On Thursday, the NBA Finals 2022 begins; free NBA Finals odds, predictions and best bets for Game 1 are available here. Our betting analysts at Basketball Insiders have picked the winner of this highly anticipated Celtics vs Warriors rematch.
BetOnline odds and free NBA Finals odds and predictions are featured below. YouTube TV, fuboTV and DirecTV Stream offer free trials for streaming. To learn more about basketball betting, other NBA betting picks and sports betting content is on the main page.
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Best NBA Bets and Game 1 Picks | Predictions and Odds for the NBA Finals 2022
On Thursday, Jun. 2, the Boston Celtics are facing off versus the Golden State Warriors at 9 p.m. ET. This Game 1 matchup can be watched live on ABC. During the regular season, these teams finished 1-1 in head-to-head meetings. On Dec. 17, 2021, Golden State defeated Boston 111-107 at TD Garden.
Then, the Celtics bested them 110-88 at Chase Center on Mar. 16. For Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals, the Warriors are 3.5-point favorites at home. However, according to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, Boston has a 60.5% probability of upsetting Golden State in Game 1.
Best NBA Bets: Free Celtics vs Warriors Pick — Warriors -3.5 (-115)
Entering the NBA Finals 2022, the Celtics are the perfect opponent for the Warriors. In the regular season, with a 1.034 rating, Boston finished first in defensive efficiency. Likewise, Golden State ranked second overall, ending the regular season with a 1.044 rating. Also, based on offensive performances, the Warriors are similar to the Celtics. The Warriors averaged 111.6 points per game, whereas the C’s put up 110.9 points per game.
Moreover, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will have their hands full, attempting to guard Stephen Curry. That should go without saying. Despite sustaining a knee injury, Heat forward Jimmy Butler still managed to average 25.6 points per game versus the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. Warriors guard Stephen Curry sank five 3-pointers and scored 30 points in his team’s 111-107 win at TD Garden on Dec. 17.
Furthermore, the Warriors ended their regular season shooting 36.6% from 3-point range, ranking fourth overall in the NBA. In comparison, the Celtics shot 35.7% from beyond the arc in the regular season. They ranked 12th in the league. Considering Golden State lives by the three and dies by the three, the best game plan Boston can use to keep this series interesting is to protect the perimeter.
Celtics vs Warriors Prediction | NBA Finals 2022 Game 1 Picks
In the first regular season matchup, both teams were missing quite a few important players. The Celtics had five players in the league’s health and safety protocols: Al Horford, Grant Williams, Jabari Parker, Juancho Hernangomez and Sam Hauser. Of course, Hernangomez and Parker are no longer on the roster.
To add to that, Dennis Schroder, Enes Freedom and Bruno Fernando were traded to the Rockets in exchange for Daniel Theis. Josh Richardson was traded for Derrick White, too.
Additionally, the Warriors were without Klay Thompson and James Wiseman in the first meeting. Wiseman is out for the season due to a right knee injury. And everyone is already well aware of Thompson’s impact on the court alongside Curry and Green. The five-time All-Star averaged 20.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 32 regular season games played.
In the Celtics’ 110-88 road win over the Warriors on Mar. 16, Marcus Smart made contact with Stephen Curry at the 4:19 mark of the second quarter. Curry suffered a left foot injury after Smart landed on his leg while attempting to dive for the ball. So, the two-time MVP only played 14 minutes of the second meeting. In the fourth quarter, Boston outscored them 31-19.
Since Curry sustained an injury and both Wiggins and Payton II were out, it was the perfect recipe for a loss. It was Golden State’s fourth consecutive home loss to Boston. Now, for the NBA Finals, Gary Payton II is expected to return.
If not healthy for Thursday night, Payton II might come back for Game 2. Either way, the Warriors could win this series in six games. Some bettors are saying five games. The Celtics are more than capable of winning at least one contest. They are the best defensive team.
Celtics vs Warriors Pick — Game 1 | NBA Finals 2022 Game 1 Picks
Taking everything into account, the Warriors are the best bet to win Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Celtics. They’ve had plenty of rest since defeating the Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals, and the team has home court advantage. Boston has won four straight road games against Golden State. But the team is inconsistent after individual wins.
The Celtics are 6-0 after a loss in the 2022 NBA Playoffs. Keep in mind, though, this is after a loss. For this one matchup, most betting statistics are favoring Golden State. In the end, pick the Warriors to win Game 1, they will cover the spread and the total will go under 211. More NBA Finals odds, predictions, best bets and Game 1 picks are on the main page.
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