I’ve stated many times for the record on both “NESN Lunch Line” (1 p.m. ET, daily on NESNBets.com) and “The Ultimate Betting Show” (5:30pm daily on NESN) that I’m betting on the Celtics to win the NBA Finals with the Warriors in seven games and capture their 18th NBA championship.
My belief is this Boston team’s toughness, defensive prowess, and size is being overlooked by the flashy style and star power of Golden State. If you agree with that sentiment, here are three bets you should consider in these NBA Finals.
CELTICS TO WIN THE SERIES +130
Let’s start with the outright winner of the series. There are several different ways to bet this scenario like the exact series finish. In that option, you could bet the Celtics or Warriors to win in however many games you predict it will take. You could even strictly bet how many games the series would go without choosing a side. But for this bet, let’s just take the Celtics to win the series outright at +130 (per DraftKings Sportsbook). Not only are you getting great value on a feisty underdog, but you are on the right side of history potentially. Based on preseason odds, Boston would become the biggest long shot to win the title in 35 years.
JAYSON TATUM OVER 28.5 PPG -105
Most of the talk surrounding this series has revolved around Steph Curry and for good reason. He’s one of the greatest players of all time and certainly the greatest shooter the game has ever seen. It’s hard to believe that he has never won the NBA Finals MVP award. Curry is the prohibitive favorite to win it now at +110. All the chatter surrounding Curry and the Warriors dynasty presents great value to bet on Jayson Tatum. For the Celtics to win this series, Tatum will need to average over 28.5 points per game. He has carried this team in the eastern conference playoffs, and you could have made a strong case for Tatum for MVP considerations as well in the regular season. The offense has and will continue to run through Tatum. The Warriors will try and devise a plan to stop him, but so has every team in the league and yet, Tatum continues to quietly get buckets.
JAYSON TATUM FINALS MVP +170
The Celtics wouldn’t even be close to this big stage without Tatum. While most people give him his just due as a scorer, I don’t believe Tatum gets the credit he deserves as the all-around, versatile player that he is. Tatum can fill up the stat sheet in this series comparable to what we’ve seen from LeBron James in Finals past. For example, in the Eastern Conference finals against the Heat, Tatum was dealing with a shoulder injury that caused him to only score 10 points in a Game 3 loss, yet he was still able to showcase his ability to do it all, averaging 25 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.9 blocks for the entire series. If the Celtics upset the Warriors, Tatum will have to utilize every part of his game to hoist that trophy.