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NBA Finals betting: Picks for Celtics vs Warriors Game 1 Thursday 2 June

02 Jun | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
NBA Finals betting: Picks for Celtics vs Warriors Game 1 Thursday 2 June

Shane McNichol makes his picks for Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics.

All the latest NBA odds can be found on the Betway sportsbook. Before finalising your online sports betting selections, make sure to check out our expert’s NBA picks and NBA predictions.

At times, the NBA playoffs can start to seem like a slog. That was especially true during the two Conference Finals series, both of which were littered with blowouts.

With ample amount of time between those series and the start of the NBA Finals, there has been some breathing room to build up the buzz and excitement before Game 1 in San Francisco.

Two of the NBA’s best teams and two of its most iconic franchises meet to start a seven-game series, with the Larry O’Brien Trophy up for grabs.

Here are my four favorite bets on the board with the Warriors and Celtics about to tip off a highly anticipated NBA Finals.

Warriors -3.5 and over 211.5 total points {ODDS:944055399:3.45}

Golden State has won the first game of each of its three playoff series so far this postseason, a trend I expect to continue with the Warriors playing at home on Thursday night. Betting the Warriors moneyline or giving the 3.5 points is a prudent play, yet when adding in the over, the odds jump above 2/1, making for an enticing value.

In nine playoff games at home this year, Golden State is averaging 118 points scored. In total, only six of the Warriors’ 16 postseason games have stayed below this mark, with only two postseason Warriors games staying beneath 200 total points.

Though Boston’s defense is stingy, both teams are well rested and ready for this series to start with a bang. The over is the right move on Thursday.

Jordan Poole over 15.5 points {ODDS:943672408:1.90}

I espoused plenty of optimism for Poole’s scoring in this series when I previewed the Finals, so I’ll put my money where my mouth is in Game 1.

Poole is averaging over 18 points per game in the playoffs and has been a key cog as a secondary playmaker in Steve Kerr’s offense. There could be skepticism that he’d struggle against Boston on the defensive end, faced with guarding the Celtics longer wings. Steve Kerr’s defense rarely leaves players on an island defensively, always rotating with Draymond Green quarterbacking the necessary changes.

If Poole’s defense is sound enough to keep him on the court, he should clear this number. I also like his chances to top 20 points, which Betway is offering at +210.

Stephen Curry over 3.5 three-pointers made {ODDS:943672464:1.80}

This has the feeling of a sucker’s bet, intended for the general watching public tuning in to see Curry raining threes throughout the NBA Finals. Looking at his numbers, however, there’s value in the over here.

In the 2022 postseason, Curry is averaging 3.8 made deep balls per game while shooting just 38 per cent from outside the arc, well below his career mark of 42 per cent. He’s due to start heating up and he always seems to do so in the NBA Finals. In 28 career games in the NBA Finals, Curry has averaged 4.3 made threes per game.

Curry has drained more than 3.5 threes in 17 of his career 28 games in the championship round. In front of a packed home crowd, he’s a good bet to do so again tonight.

Kevon Looney under 2.5 assists {ODDS:943672397:1.83}

Golden State loves to share the ball and Looney has become a fixture for the later stages of the Warriors’ teams in recent years. He’s a heady player who knows how to find an open teammate and he’s often passing to an elite shooter. Yet Golden State isn’t relying on Looney’s passing in any capacity to help spark offense. His assist numbers from game to game fluctuate at random.

In recent weeks he’s had a fluky number of assists, topping 2.5 assists in four of Golden State’s last six games. But in those seven games, he’s averaged just 3.3 assists. In the ten postseason games before that, Looney dished only 1.2 assists per night and topped 2.5 just twice (both of which were just three-assist games).

This number has inflated thanks to a recent boon of assists but I expect it to drop and stay under tonight.