NBA Finals betting: Picks for Warriors vs Celtics Game 4
Shane McNichol makes his picks for Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics.
The 2022 NBA Finals are a perfect encapsulation as to the joys of a seven-game series to decide a champion. With each successive result in the series, the ensuing game suddenly has taken on greater importance.
Game 1, as always, set the tone for the series, giving Boston a leg-up and the home court advantage over the rest of the Finals. Game 2 then became a must-win for Golden State, faced with the potential of an 0-2 hole on the road.
Golden State’s win in Game 2 reset the series in many respects, opening up Game 3 to once again swing the advantage one way or the other.
With Boston’s win on Wednesday night, Game 4’s importance grew. A Boston win puts the Celtics on the precipice of a championship and the Warriors with their backs against the wall. A Golden State win evens the series, re-establishes home court advantage for the Warriors, and sends the series to San Francisco as a de facto best-of-three affair.
Here are my favorite bets for Game 4.
These teams are too evenly matched to see this series lean so heavily toward Boston after four games. The Celtics stole a game on the road early in this series and the Warriors find themselves needing to do the same here, and fully capable of doing so.
Turnover issues reared their head for Golden State in Game 3, leaving the always potent Warriors offense feeling listless. When Golden State takes care of the ball, the Warriors are positioned to put the stingy Boston defense into uncomfortable positions that lead to scoring chances. If the right shots go in, I like the Dubs to even the series.
Under 214.5 total points
I argued for the under in Game 3 and was just off, with the total eclipsing the mark by just 2.5 points in the game’s final seconds.
Many of the trends I mentioned in the argument for under in Game 3 still hold and look even more likely in Game 4, after both teams posted offensive ratings over 108 on Wednesday.
The 69-point second quarter in Game 3 is unlikely to recur in Game 4, making under the smarter bet for the game.
Stephen Curry to score 35+ points
This is Curry’s fifth trip to the NBA Finals. In his previous four appearances, he had a game of 35 or more points in three of those series. The fourth was just a five-game series in 2018, including a win over Cleveland in which he scored 34 points in the deciding game.
He scored 34 points in Game 1 of these Finals, yet appears due for a real breakout. If Golden State is going to steal a game on the road, it’s likely on the back of a red-hot performance from Curry.
It’s going to happen sooner or later in this series, so why not grab this bet while the odds are this favorable?
Jayson Tatum under 5.5 assists
So far in these Finals, Tatum is posting over eight assists per game, far outpacing his career average of 6.6 dimes per night. In Boston’s two prior series against Miami and Milwaukee, Tatum averaged just 5.5 assists per game.
Game 4 should be an opportunity for that stat to normalize and we should see some regression back to his typical production. I like the under here, especially with the shooting of some of his teammates also due to slip after hot starts to the series. Even if Tatum finds them open, Boston’s secondary scorers aren’t going to continue to shoot like they have through three games in this series.