The Warriors and Celtics are tied at 1-1 in the 2022 NBA Finals and Game 3 on Wednesday night in Boston will prove to be the most pivotal game yet.
Here are the three best bets to make ahead of that game.
CELTICS MONEYLINE (-160)
Let’s start with the outright winner of Game 3. Despite the Celtics only being 5-4 at home in these playoffs, I still like the C’s to win Game 3 in Boston. After making all the right adjustments in Game 1, the Celtics had too many defensive breakdowns in Game 2. Look for head coach Ime Udoka and his staff to make the necessary adjustments. Usually, in a series of this magnitude, the role players for the home team play better and contribute more. The fans at TD Garden also will play a major role in making their presence felt. The energy in the arena will be too much for the Warriors to overcome.
UNDER 212.5 POINTS (-115)
For Boston to take control of this series, I think it will need to control the pace of play. That is why the under 212.5 total is a good bet for Game 3. The Celtics must limit turnovers offensively, and on defense, they need to slow down the Warriors’ fast-paced, 3-point chucking offense. In two games for the Celtics, we haven’t seen both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum in the scoring groove at the same time. In Game 1, Tatum struggled to put the ball in the basket while Brown sparked a comeback. In Game 2, Tatum got back on track with 28 points, but Brown shot poorly from the floor.
Look for both stars to assert themselves in Game 3, which could take some scoring responsibilities out of the role players’ hands. Outside of Stephen Curry, the Warriors don’t seem to have a consistent second scorer. The under has been a familiar betting trend between these two teams. The total has hit the under in 12 of their last 15 meetings.
EXACT GAME SERIES FINISH: 7 GAMES (+135)
You usually can figure out the ebb and flow of a series after a few games. The only thing that I’ve figured out so far in these NBA Finals is that I’m more confident in my original seven-game forecast. I grabbed the Celtics in seven as my original ticket when this series was announced. Now, I’m going to double down with an exact game series finish bet of seven games at +135. This bet cashes no matter who ends up hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy should the series go the distance.
So far, this series has played out like a heavyweight fight. Both teams have tried to establish what they do stylistically, and both have one win show for it. Game 3 will be crucial because whoever wins will continue to stay a step ahead of the opponent. There is no doubt Golden State will be looking to steal a game at TD Garden. Although I’m betting that it won’t be Game 3, I do ultimately think the Warriors will get one in Boston as the series continues. That’s why this has all the makings of a classic NBA Finals seven-game series.