Warriors Have Edge In Finals Game 1

The Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics meet Thursday at Chase Center in San Francisco in what has the potential to be a long and competitive NBA Finals. Boston has a strong shot of winning the championship series, but the odds favor Golden State in Game 1 for good reason.

The Warriors are four-point favorites at FanDuel Sportsbook in Game 1. In a matchup of the league’s top two defenses, the betting total is 212.5.

Golden State is the more rested team, having a full week off after eliminating the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals. The Miami Heat pushed the Celtics to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals Sunday night, during which Boston survived with a 100-96 victory on the road.

Boston would likely’ve benefited from a few more off-days. Robert Williams and Marcus Smart, the Celtics’ two All-Defense selections, dealt with injuries in the conference finals. Williams seemed particularly limited by his knee injury in Game 7, putting up just two points, three rebounds and no blocks.

Under head coach Steve Kerr, Golden State usually opens each series strong. Since 2015, the Warriors are 21-2 in Game 1s. In 2022, Golden State is 3-0 in series openers. The Warriors won both of their home Game 1s by a combined 41 points.

The Warriors are a perfect 9-0 at home this postseason. Golden State finished second in the regular season with a 31-10 home record. They were last defeated at Chase Center in March.

The Celtics have gotten off to slow starts in the playoffs, losing each of their last two season openers by double digits. In order to sweep the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, Boston needed a last-minute comeback in Game 1 that concluded with Jayson Tatum’s improbable game-winning layup as time expired.

The Celtics’ defense has been outstanding for five months. The unit should at least keep Boston in the game for much of the way.

Throughout the playoffs, Boston has been inconsistent with ball possession and the offense has often struggled to create quality shots. If the 3-pointers aren’t falling early, it could be a long night for the Celtics.

Game 1 Prediction: Warriors over Celtics, 108-100

Best Bets: Warriors -4, Under 212.5


Golden State Warriors

Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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