Celtics vs. Warriors Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Warriors came out firing in the first quarter. Stephen Curry hit six 3-pointers and scored 21 points in the quarter alone.
However, the Celtics hung tough and went into the second quarter trailing by four points despite the Warriors’ hot start. As the Warriors cooled down in the second quarter, the Celtics kept pushing and went into halftime with a two-point lead.
The third quarter game script played out as many had imagined. As they’ve done many times this season, the Warriors ramped it up by outscoring the Celtics, 38-24, in the quarter.
With a 12-point lead going into the fourth quarter, the Warriors appeared to have this in the bag. They became comfortable and let their guard down.
They neglected defense completely and gave the Celtics wide-open shots. The C’s ended up outscoring the Warriors, 40-16, and hit 9-of-12 shots from deep on the way to a shocking 120-108 victory
Narratives and trends supporters were sorely disappointed with the outcome, as all signs pointed to a Warriors win. The Celtics showed resiliency and made it clear they were not to be taken lightly.
With the Celtics stealing Game 1 on the road, can the Warriors bounce back and even the series up?
Celtics Riding High After Game 1
A team with zero Finals experience made an amazing comeback against the seasoned championship veterans. It was shocking and downright impressive.
Even with superstar Jayson Tatum being held to 12 points on an awful 3-for-17 shooting performance from the field, the Celtics still came out with a win. The Warriors planned their defensive schemes around Tatum. Instead, he flourished in a playmaker role and tallied 13 assists.
The real hero was Al Horford. On the eve of this 36th birthday, he put up a 26-point gem of a game on 8-for-12 shooting and a season-high six 3-pointers. He scored 11 of those points in the epic fourth-quarter comeback. He has waited 15 seasons to finally have this moment to shine on NBA’s biggest stage and have an opportunity to win a championship.
Derrick White continues to be the X-factor for this Celtics team. He scored 21 points off the bench with a barrage of 3-pointers. His defense is much-needed to put another body on Curry, but his scoring has been a pleasant surprise for this team.
The Celtics shot 21-for-41 from behind the 3-point line. I don’t see them having a repeat shooting performance in Game 2. I believe both teams will be more aware of defending the 3-point line. The Celtics are first in the league in Defensive Rating and second in 3-point percentage allowed.
They’ve continued their dominance of the Warriors, going 7-1 straight up and ATS against in their previous eight matchups.
Warriors Looking to Bounce Back
Curry’s 34 points and seven 3-pointers in Game 1 were magnificent. He set the tone early with the 21 points in the first quarter.
However, this prevented his teammates from getting into a rhythm. Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Jordan Poole went a combined 10-for-33 from the field.
Only Curry and Andrew Wiggins scored 20 or more points for Golden State in Game 1. The Warriors need more production from their secondary stars to be successful in Game 2.
Otto Porter Jr. and Andre Iguodala made an immediate impact with their return to the bench and rotation. Porter had four 3-pointers and 12 points, and Iguodala looked sharp considering his long 12-game layoff. However, head coach Steve Kerr kept them in way too long in the fourth quarter as the Celtics started mounting their comeback.
Gary Payton II was available for Game 1 but did not see any minutes. I expect that to change on Sunday. Payton has proven to be an elite on-ball defender, and the Warriors need his length and defensive tenacity.
Overall, the Dubs still nailed 19 3-pointers at a 42.2% clip but struggled down the stretch when it mattered the most. Similar to the Celtics, I see some shooting regression coming, and I expect their defense to tighten up with one game until their belt.
The public and general narratives are backing Golden State once again. Zig-zag theorists expect the Warriors to bounce back from a loss, and they don’t expect this battle-tested team to fall 2-0 at home.
However, looking into historical data, the zig-zag theory has not been successful in the NBA Finals. For instance, favorites off a home series loss in the NBA Finals have covered just 40% of the time, per the SDQL at Gimme The Dog. This is a huge contrast compared to the 59% hit rate for the entire playoffs.
I believe the Celtics are the better team, and 4.5 points is too many to be giving them. However, I respect the experience and championship pedigree of the Warriors and don’t expect them to fall 2-0 at home.
My expectation is that the Warriors win and the Celtics cover the spread, but I have a better angle to present.
Since the 2012-13 season, the beginning of the “Splash Brothers” era, the total on Warriors games has gone 27-10-1 to the under following a playoff series loss, per the SDQL.
Teams off a game in which both teams shot 40% or greater from deep went 57-41-2 to the under (41.8%) in the following game. Teams off a game in which both teams made 33 3-pointers or more went 21-9 to the under (70%).
Since the 2013-14 season, when Game 1 went over and the total has increased, Game 2 has gone 26-14 to the under in the following game, per the SDQL.
There will be adjustments on both sides as the series goes on, but after the abundance of easy 3-pointers in Game 1, I think both teams will make it a point of emphasis to reduce the number of open looks from the perimeter.
The pace and tempo of the game was as expected, but the teams couldn’t miss from the field. I thought the 214 was a fair closing total for Game 1, so the additional 1.5 points present some nice value on the under.
My prediction is a 107-104 win for the Warriors.
Pick: Under 215.5 (Play to 214)