The Boston Celtics will host the Golden State Warriors for Game 3 of their best-of-seven NBA Finals series, which is tied at a game apiece on Wednesday night.
Here are a few game props to consider.
Winning Margin – Boston Celtics by 1-5 (+400)
I find myself in the Celtics win but may not cover camp. This prop fits the bill (Celtics 3.5-point favorites). Over the course of the year, the Celtics are 31-16 when favored at home but a less than inspiring 20-26-1 against the spread. In the postseason, Boston sports a 5-4 home record (4-5 ATS) but is an impressive 6-0 overall following a loss.
Golden State was 8-10 on the road as an underdog (9-9 ATS). In this year’s playoffs, the Warriors are 3-4 on the road (2-5 ATS), defeating the Denver Nuggets by five, Memphis Grizzlies by one, and Dallas Mavericks by nine.
The Celtics’ resilience following a loss and playing in front of their raucous home crowd makes Golden State somewhat tough to take outright. Still, I can see them covering in what should be another hotly contested matchup.
Pick: Celtics – Winning Margin 1-5 (+400)
Halftime/Final – Golden State Warriors/Boston Celtics (+500)
Playing at home, one can certainly imagine the Celtics breathing fire at the outset and Golden State looking to weather an early onslaught. Should Golden State avoid an early Boston run, I like the Warriors’ chances to head to the break with the lead.
During the regular season, the Celtics averaged 54.1 points in the first half, 25th league-wide, while Golden State averaged 54.5 points on the road in the first 24 minutes.
Though a great deal has been written about the Warriors’ ownership of the third quarter in their playoff history (including this series), it is essential to note that during the regular season, Golden State and Boston ranked sixth and seventh, respectively, in third-quarter scoring, with a mere 0.2 points per game separating them.
In my view, Boston ekes out a victory in Game 3, rallying in the second half.
Pick: Golden State/Boston Halftime/Final (+500)
Race to 30 – Golden State (+125)
I prefer to place this type of wager on the earlier portion of the game, avoiding the risk that can develop as the game goes on. With that said, I like Golden State to come out firing, weathering the likely chaotic opening minutes. The race to 30 has been won in the opening quarter in the first two games of the series and easily could have gone either way. I expect more of the same Wednesday and see value with the Warriors at +125.
Pick: Race to 30 – Golden State (+125)