Kicking off the 2022 NBA Finals in San Francisco where the Golden State Warriors host the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Championship Series on Thursday.
Golden State has been waiting a while to see which counterpart will come out of the East after wrapping up the Western Conference Finals on May 26. Boston once again needed seven games to advance and will have three full days off to travel, rest and prepare before Game 1, earning 3.5 points on the road.
Check out our free NBA picks and predictions for the Celtics at Warriors on June 2.
Celtics vs Warriors Game 1 odds
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The bookmakers opened Golden State as a 3.5-point home favorite going into Game 1, with that gap briefly dropping to -4 before falling back to -3.5 (-112) at some stores. The total reached 211.5 points, fell to 210.5 before returning to the original number.
Use the live odds widget above to track all future line moves up to the warning and be sure to check all NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.
Celtics vs Warriors Game 1 Predictions
Predictions made on 05/31/2022 at 2:00 PM ET.
Click on each prediction to go to the full analysis.
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Celtics vs Warriors Game Info 1
• Location: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
• Date: Thursday, June 2, 2022
• Trick: 9:00 p.m. ET
Celtics vs Warriors NBA Finals Odds
Celtics vs Warriors Game 1 betting preview
Celtics: No injuries to report.
Warriors: Gary Payton II PG (Likely), Otto Porter Jr. F (Doubtful), Andre Iguodala SF (Doubtable), James Wiseman C (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend you need to know
The Warriors are 24-8-1 ATS in their last 33 home games against a team with a winning road record. Find more NBA betting trends for the Celtics vs. Warriors.
Celtics vs Warriors Game 1 Picks and Predictions
Our side and total predictions are based on our analysis of the line and total in this match. Our best bet is our preferred choice in all markets.
The Celtics showed great heart and winning ability on the road during the playoffs, but I’m a little confused about the Game 1 spread. Before we even dive into the nitty-gritty of the subject between these two clubs, there are obvious edges in this first game for the Warriors on the surface.
Golden State has the rest advantage after wrapping up the Western Finals in five games and overall is a healthier team in terms of primary rotation. The Dubs have the advantage of experience entering the series with a host of veteran players who won’t be blindsided by the bright lights of the Finals. And, at least for the first two games, the Warriors have home-court advantage, with the Celtics having to cross the country and face a Chase Center crowd that rivals the old Oracle Arena in terms of volatility this postseason.
All these angles and edges added together are only 3.5 points?
If the Celtics are going to turn the field home in the Finals, Game 1 is the place. After a grueling seven-game streak that took its toll on the C’s all-stars, Thursday is probably the healthiest we’ve seen this Boston team since before they fought the Bucks.
So while I think that Game 1 gap should be more in the Warriors -5.5 range, I could see the bettors giving the Celtics a fighting chance given how they’ve been playing away (7-2 SU and 8-1 ATS) and the fact that pivot players like Marcus Smart and Robert Williams have had time to recover from nagging injuries.
Scratching past those surface factors, however, Golden State has more ways to win or at least can make easier adjustments if its bread-and-butter methods don’t work.
Boston needs young stars Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown to step up to the challenge every night against a defense nearly as stingy as theirs. Let’s not forget that Steve Kerr’s 2021-22 campaign is all about defense, with the Dubs ranked just behind the Celtics in defensive standings during the regular season.
Kerr could have three vital defensive pieces heading into the Finals, with Gary Payton Jr., Otto Porter and Andre Iguodala on course to return, putting them alongside stalwart starters Draymond Green, Kevin Looney and Andrew Wiggins. That’s a lot of fresh-legged defenders to throw at the Celtics’ stars.
The Warriors have a depth advantage over Boston, which Miami also had in the Eastern Finals before Tyler Herro was injured and Kyle Lowry’s ailments rendered him useless. Golden State still relies on Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to lead the charge, but has capable backup players like Wiggins and Jordan Poole who can pick up a game if the vets have a bad night.
Boston’s last two opponents relied on a single primary source of buckets and lacked a consistent second scorer to share the load. Giannis Antetokounmpo was missing the injured Khris Middleton, and Jimmy Butler had no choice but to score 40 a night to keep the Heat viable. The Warriors, however, have options – not just on who scores but how they score.
The Bucks and Heat posted assist percentages of just 51.4% and 54.5% against Boston, with Antetokounmpo and Butler receiving the ball and everyone else watching. Golden State has you working your ass on defense with plenty of ball movement and action away from the basketball, relying on screens and cuts to achieve a best-ever 66.9% assist rate. playoffs. Points can come from anywhere.
This is the Finals game the league wanted, the fans wanted and the bettors wanted. Hopefully it lives up to the hype and doesn’t go the way of the explosive games we’ve seen in the playoffs. Boston has its best chance to steal a road win in Game 1, but I feel like we’re getting a discount on the Dubs at -3.5.
Prediction: Warriors -3.5 (-110 at PointsBet)
Covers NBA betting analysis
Perhaps the most important factor in this series is which team can get rid of their chronic case of “butter fingers” first.
The Celtics and Warriors have struggled with turnover issues throughout the playoffs, with Boston coughing up the ball 15.3 times per game in the Eastern Finals, which totaled 17.1 points against turnover. Golden State wasn’t as bad against the Mavericks in the Western Finals, but threw up the ball 18.2 times per game against Memphis in the Conference Semifinals, costing them 20.3 points per exit.
These turnovers can result in easy points on the other end, but also hurt the team’s overall attacking flow. If the two teams trade turnover issues in Game 1, they will cancel each other out on the scoreboard but give the Under bettors the advantage in terms of disrupting scoring rhythms for two teams that can get hot.
Golden State won’t have as much of an easy time scoring buckets against Boston as it did against Dallas, which protected the perimeter but pretty much gave the Warriors clean air on the inside with no real rim protector. Williams serves as an inside guard for the Cs, using his length and athleticism to switch shots and secure defensive rebounds. Golden State, which possessed a 58.9 percent effective field goal rate last series, also possessed the offensive boards and added 14.4 second-chance points per outing against Dallas.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Golden State come out stale to start Game 1. While the Warriors have the rest advantage, that can sometimes leave a team rusty or passive – especially against an enemy fresh out of the intensity of the game. a do-or -dice game.
As we’ve seen so far in Golden State, this offense needs a bit of time to get going (54.4 pts 1H vs. 60.1 pts 2H). As for the Celtics, NBA Finals jitters and a feeling process of that Dubs defense could also keep the points low in the first 12-24 minutes. That sets the stage for the Under backers, who can be a little uncomfortable in the second half when things pick up.
Prediction: Less than 211.5 (-110 at PointsBet)
While obviously things look stacked against Boston in terms of rest, experience and location, this Celtics team is perfectly capable of stealing a Game 1 win on the road. I don’t think that will be the case.
Golden State is a perfect 9-0 SU inside Chase Center this postseason and owns a 40-10 overall record on the year ahead of the Bay Area faithful. Of course, one of those home losses came at the hands of the Celtics in March, but Curry was injured in the second quarter and Wiggins was also out.
It might just be my memory or my individual betting habits, but I often find myself betting on the Warriors moneyline instead of placing the runs when the spread throws me a curve ball. And, as mentioned, this line from Game 1 looks about two points lower than expected.
As it stands, the Dubs aren’t a great choice in point spread as a small favorite, going just 7-5-1 ATS while giving -3.5 or less this year. They are 9-4 SU in these close contests, however. We saw that bubble rise like a 2.5 point road chalk in Game 1 against Memphis: a 117-116 win in which I broke the point spread and stayed true to Golden’s moneyline State.
We’ll do the same on Thursday, looking for the lowest odds on the home side and hoping for an exciting start to the NBA Finals.
Take: Moneyline Warriors (-160 at PointsBet)
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