NBA Finals Betting Odds & Picks: Best Bets for Warriors vs. Celtics Game 6 (June 16)

NBA Finals Betting Odds & Picks: Best Bets for Warriors vs. Celtics Game 6 (June 16) article feature image

Jim Poorten/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics before Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Finals.

  • Game 6 of the NBA Finals is a must-win for the Boston Celtics, who face elimination at home against the Golden State Warriors.
  • Our NBA experts have four angles on what could be the last game of the season.
  • Find their best bets for Warriors vs. Celtics Game 6 below.

The Golden State Warriors are on the brink of clinching another NBA championship, while the Boston Celtics look to push a third consecutive series to a seventh game. The Celtics finally had their streak of bounce back wins in the postseason snapped after a loss in Game 5, but they are in a favorable spot at home.

Our team of NBA experts see value in four bets ahead of Thursday's elimination game, including the first half spread and the Celtics team total for the game. Find their analysis and picks for Game 6 of the NBA Finals below.

NBA Odds & Picks

Click on a pick to skip ahead
First Half Spread
Derrick White Player Prop
Marcus Smart Player Prop
Celtics Team Total

Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics

Celtics -1.5 1H (-125)
9 p.m. ET

Brandon Anderson: The signals still point to a Celtics bet, but I'm a little shook after the last couple games. Boston's offense is failing at the worst time, constantly giving the ball away, and credit Golden State's outstanding defense.

Still, the Celtics coming home should help with some of their issues. Role players typically play better at home, and Boston's bench was useless last game. Fouls trend toward the home team too, so maybe the Celtics get a bigger free throw advantage, and Golden State's two worst turnover rates in the Finals were both on the road.

Look, all of the reasons I bet Boston in Game 5 are still there. The Celtics are still 12-2 straight up and ATS after a loss since Jan. 29, including 7-1 in the playoffs. The Warriors are still only 4-7 ATS after a playoff win, and just 1-5 ATS when that game is on the road. Those trends all felt better before Game 5, considering we just added a "1" in all the wrong columns, but they still strongly point toward Boston.

Still, I'm a little shook. Boston looks shook too. I don't trust the Celtics to have anything left in the tank in the fourth quarter the way the rotations are going, and I don't trust Boston against that Warriors third quarter barrage. So I'm staying away from the whole game. But I'll back Boston for a half.

Boston has been an outstanding first-half team. When the Celtics are good, we usually know immediately. And those trends hold. Boston is 7-1 ATS in the first half after a loss in the playoffs, covering by 10.3 PPG, and 16-7 in the first half all postseason.

The Warriors are 3-8 SU/ATS in the first half after a win. That includes an ugly 0-3 in a trio of road closeout games, losing the halves by 11, 27, and 15. Teams coming off a loss facing elimination at home in Game 6 are 13-5 ATS in the first half the last five postseasons, including 4-1 this year.

I don't fully trust Boston enough to wait out the whole game, but I'll trust them for a half, at home with everything on the line.

If you want to be aggressive, you can bet Boston to lead at the half and win the game at +115 at DraftKings, gaining value on the moneyline. Or you can play Boston -9.5 in the first half at +270 at FanDuel if you think the Warriors come out flat and trail by double digits at the half, like they have in their three other road closeout games.

Either way, let's put our faith in Boston one more time … at least for a half.

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Derrick White Under 1.5 3-pointers (-110)

Joe Dellera: Derrick White had that hot stretch in Miami where he made multiple 3s that extended into Game 1 but we’ve seen his minutes drop a bit – especially in Game 5. Additionally, his attempts are dropping from eight in the first game to four, three, five, and three the following games.

Overall, White is not a particularly good shooter — he’s shooting 31.2% from behind the arc on the season and if we look at the playoffs — 32.1% overall from deep. Over the course of the playoffs he has only made more than one 3-pointer in seven of his 22 games (32%) and is averaging just 1.2 3s per game on 3.7 attempts.

Considering this is an elimination game, the Celtics will play their starters even more than usual. White is playing off the bench and already has the second worst Plus/Minus in the series in at -7.2.

I expect to see his minutes continue to fall, and it's more likely for him to replicate his Game 5 performance of 21 minutes and one point scored on just four shots than to see him make multiple 3s.

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Marcus Smart, Over 15.5 PTS (-118) | Over 19.5 PTS (+230)

Anderson: I thought Marcus Smart would be an X-factor coming into the Finals, an aggressive playmaker on both ends, and he's lived up to expectations so far. Smart probably isn't going to cash my long-shot Finals MVP bet, but he's been just as aggressive and involved offensively as I expected.

Smart is averaging 16.4 PPG in the Finals, and that's all the more impressive when you remember that two-point dud in Game 2. He's averaging 20.0 PPG in the other four with at least 18 points in all four of them.

And the truth is that that's nothing new against the Warriors. Smart has a history of playing aggressively on offense in this matchup. In his last five Warriors games before these Finals, he averaged 18.2 PPG with 3.8 made 3s per game. That puts him at 17.3 PPG now over his last 10 Warriors games, and he's scored at least 18 points against Golden State in six of seven games this year.

Even better, Smart's numbers have also ballooned after losses this postseason. He's the heart and soul of this team, and he's one guy who's never afraid to shoot when this offense goes stagnant — for better and for worse. In six playoff games after a loss this postseason, Smart is averaging 21.8 PPG, with at least 18 points in every single one of them. Those post-loss lines have been consistently strong: 18, 21, 24, 24, 24, and 20 points.

This line actually opened at 16.5 after inching up the last few games, but it's back to 15.5 now and I'm playing Smart yet again. I would've played at 16.5 too, and you know I'm also looking at some alternate lines.

Smart is +150 to score 18-plus at DraftKings. Remember, he's done that in 6-of-6 games after a playoff loss and 6-of-7 against the Warriors this year. He's +230 to hit 20 points at FanDuel, and he's +425 to top 22.5 points at Bet365. Bet just the standard line, bet a favorite alt, or play a little at each level for a Game 6 escalator bet.

However you play it, make sure you bet on Smart coming out aggressive and getting his shots up in a must-win game.

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Celtics Under 106.5 (-110)

Matt Moore: If there’s a lesson to take for us Boston bettors from Game 5, 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 — it was a phenomenal game script for the Celtics 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 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.

There are three 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.

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