NBA Finals betting: Picks for Warriors vs Celtics Game 3
Shane McNichol makes his picks for Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics.
After the Warriors and Celtics split the pair of games played in San Francisco, Game 3 of the NBA Finals takes on additional pressure. A 2-1 series advantage would be a massive boon to either club, putting them in position to capture a championship.
The atmosphere in Boston, hosting its first Finals game since 2010, should reflect that energy. Both teams have been active in the media this week, talking up the growing animosity between the two teams.
With a lot on the line, it’s an interesting spot for bettors hunting for value. These are my four favorite picks on the board.
Draymond Green under 2.5 blocks + steals
Green has been the talk of the week, thanks to his typically feisty play in Game 2 of this series. The rowdy Boston crowd should be more than ready to respond to his antics in kind Thursday night – with several members of the Celtics also talking a big game about responding to Green’s actions with physicality.
While he deservedly gets credit as a high level defender, Green isn’t stuffing the box score on that end of the floor. He has stayed beneath this number in 11 of his last 18 playoff games and five of his last six.
In his last 12 games this postseason, Draymond Green is averaging 0.7 steals and 0.8 blocks. With the Celtics ready for his act, and the referees likely turning a watchful eye, Green shouldn’t be expected to top this mark.
Otto Porter Jr. under 0.5 three-pointers made
Porter was a star for the Warriors in Game 1, sparking the lead that Golden State would end up squandering in the game’s final minutes. He made four of his five attempts from outside the arc in that game, but that looks like an anomaly.
In the playoffs, Porter is averaging 1.0 made 3-pointers, on 2.5 attempts per game. That’s good for 41 per cent shooting, higher than his 37 per cent during the regular season. He has failed to make a long ball in 10 of Golden State’s 18 playoff games, including the three games he was a healthy non-participant.
Having made five of his last six shots from beyond the arc, Porter’s due to run cold. On the road, I’ll run the risk and say he goes without a made bucket from deep.
Under 213 total points
With the series returning to Boston, the Celtics are going to be eager to put their stylistic stamp on this game, especially with the bubbling animosity being seen in the press during the lead up.
First year head coach Ime Udoka has built the NBA’s best defense, which has been a weapon for Boston throughout the playoffs – and a boon for under bettors.
The last six Celtics’ playoff games have averaged just 198.3 total points, with only one of those six games resulting in a final score totaling more than 214 points. In their home gym, with an extra day of rest, Boston should be positioned to continue that trend in Game 3.
Either team to win by 11-15
NBA fans have been itching for closer games during the later stages of the playoffs, with many bemoaning the schedule and the wear-and-tear on player’s bodies this late into the season.
In the last eight games across the playoffs, including Games 1 and 2 of the Finals, the average margin of victory has been 12 points. Only two of those eight games featuring single-digit margins and half of those games were decided by 10-13 points.
It may feel like a statistical quirk, but its also due to the nature of today’s NBA. Any blowout win can quickly get beneath 15 points thanks to some 3s in garbage time and many close games see their margin stretch to double digits as the trailing team gets desperate.
Given what we’ve seen this year during the postseason, these odds feel ripe for a nice payout.