History Tells Us to Fade the Public in the NBA Finals. Here's What That Means for Game 2.

Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals saw historically lopsided betting and, like usual, oddsmakers enjoyed a lopsided cleanup.

Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors saw an historic amount of bets come in on one side — and like usual, the public was wrong.

The Warriors opened as 3.5-point favorites and saw so much action (72% of bets) they moved to -4 before tip off. It was the largest public backing on a Game 1 of the NBA Finals since 2005, when our historical NBA data starts.

The books cleaned up as the Celtics took Game 1 in stunning fashion with a fourth-quarter comeback for the ages.

The public is now 8-10 against the spread on finals Game 1s and a miserable 39-55-1 ATS on all Finals games since 2005, according to data compiled from Bet Labs.

For reference, last July sportsbooks in Nevada kept about 8% of every dollar wagered on basketball games, almost double what it made off hockey, according to the state’s Gaming Control Board.

Celtics vs. Warriors Game 2 Odds

Celtics Odds +4
Warriors Odds -4
Over/Under 216
Date Sunday, June 5
Time 8 p.m. ET
Channel ABC

*Odds as of Friday morning

How does the public do in Game 2’s? About the same as Game 1’s.

Teams with more than 50% of bets are 7-9 in Game 2s and so far the action coming in on Sunday’s matchup shows the public isn’t deterred by its poor track record.

The Warriors are -4 favorites going into Game 2, once again the public’s backing them heavy — with over 77% of bets, according to the Action Network’s public betting data.

Despite the public’s belief in the Warriors they’re no longer the betting favorites to win the series.

After their Game 1 loss Thursday night, their championship odds to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy flipped from -165 to +140 on BetMGM. The Celtics, after opening up as +145 underdogs, are now -165 to win it all.