The Golden State find themselves in a crucial situation in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Down 2-1 to the Boston Celtics in the series, the Warriors need a win on the road to ties the series and avoid going back to San Francisco down 3-1.
Through three games, this series has seen wild swings in both directions and our NBA analysts have three angles — two plays on the over/under and two player props — they are betting in Game 4.
Find their analysis and best bets for Warriors vs. Celtics below.
NBA Odds & Picks
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Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics
|Pick||Under 214.5 (-110)|
|Tipoff||9 p.m. ET|
Brandon Anderson: Boston bounced back in Game 3 with a huge home win in which the Celtics mostly dominated throughout. The Warriors made their usual third quarter push and even took the lead, but it’s telling that Boston ducked that big run and even a seven-point play and still ended up coasting to a 16-point victory.
The Celtics continue to be nearly invincible after a loss, but they haven’t been as reliable after a win. Boston is just 3-7 SU after a win since its first-round sweep. The Celtics are at home and look like the better team, but that’s a troubling trend and makes it tough to play Boston here.
Meanwhile, Golden State is just 3-5 on the road in the playoffs now and Stephen Curry probably won’t be 100%, so that makes it tough to bet on the Warriors too. That’s why I’m avoiding both sides and playing a total instead. I’m tailing our totals expert Austin Wang and going under the 214.5 total.
This is a schedule play as much as anything else. The NBA Finals are extremely spaced out. There were three full days off for both teams before Game 1. There were two full days off before Games 2 and 3, and there will be two days off after each game going forward. The one exception is for Game 4, with only a Thursday off in between.
That means teams that are a bit more tired than usual. It’s also tough timing for Curry coming off that foot injury. Even if he plays as expected, could that cost him a few minutes on the court? Could it make him 5 or 10% less effective? Golden State has had little offense outside of Curry, so those little edges add up.
The short turnaround is bad news for Robert Williams too, who looked great in Game 3 but now plays on short rest. Boston has a 152 Offensive Rating in the Finals with Timelord on the court. They’re better on both ends when he’s a full go. Really, all the key players might be a bit less sharp and play slightly fewer minutes on the fast turnaround.
On top of that, it’s reasonable to expect regression from the insane shot making we’ve seen from both teams. The Warriors have hit 40% of their 3s for the series, and the Celtics are even better at 43%. Those numbers can only go in one direction, and it’s only reasonable to expect this Finals to tighten up as it goes on, as these elite defenses continue to find answers and grind this thing down.
I really don’t know who wins this one, so I’m not playing a side. Just give me the under instead.
|Pick||Under 214.5 (-110)|
Austin Wang: The fireworks came out again in Game 3. For three quarters, offenses were flowing, and the shots were falling with ease for both teams.
In the fourth quarter, the Celtics defense gained superpowers and the pace slowed considerably. Both teams scored a total of 34 points in the fourth for a final score of 216 that barely went over the closing total of 214.
I think that fourth quarter was telling. These are the top two defensive teams in the league and this series has been a physical battle. I expect the Warriors to respond back with an emphasis on defense after the Celtics scored so easily in Game 3.
With only a one-day turnaround between games, I think we will see some shooting regression and a slower-paced game between two fatigued teams. In addition, Stephen Curry is not 100% after suffering a leg injury in Game 3.
Since the 2012-13 season, the beginning of the Splash Brothers era, the total on Warriors games has gone 28-10-1 (73.7%) to the under following a playoff loss in a series game, per the SDQL.
The total has slightly increased to 214.5, in a move I do not agree with. Given the factors I explained above, I make this total at 212. I would play the under down to 213.
|Pick||Andrew Wiggins Over 5.5 rebounds (-122)|
Anderson: Somehow, Andrew Wiggins has quietly become Golden State’s second most reliable player in this run to the NBA Finals. Stephen Curry is doing a bit of everything, but with Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson running hot and cold and Draymond Green recording more podcasts than box score contributions lately, Wiggins has become Mr. Steady and Reliable.
Wiggins has become the ultimate role player and glue guy for a team that badly needed it, especially on the wing. He consistently scores around 16 to 20 points night in and night out and gets most of those points right within the flow of the offense, taking the open 3-pointer or taking advantage of a size mismatch in the post. He’s also become a reliable wing defender, obviously incredibly important against Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Along the way, Wiggins has become a terrific and reliable rebounder too. This hasn’t always been the case. Wiggins averages around four-and-a-half boards a game during the regular season in his career and has floated around that number his entire time in the league, but he’s stepped up his game with 6.8 RPG this postseason. Wiggins has at least five rebounds in all but two games, and those two saw super limited playing time in 30-point blowouts.
That puts a stable floor just one rebound away from an over with this low line that hasn’t adjusted up enough yet. Sure enough, when Wiggins plays at least 26 minutes this postseason — and he’s a lock to do that outside of injury or blowout, considering his value to the team — he’s gone over 5.5 boards in 12 of 16 games, hitting this prop 75% of the time (and missing by 0.5 in the other four).
Golden State was dominated physically in Game 3, and the Celtics racked up 16 more rebounds than the Warriors. Steve Kerr made a point of noting the rebounding difference, so you know that will be a priority.
Wiggins has been especially lethal on the offensive glass at times this postseason run. Those have been harder to come by with Boston playing more drop defense and locking up the paint, so I won’t go too crazy with alt overs here, though I do like the over 6.5 at +150 at Bet365.
He’s done that in nine of 16 (56%) of his playoff games with regular minutes, and that’s right about where I project him for Game 4.
|Pick||Andrew Wiggins Over 22.5 Points + Rebounds (-115)|
Matt Moore: Wiggins has hit this in two of three games and likely goes 3-0 if the Warriors aren’t in garbage time in the fourth of Game 2. I’m expecting the Warriors to bounce back but want to avoid props that are directly tied to a game outcome because I do think it’s a coin flip game.
To that end, Wiggins is the player who benefits most from the switching scheme that the Celtics use, because he can slip and cut after setting off-ball screens, the Celtics will dare him to shoot more, and his rebounding has been very strong in the playoffs (second on the team behind Kevon Looney).
I’m expecting a Celtics regression offensively, which will lead to more available rebounds for Wiggins. If anyone is going to step up and help an injured Stephen Curry, Wiggins is honestly more likely than Klay Thompson at this point (and that’s a YIKES for Golden State’s chances in the series).
As it stands, since Wiggins can hit this over in a win or a loss, I’ll play the over 22.5