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NBA Finals Betting Odds, Predictions: Angles and Analysis for Warriors vs. Celtics Game 6

NBA Finals Betting Odds, Predictions: Angles and Analysis for Warriors vs. Celtics Game 6 article feature image

Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics during Game 3 of the 2022 NBA Finals.

If trends that have held through consistently are going to break, they will sometimes all break at once.

So was the case in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

If you were betting trends:
Warriors have been worse ATS after wins than losses: ❌
The Celtics were undefeated after losses in the postseason: ❌
The Celtics were 15-6 in the 2nd quarter ATS in the playoffs: ❌
The Warriors were 13-7 ATS in the 3rd quarter: ❌
The Celtics were 13-9 ATS in the 4th quarter: ❌
Stephen Curry had not had a playoff game without a 3-pointer made: ❌
The Warriors were 14-31 when Curry scored fewer than 20 points in the playoffs: ❌
The Celtics were 9-3 straight up and ATS after committing 15 or more turnovers in these playoffs: ❌

But hey there’s this:
The Warriors were 13-4 straight up in Game 5’s under Steve Kerr: ✅

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Boston was on the road in Game 5, a tough environment. They’re clearly exhausted, with their starters having played heavy minutes for way more games than the Warriors’ have.

If there’s a lesson to take for us Boston bettors from Game 5, though, it’s this: you just can’t trust the Celtics.

Boston should have won that game: Curry did not have a 3-pointer and the Warriors shot 41% and made just nine 3s. This was a phenomenal game script for Boston and they just literally threw it away. The Celtics missed 10 free throws (shooting just 67.7%) and gave up 22 points off turnovers in a game they lost by 10. That’s your ballgame.

The Warriors absolutely deserve credit for speeding up, disorienting and disrupting the Celtics. This was the first possession.

This was the third:

Just the bobbles, the discomfort. The Celtics were never really comfortable outside of the third quarter (the one quarter they have been destroyed in this series and throughout the playoffs, thanks for that).

So as we head into Game 6, you have the Celtics, who have won when they have absolutely needed to, at home, against a team that they went up 2-1 on and who they have honestly held in check offensively. You also have the Celtics, who repeatedly find ways to soil themselves in key situations offensively and, at this point, cannot be trusted.

If there’s a side to this game, it’s absolutely Boston. Boston lost after a loss for the first time, but their trend of snapping back continues. They’re back at home and closeout games are extremely difficult.

The Celtics know their problems are correctable — avoidable even — and the defensive scheme has held. Curry will not have another low-scoring game, let alone a game without a 3-pointer. But Boston has still found answers defensively.

This isn’t a good spot to bet Golden State. The Warriors have not been great after wins and, while they have figured out the Celtics to a degree, on the road in a closeout is just not a spot you want the Warriors in.

At the same time, I’m not betting Celtics. They do not deserve my trust. They have earned my distrust.

So what are the likely outcomes for this game?
1. The Warriors blow out an exhausted and solved Celtics team as Boston fails to score 100.
2. The Warriors edge the Celtics in a close defensive battle as the Celtics fail to score 100.
3. The Celtics narrowly win a rock fight in Game 6 behind a dominant defensive effort and some clutch buckets as they score under 105.

You see the pattern here.

The Celtics team total is 106.5. That’s a high number given that Boston has averaged just 103 points per game in five games. Let’s bet on the Celtics not being able to do what they have consistently been unable to do in this series, and that’s put up points.

Other plays:
Under 211: If I’m wrong and Boston puts up 110, there’s still a chance this goes under with a particularly bad Warriors performance. I have bet a little on this, but bear in mind that the over is actually 7-4 in Game 6s since 2003.

Otto Porter under 4.5 points. Porter is starting, but playing less than 15 minutes. He’s basically just a stopgap to keep the rest of the rotation where Kerr wants it. Porter needs to hit two 3s to get this in all reality. He’s gone over this twice in the series, but in the past two games he’s playing fewer minutes.

If you like the Celtics, definitely take Jayson Tatum over 6.5 assists. He’s gone comfortably over in both wins this series and there’s a strong correlation between Tatum not literally giving the Warriors the ball and a Celtics win and Tatum’s teammates converting assist chances and a Celtics win.

Andrew Wiggins over 26.5 points and rebounds. The line is juiced now, but Wiggins has been my consistent prop in this series on Heat Check. The Celtics have to give up something and are willing to give up Wiggins scoring chances.

The Celtics have to extend their defense to the perimeter and that opens up Wiggins rebounds. A 19-8 line is absolutely doable for him in this spot and the Warriors winning or losing has not dramatically affected his output.

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