Game: Boston Celtics @ Golden State Warriors
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Celtics +3.5, Warriors -3.5
The NBA Finals are finally here. Boston travels to Golden State tonight for Game 1. The two teams took different paths to get here. The Celtics had to go to a deciding Game 7 in two of their playoff series while the Warriors finished two series in five games and one in six. Boston just beat Miami in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday. Golden State hasn’t played since May 26.
The Warriors beat Denver, Memphis, and Dallas in order in the postseason without needing a single Game 7 to do so. Golden State, like Boston, has done it with a top-5 defense, but they have also averaged 118 points per game during the postseason. The Warriors are lighting it up shooting 49.3 percent from the field overall and better than 40 percent from three-point range at home for the season.
Boston has had experience in shutting down good shooting teams. The Celtics are coming off a series against Miami where they shut down the NBA’s best three-point shooting team. In their four wins over Miami in the Eastern Conference finals, the Celtics held the Heat to an average of 90 points per game. For the playoffs, Boston is allowing just 101 points per game. The Celtics will have to deal with Golden State’s pace. The Warriors have averaged four more field goal attempts per game than Boston during the postseason.
The big question heading into Game 1 is whether the fatigue of playing two seven-game series will affect Boston. Teams that win a Game 7 in the NBA playoffs typically do not do well in Game 1 of their next series. In the last 81 such occurrences in NBA playoff history, the Game 7 winner loses Game 1 of the next series 61 percent (32-49) of the time. Those teams don’t do that well in the next series either. Only 41 percent of those teams win their next series.
During the regular season, Boston and Golden State split two games. The road team won both. Boston is actually 6-1 SU in the last seven games between the two teams. The Celtics are also 4-1-1 ATS in those six games. Boston has covered the spread in 12 of its last 13 games overall. The Warriors have won their last 11 straight home games.
The Under is the trend for both teams and in the series between the two teams. The last 13 times Boston and Golden State have played, the Under has hit 11 times. In the last seven meetings at Golden State, the Under is a perfect 7-0. Tonight’s total is 212.5, which is lower than the totals from the regular season. That makes sense as Unders typically dominate the postseason. Golden State has a 20-28-2 O/U record at home this season. The last ten games between the Celtics and the Warriors have averaged a total of 213.8 points.