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NBA Finals | Celtics vs Warriors Predictions (Game 1)

Back in the middle of January the Boston Celtics were a game under .500 and longshots to even make the playoffs. They went on an epic run to close the season as the No. 2 seed in the East then knocked off the defending champion Bucks in the second round and dispatched the top-seeded Heat in the conference final. After those last two series went the distance the Celtics will enjoy a few days off before tangling with the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday. And it’s a much needed rest after dealing with injuries to key players during their playoff run.

Celtics vs Warriors Date/Time (Game 1)

Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors will air live on ABC with tip off at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 2, 2022 from Chase Center. will have betting options for every game on the 2022 NBA Finals

Celtics vs Warriors Odds (Game 1)

Boston Celtics +3.5

Golden State Warriors -3.5

Over / Under 211.5

Playoff Analysis

The Celtics are a battle-tested team from climbing out of a mid-season hole by winning 28 of their final 35 regular season games to coming back from a series deficit to beat the Bucks in seven games to winning three times on the road to extinguish the Heat in the East final. And one thing they haven’t done this postseason is lose consecutive games. They aren’t going to be fazed in a hostile environment. Facing elimination they won in Milwaukee 108-95 to force a Game 7 and they stayed poised facing a Miami onslaught in the later stages of Game 7 to win the East, 100-96. Overall the Celtics are 7-2 SU and 7-1-1 ATS on the road this postseason. They also won in the Bay Area during the regular season, 110-88, behind a suffocating defense.

The Warriors haven’t really been tested this postseason going six games in a series only once while winning every time at home. And let’s be honest, they had some luck on their side. An injury to Ja Morant helped them take out the Grizzlies in six games and the Mavs put up little resistance after doing the Dubs a solid by taking out the top-seeded Phoenix Suns in the West semis. Or maybe the Warriors have their championship mojo back. They are making their sixth Finals appearance in eight seasons and with their three three-time champs on the floor together they are 12-4 SU and 9-7 ATS.

Boston Celtics

Just like their opponent, the Celtics have plenty of offensive firepower but have won this postseason with a gritty defense. And they won – a lot – over the second half of the season with the league’s best defensive rating. They led the NBA in fewest points allowed, field goal percentage defense and three-point defense, and that has continued in the postseason. Having a healthy DPOY Marcus Smart will help.

The team rides on the shoulders of Jayson Tatum. When he plays well the Celtics typically have success. He dropped 26 with 10 boards against the Heat in Game 7 and is averaging 27 points this postseason. Jaylen Brown averages 22.9 points and Smart chips in 15.5. Tatum and Brown each had 26 in Boston’s win in San Francisco in March.

Golden State Warriors

While the Celtics could use the time off before Game 1, the Warriors are itching to go. After ousting the Mavs in five games they will end up with a week off before Game 1. That could have an effect on their play, especially at the beginning of the game. At some point, though, the realization will kick in and the Dubs will lean on their postseason and Finals experience. And as they showed, no deficit is too large with several comeback wins this postseason.

We’ve seen the defensive numbers slip during the postseason but it hasn’t prevented the Warriors from winning games. They finished second to Boston in defensive rating during the season but slipped to sixth in the postseason. That’s okay, just let the offense take over with Curry at 25.9 leading four players averaging more than 15 points allowing the Warriors to cash the OVER in two straight and three of their last four games.

Game 1 Prediction: Boston Celtics +3.5 / UNDER 211.5

Celtics vs Warriors Prediction

No one on the Celtics has played in the Finals so experience, or lack thereof, will be mentioned quite a bit. After two straight grueling seven-game series, the C’s got the experience they need. We could see a defensive struggle and with the Warriors having a week off they could be rusty and the Celtics will take advantage.

Game 1 Prediction: Boston Celtics +3.5 / UNDER 211.5

View today’s NBA Finals betting lines.

Jake Flynn
Jake Flynn
Senior writer for Writes NBA, NCAA basketball, MLB, UFC and daily fantasy sports articles.

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