some betting trends via from both sides first before talking specifics:

  1. The Warriors are 8-3 ATS (against the spread) in their last 11 games overall.
  2. The Celtics are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games following a straight-up loss.
  3. The Warriors are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games as an underdog.
  4. The Celtics are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games following an ATS loss.
  5. The Warriors are 1-3-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Boston.

Not only do the Warriors have the experience in the finals with Steph, Klay, and Draymond, they have key players stepping up to pick up the slack when their superstars are not performing well. Here are the players that step up in their roles for the starters:

Kevon Looney for Draymond Green – Although Looney cannot pass the ball as well as Green, he more than makes up for it by rebounding the ball and setting strong screens when needed. Looney is averaging 7.6 rebounds per game in the finals so far while Green is averaging 7.2 rebounds. That is a great trade-off when Green is in foul trouble.

via YouTube

Andrew Wiggins for Klay Thompson – There is no doubt that Thompson has underperformed to his ability in almost every game in the playoffs for the Warriors. He is doing much of the same for the finals as well, averaging only 18 points per game against the Celtics with a lot of those points coming late in trash time after the game is already decided. Wiggins in game 6 picked up much of the shooting woes, going for 26 points and being Golden State’s top scorer on Monday night. Wiggins is averaging 18.4 points per game, which is huge to have when Klay is off.

via NBC Sports

Jordan Poole for Steph Curry – This one can sound like a stretch but hear me out. Poole has established himself with some ridiculous range on the floor just like Steph Curry. We have seen him make three-pointers from almost half-court just for fun as well as quick catches in the corners from deep as well. While Poole does not outscore Curry most of the time, having him on the floor forces the Celtics to play man or double team him from the three-point line. This allows others to get open if the shot is not there, but Poole has shown to make the almost impossible three if given the tiny space needed.

via Sports Illustrated

When you have a combination of these players on the floor or one of them taking control for a superstar, it creates matchup problems for the Celtics. Boston does not have a replacement for Tatum, Brown, or Smart. When one of their “Big 3” members is off, Boston struggles immensely on both ends of the floor, especially on the offensive side. Golden State’s backups/role players have stepped up more than the Celtics and their bench in the series so far; I think that continues tonight.

Tonight, I am taking the Warriors at +4 tonight as my most confident play. I do believe that the Warriors close out the series tonight and win outright, but I am taking the points on this one. I do not believe, even in Boston, that the Celtics are three baskets better than the Warriors. My prediction is this game being around the 106-100 mark in favor of Golden State.

Best Bet: Golden State Warriors +4 for 1U (-110)

Running record of 1 unit article plays: 2-1

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