As we approach the NBA finals, the Golden State Warriors go into the match-up looking like the favorites. Can Steph Curry & co ensure they finish the season as the top dogs, or will the Celtics clinch their first Championship in 15 years? We take a look at both teams’ seasons and pick out some top bets for you to place in the NBA Finals.
Golden State Warriors
While they will go into these finals as favourites, it is not as if the Warriors have had a definitive season to warrant that token.
They finished second overall in the Pacific Division, with a winning percentage that was a clear 100 points behind the Phoenix Suns – the eventual winners of the Western Conference. Trailing also the Grizzlies in the Conference for a third round finish, they failed to defend their 2022 title by a clear margin.
While it is a respectable finish, the Warriors have been in somewhat of a golden era in recent years so fans would have been disappointed in their regular reason performance. Fortunately, they have been treated to a series of masterclasses in the playoffs.
In the first round, they cruised to a 4-1 game victory over the Nuggets, followed by a slightly less decisive 4-2 game victory in Round 2 over the Grizzles. The Conference Finals looked on paper to be their toughest game against a Mavericks team who were on the back of a 4-3 victory over Conference winners and championship favourites, the Suns. However, they were emphatic again and secured another 4-1 game victory to reach the finals.
Throughout the playoffs, they have looked like they are at the top of their game. Going into this finals series they will be confident they can regain the Championship for the first time since their back-to-back successes in 2017 & 2018.
The last time the Dubs and Celtics took the court against each other in the Finals?
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) June 2, 2022
While the Celtics are the underdogs as they go into the finals, it is not by much and it is clear to see why. They cruised to the playoffs as division winners and came second in the Eastern Conference, overall. They finished behind Miami Heat, having lost just two more games than the Conference champions.
In the playoffs, they then swept passed the Nets in Round 1 in the same dominant fashion they had demonstrated during the regular season, winning 4-0. However, their second-round series against Bucks was much less decisive.
The two teams had been even on PCT during the regular season and the similarities in their abilities were plain to see here too. It eventually came down to the very last game with the Celtics narrowly taking the series 4-3.
In the Conference Finals, they had another tough fought-out round with Western Conference champions, Miami Heat. The results of the game was an almost carbon copy of their previous round with the Bucks. Again, this was decided in Game 7 with the Celtics again winning 4-3.
With this considered, while the Celtics seemed to dominate in the regular season, they have had to battle in postseason.
When you look at the two teams’ seasons on paper, they are juxtaposing in their performances in the regular season versus the playoffs but this does not tell the full story. Truly, neither do their odds.
The Celtics have shown their tenacity throughout the regular season and the playoffs. The Warriors have come into their own in the playoffs but perhaps have the edge in the odds due to their performances when it counts in recent years. They will need another of these performances in the Finals.
It is a tough one to call but the Celtics will fight hard to clinch that first Championship since 2008. They are currently at +143 compared to Warriors -175, but away from the outright winner odds, you can get involved in our player specials. Here are exciting new markets such as which players will point, rebounds & assists by player, and which players will record a double-double.