It’s been 217 days since the Warriors and Celtics shared the floor at TD Garden.
That matchup ended in celebration for Golden State, which captured yet another NBA title. It was heartbreak for Boston.
The C’s, winners of seven in a row, own the best record in the league and have been dominant on their home floor this season. The Dubs enter Thursday’s contest at .500 with a dismal road record. These teams were in similar situations when they met in San Francisco in December and the Warriors won, 123-107. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 66 points in the win and Jayson Tatum finished with 18 points, his second-lowest output of the year.
Jaylen Brown, who led Boston in scoring with 31 points in the loss to Golden State, is questionable with a groin injury. He’s missed the last three games and scored a season-high 41 points last time out. The Warriors will be without James Wiseman (ankle), Jonathan Kuminga (foot), Ja Mychal Green (leg) and Andre Iguodola (hip).
The Celtics are a 5.5-point favorite at home and have been favored in every game at TD Garden this season. Boston was a 2.5-point road favorite in the first meeting.
Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics Odds
Times: 7:30pm ET | TNT extension
Spreads: Warriors +5.5 (-110) | Celtics -5.5 (-110)
Moneylines: GS (+188) | BOS (-225)
Total: 238.5 — Over (-110) | Under (-110)
Warriors Betting Profile
Straight Up Record: 22–22
Against The Spread Record: 20–23-1
Over/Under Records: 26–17–1
Points Per Game (Rank): 117.5 (4)
Points Allowed Per Game (Rank): 117.9 (26)
Celtics Betting Profile
Straight Up Records: 33–12
Against The Spread Record: 26–19
Over/Under Records: 22–21–2
Points Per Game (Rank): 118.8 (2)
Points Allowed Per Game (Rank): 112.3 (11)
Spread Bets: Celtics -5.5 (-110)
This pick hinges on whether Brown plays. He was the best player for the C’s earlier in the year against the Warriors and that was the case consistently during the Finals, as well. Boston won its last three without Brown, who’s in the midst of a career year, but against questionable competition—the nets sans Kevin Durant and the Hornets twice.
Both teams enjoyed two full days of rest ahead of this marquee game. Golden State last played Monday in Washington, DC, the third leg of its five-game road trip. The Warriors won that contest, 127-118, behind 41 from Curry, who returned from a shoulder injury just last week. The Celtics wrapped up their brief road trip Monday in Charlotte in a game where Tatum finished with 51 points.
Against the top-rated offense in the NBA, Golden State’s defense presents a liability, especially if Brown is on the court. It held up in the first meeting, in large part due to Tatum’s poor performance. And the edge that the Warriors hold in most every matchup beyond the three-point line is largely neutralized by the Celtics’ outside shooting, which is on par with their own.
If Brown is ruled out, take the Dubs plus the points. If he’s active, bet on Boston to even the series.
There is one strange but notable stat worth pointing out for either side: The Celtics are 1–7 against the spread (ATS) on two to three days rest this season, the second-worst mark in the league. The Warriors are 6–5 in such games.
Keep that in mind and keep an eye on Brown’s status.
Over/Under Bets: Over 237.5 (-110)
The expectation is fireworks when these two offenses take the court, evidenced by this sky-high total. The over has hit in Golden State’s last four games and its offense scored at least 125 in each contest. It’s hit less frequently for Boston of late, though 248 points were scored in its last game. These teams combined for 230 in December and that was on an off night for Tatum and the offense at large.
Both teams are in the top five in points per game and they rank first and second in three-pointers made per game. What’s more, in 21 away games this season for the Warriors, the over has hit 16 times (with one push), the highest rate in the league. And in the same number of home games for the Celtics, the over has hit 14 times (with one push), tied for the third-highest rate in the NBA.
This is the perfect storm for a shootout.
Prop Bet: Klay Thompson Under 3.5 Assists (-105)
This feels like a mispriced prop more than anything. Close to even odds on Thompson, who averages just 2.5 assists per game for the season and less for his career than him? Sign me up. This is, of course, a low total to clear and a few easy looks or dishes to Curry in the first quarter could turn this into a sweat (or loss) rather quickly. And Thompson actually went over this total in each of his last two games with four pieces. But those games are outliers for his season-long assist numbers. Against Boston earlier in the year he shot 26 times and finished with two assists. Expect more than that for Thompson, who’s had the hot hand in January.
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