There are three things in life that are guaranteed after watching the NBA playoffs: Death, Taxes, and the Warriors winning the 3rd quarter.
Here is a stat from @ESPNStateInfo that was tweeted on June 8th of this year showing just how impressive Golden State has been in the 3rd quarter:
“The Warriors have outscored the Celtics a combined 73-38 in the 3rd quarter of the NBA Finals. Since the start of 2014-15, the Warriors 3rd-quarter point differential is +2,184 including the playoffs, more than double any team’s single quarter over that span,” (ESPN).
Golden State’s overall record in winning the 3rd quarter during the playoffs in 2022 is 13-7 with an average win of at least 10 points. On the flip side, when the Warriors lose the 3rd quarter, their average loss is also 10 points. Remember though that the warriors lost by 25 points in the 3rd quarter to the Grizzlies in Game 5 of the 2nd round. Without that skewed loss, when the Warriors lose the 3rd quarter, it is closer to around 6 points (6.57).
Here’s a look at how the Warriors have been doing in the 3rd quarter throughout the 2022 playoffs:
1st round vs. Denver Nuggets:
Game 1 – Won 3rd quarter by 9
Game 2 – Won 3rd quarter by 14
Game 3 – Lost 3rd quarter by 12
Game 4 – Won 3rd quarter by 2
Game 5 – Lost 3rd quarter by 8
2nd round vs. Memphis Grizzlies:
Game 1 – Won 3rd quarter by 7
Game 2 – Won 3rd quarter by 5
Game 3 – Won 3rd quarter by 14
Game 4 – Lost 3rd quarter by 4
Game 5 – Lost 3rd quarter by 25
Game 6 – Lost 3rd quarter by 1
Conference Finals vs. Dallas Mavericks
Game 1 – Won 3rd quarter by 10
Game 2 – Won 3rd quarter by 12
Game 3 – Won 3rd quarter by 9
Game 4 – Lost 3rd quarter by 14
Game 5 – Lost 3rd quarter by 7
Finals vs Boston Celtics:
Game 1 – Won 3rd quarter by 14
Game 2 – Won 3rd quarter by 21
Game 3 – Won 3rd quarter by 8
Game 4 – Won 3rd quarter by 6
Currently, against the Boston Celtics, the Warriors have outscored them 136-87 in the 3rd quarter across the first four games. That’s a difference of +49 points in Golden State’s favor. It’s worth noting that even while they are winning these 3rd quarters, they are not always winning the game. While the Warriors have won the 3rd quarter 13 times in the playoffs, they have only won 9 of those 13 games.
The last stat to look at is how often the Warriors have won the 3rd quarter at home in the playoffs this year. Currently, the warriors are 7-4 in the 3rd quarter at home with an average winning margin of +13 over those 7 wins.
With the series tied 2-2 and coming back to the Bay for game 5, I expect a low-scoring defensive battle from both sides. The Celtics know how strong the warriors are in the 3rd quarter, while the Warriors know how strong the Celtics are in the 4th quarter. I do not see an edge on the spread or total for either side from a statistics standpoint, but if you are betting this game tonight, your safest place is with the Golden State Warriors 3rd quarter ML or spread.
According to Action Network and Covers.com, the 3rd quarter spread has a consensus line at -1.5 in the Golden State’s favor at -115 odds ($115 to win $100). The money line odds have a consensus line at -150 ($150 to win $100). I think either of these plays will likely win, but the value lies in the spread.
Best Bet: Warriors 3Q -1.5 for 1U (-115)
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