As the series shifts to TD Garden in Boston, it’s the Celtics who are under pressure to regroup and respond with a full 48 minutes of mistake-free basketball. The Celtics have had some of their best games after losses this postseason and they are undefeated in the playoffs coming off a loss. Will that trend hold up in Game 3?
Our crew of NBA experts is betting Wednesday’s action in four different ways and sees value in the game spread, player props and more. Check out their analysis and best bets for Warriors vs. Celtics Game 3.
NBA Odds & Picks
|Click on a pick to skip ahead|
|First Half Spread|
|Stephen Curry Player Prop|
|Full Game Spread|
|Al Horford Player Prop|
|Full Game Spread|
Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics
|Pick||Celtics -2.5 1H|
|Tipoff||9 p.m. ET|
Austin Wang: The fatigue that many of us expected to see in Game 1 finally set in for the Celtics in Game 2.
As expected, the Warriors made adjustments on defense and the shooting regressed for the Celtics in Game 2. Both sides missed easy buckets and the game went under the total by a healthy margin. Jaylen Brown put up a dud with 17 points on 5-for-17 from the field after seeing a healthy dose of Draymond Green guarding him.
The Celtics have been resilient all season long. They are 13-1 straight up and 12-2 against the spread off a loss since the beginning of March. They are 6-0 SU and ATS in these playoffs alone and have not lost consecutive games in the playoffs.
Following a game this season where Brown shot 30% from the field or worse, the Celtics were 6-0 ATS, per the SDQL. The last couple of times he had a bad shooting performance, Brown and the Celtics were able to bounce back the following game.
On the other hand, the Warriors are 3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS on the road after a win in this season’s playoffs. They seem to have this same lack or urgency the Celtics do after a win.
I like Boston to come out strong early as they have many times in the playoffs. The Celtics are 13-7 1H ATS in the playoffs this season. The Warriors are 7-11 1H ATS. They are 2-5 1H ATS on the road. I’m betting on the Boston -2.5 1H and avoiding an inevitable Warriors third quarter run.
|Pick||Stephen Curry 2+ 1Q Assists & 2+ 1Q Rebounds Parlay|
Joe Dellera: In the Playoffs we see rotations change and deviate from the traditional splits during the regular season. Often times this means more minutes for starters and fewer for the reserves. One such player that this has effected is Stephen Curry.
Since Game 5 against the Denver Nuggets, Curry has played essentially every minute of the 1st Quarter compared to about 9.3 minutes during the regular season. This leads to an increase in not only usage but opportunities to crash the boards and create for his teammates.
Since the that Game 5 in Denver, Curry has averaged 2.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists in the 1st Quarter with 2 or more rebounds (-125) in 12/14 and 2 or more assists (-145) in 12/14. If you put these two props together at DraftKings, the odds are +165 and he has hit this 1Q parlay in 10/14 games including 7 consecutive.
This is a pretty niche market so if it’s not available to you there still is value to be had in the individual pieces — Caesars has those available — even if you cannot place the SGP.
Matt Moore: The Celtics are 6-0 straight up and ATS after a loss. They are 8-3 straight up and ATS after giving up 14 or more turnovers. They have responded when down.
The first two games genuinely reasserted to me that the Celtics are the better team. They have held the Warriors to a sub-100 offensive rating in the halfcourt and have really only suffered in transition.
Celtics head coach Ime Udoka had some wild stuff going on in Game 2. Daniel Theis? In a Warriors third quarter? Guarding Stephen Curry?
Boston has better punches to throw and the feeling I get both from watching the games and listening to postgame commentary is that the Celtics have saved those punches for later in the series.
They got the split in Game 1 without having to make any major adjustments, and chose not to reveal those countermoves
in Game 2, a low win probability spot to begin with. I’ll lay the points with Boston here.
|Pick||Al Horford Over 12.5 REB + AST (+104)|
Moore: Horford is averaging 14 rebounds and assists at home in the playoffs, and is facing a defense that is marginally worse than the Heat and Bucks defense they got past.
The Warriors went heavier with switches in Game 2, especially with Kevon Looney, which will open up more chances for Horford for offensive put backs. Meanwhile, expect the Celtics to run more offense through Horford as a passer as his deep post-ups vs. switches were negative EV plays.
I don’t mind taking the over 22.5 points + rebounds + assists, but I think the best value is on the over of 12.5 rebounds and assists at a plus number.
Brandon Anderson: I like the Boston Celtics to come home for Game 3 and take care of business with a win and a cover.
The home-road switch should be significant here. Golden State is relying heavily on younger role players and those are the sort of guys who tend to struggle on the road. The Warriors are 10-1 at home in the playoffs but only 3-4, so we’ve seen them fall off, with Jordan Poole in particular seeing a big drop.
The move home should also help Boston directly. The Celtics lost the free throw and turnover margins in Game 2, and those are two metrics that should swing more in their favor in Boston. The Celtics got to the line frequently against these Warriors in the regular season, and Golden State tends to foul a lot and also has turnover issues frequently, so those two factors could swing things in a hurry if they turn.
We also know that Boston has been nearly invincible after a loss in these playoffs and, really, for over four months now. The Celtics are an incredible 11-1 SU and ATS after a loss since Jan. 29, winning by 14.8 PPG. They’re 6-0 SU and ATS after a playoff loss, covering by even more, so this trend has not dropped off. Boston has shown it takes its foot off the gas a bit after a win but shows up focused, locked in defensively, and readier offensively after a loss.
The Warriors have gone the other way. Golden State is only 3-6 ATS after a win since the easy first round, and the Warriors are just 2-5 ATS on the road after a playoff win this postseason. Like Boston, Golden State can get a bit overconfident after a big win and come out a little sloppy.
This series is so close that a few extra mistakes, a few more minutes locked in by one team, some turnovers and easy buckets, these little things can quickly swing a whole game. I’ll back Boston to catch those swings in their favor and go up 2-1 with a relatively comfortable home win.