The NBA Finals are here as the Warriors make their 6th finals appearance in 8 years against the Boston Celtics, who are making their first appearance since 2010. The Celtics beat the three teams that eliminated them from the playoffs the prior 3 years including the 1-seeded Heat, defending champion Bucks, and the Brooklyn Nets.
The Warriors took down MVP Jokic and the Nuggets, Ja Morant’s Grizzlies, and Luka’s Mavs on their path to the NBA Finals. As we predicted, the Celtics and Warriors meet in the Finals for the second time in NBA history. Our NBA Finals MVP pick of Jayson Tatum at +270 (Now +150) is still alive although the Celtics are a slight underdog in the series.
The Celtics series price is set at +140 and the Warriors are a short favorite at -160 to win the series. This series should be extremely entertaining, and we believe there is a lot of value in player props. Here are our 3 favorite player prop bets for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Best Available Odds: -109 at Unibet
Al Horford is having one of the best postseasons of his entire career at age 35. Horford has been a walking double-double this postseason averaging 11.9 points and 9.6 rebounds per game thus far. The Celtics veteran center is also a great passer as he is averaging 3.5 assists per game this postseason as well.
Over the past 5 games, Horford is averaging a combined 25 Pts+Rebs+Asts per game. Despite being the oldest player on the Celtic’s roster, Horford is averaging 36.7 minutes per game this season (3rd most on the team). With Rob Williams playing in pain, Al’s time should continue to eclipse 35+ minutes per game in the Finals.
Also, the Warriors are a great matchup for the versatile center. The Warriors tend to play a smaller lineup for the majority of games when Looney is on the bench. Horford should be able to dominate the paint in those minutes, as well as spread the floor and hit 3-point shots when the Warrior’s center is in the game.
We believe Horford will dominate offensively and on the glass as well. Look for Al Horford to go over 23.5 Pts+Rebs+Asts in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Best Available Odds: -134 at SugarHouse
Kevon Looney had a great series against the Mavericks as he saw an uptick in minutes and production against a small lineup. This will not be the case in the NBA Finals against the number 1 defense in the NBA. The Celtics have great length and athleticism, which have helped propel them to the top of the league defensively.
The duo of Rob Williams and Al Horford has tortured opposing centers this postseason when they are both in the lineup. Bam Adebayo was held to 10 or fewer points in 4 of the 7 games in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The athleticism of the Celtics will be too much for Looney on both ends of the floor. We expect Looney to get into early foul trouble and go under 7.5 points in Game 1 of the Finals.
Best Available Odds: -118 at FanDuel
Steph Curry has been the Warriors' best player all season as well as in the postseason. He is the team’s leading scorer, but Curry has also been a productive facilitator this postseason averaging 6.2 assists per game. Over his last 3 postseason games, Curry is averaging slightly more than 9 assists per contest.
The Celtics like to take away a team’s number one scoring option and force them into passing the ball. We believe Marcus Smart and other defenders will hound Curry defensively, leading to Curry setting up teammates more as opposed to taking more shots. We believe Curry will go over 5.5 assists for the fourth straight game this postseason.