The Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors tip off their NBA Finals matchup on Thursday (9 p.m. ET, ABC). Fans and bettors alike have plenty to look forward to as these two well-rounded foes vie for the Larry O’Brien trophy. Bettors have plenty of odds to consider for wagers. For this exercise, however, we’re focused on NBA Finals Game 1 props and highlighting the stars of the series.
We’re taking more of an ‘under’ approach to Game 1, which will factor into our props analysis. Both teams bring top tier defensive play to the mix, and there will almost certainly be an adjustment period as they acquire a deeper feel for one another.
Bettors should keep it locked onto Gaming Today as we’ll continue to provide updated odds and analysis as the NBA Finals unfold. Whether it’s game-by-game insight and promising prop plays or a source for easy-to-compare odds from the industry’s top sportsbooks, Gaming Today will have you covered.
Celtics vs. Warriors Game 1 Odds
Celtics vs. Warriors Prop Bets
Stephen Curry ‘Over’ 5.5 Assists (-120, FanDuel)
Opposing defenses make slowing Curry their primary focus night in, night out. They’re often unsuccessful, but they also don’t have Marcus Smart and the league’s top defensive rating. Smart, the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, will be tasked with making life hell for Curry, but he won’t be left on an island. They’ll throw a lot of size and athleticism at the All-World point guard. The lean to the ‘over’ in this spot is based on the idea that Curry will more than willingly distribute the rock when necessary. He’s reached six-plus assists in eight of 16 postseason games and in each of his last three.
Jayson Tatum ‘Over’ 7.5 Rebounds (-105, BetMGM)
Tatum hasn’t been as greedy on the glass during the playoffs (6.7 per game) as he was during the regular season (8.0). However, he’s gone ‘over’ eight boards in his last four, and the NBA Finals is his time to shine across all facets of the game. Not only has he hit the ‘over’ in his last four, but he’s snatched double-digit rebounds in two of those. The Warriors showed off their top-of-the-line offensive efficiency during postseason play, but if there’s a game for Tatum to get busy on the boards, it may be this opening stanza.
Jaylen Brown ‘Over’ 3.5 Assists (+125, DraftKings)
Brown’s regular and postseason assist averages were 3.5, right on the number. He’s hit the ‘over’ in two straight after staying below that mark for several games. Our lean in this spot is more about his (very) recent form and the type of effort it will take from the Celtics as a whole if they have thoughts on stealing Game 1. Brown’s 26.4 percent usage rate trails only Tatum (29.9), so he’ll see plenty of the ball, and he’s talented enough overall to make the right plays throughout the game. His teammates will need to show up in a tough road environment, but in an isolated game, four dimes isn’t too much to ask from a player of Brown’s caliber.
Klay Thompson ‘Under’ 20.5 Points (-115, BetMGM)
Thompson is coming off a strong 32-point outing on 12-of-25 shooting from the field, including eight of 16 from three. However, those types of performances have been few and far between during the postseason. It’s certainly possible that Thompson finds his stroke this series as he continues to inch back to his peak, pre-injury form. But he’s struggled with both inefficiency — he’s shot below 40 percent five times — and lack of volume — he’s attempted 15 or fewer shots seven times throughout the playoffs. He’ll need to deliver better performances in both departments against what will likely be the best defense the Warriors have faced this offseason. Another factor in consideration for the ‘under’ is Thompson’s modest work from the charity stripe. He’s averaging a mere 1.3 attempts from the free throw line.
Celtics vs. Warriors Same-Game Parlay
Celtics +4, Under 212.5, Andrew Wiggins Over 15.5 (+745, FanDuel)
$100 wager = $745.98 in winnings
The Celtics have the pieces to give the Warriors everything they can handle — size, versatility, a superstar duo, etc. That may not equate to a victory in Game 1, but getting four points makes them an attractive piece of this three-leg parlay. They’ll also bring the league’s stingiest defense to the series. Well, co-stingiest, because they tied with the Warriors for top defensive rating during the regular season. If these two defenses are able to sink their teeth into one another to open the series, it won’t be a surprise to see a few more shots clank off the iron, ultimately resulting in a total that falls below the 212.5 mark set at FanDuel. Finally, if one is buying the idea that Curry will be under siege in this opening contest, it may be up to Andrew Wiggins (or Jordan Poole) to pick up some of the scoring slack.
Bettors should keep in mind that parlay bets, while a lot of fun, are heavily in the sportsbooks’ favor. It’s tempting to chase plus-money profits, but there’s a reason multi-leg parlay wagers draw such long odds.
Also read: NBA Championship Odds 2022