It’s the most wonderful time of the year for basketball fans.
The NBA Finals are upon us where the two teams who have best survived the war of attrition, including a grueling regular season followed by the gauntlet of three seven-game series, square off with the Larry O’Brien Trophy on the line.
The Boston Celtics came out of the loaded Eastern Conference to reach the championship round for the first time in 12 years. Boston survived two seven-game thrillers, over the defending-champion Milwaukee Bucks in the second round and the top-seeded Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Boston will meet the Golden State Warriors, a modern NBA dynasty. Golden State still features the dynamic Splash Brothers, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, as well as defensive wizard Draymond Green and breakout star Jordan Poole. The Warriors are making their sixth NBA fFnals appearance in eight seasons and eyeing their fourth title in that span.
Here’s a look at what to expect over the next two weeks.
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NBA Finals Prediction 2023
Boston Celtics defeat Golden State Warriors 4-3
The Warriors are clear favorites, yet Boston has the makeup of a championship team. The Celtics commit to playing defense, which makes them impervious to home-court advantage.
Unlike years past where the famed Garden ghosts take over, Boston has actually been better on the road these playoffs, boasting a 7-2 record away from home during the playoffs.
We’ve been dubious about the Dubs’ supporting cast all season since Curry and Thompson can only do so much. If Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart can lock down Curry, that would leave a lot of heavy lifting from Poole and fellow breakout playoff performer Andrew Wiggins.
Plus, star forward Jayson Tatum is on a tear these playoffs, averaging 27 points and about seven rebounds and six assists per game in the playoffs, making him a favorite for Finals MVP.
The playoffs have featured many lopsided games, particularly of late, but we’re hoping for a classic. A seven-gamer between arguably the NBA’s greatest franchise and its most recent dynasty would more than make up for the blowout fest we endured during the Conference Finals.
Warriors vs Celtics NBA Finals Prediction
The NBA Finals are finally here. This year’s series will pit the Golden State Warriors against the Boston Celtics in a matchup featuring the return of a dynasty and a young, up-and-coming challenger looking to begin one of their own.
Golden State, which is returning to the NBA Finals for the sixth time in eight years, dominated its playoff opponents on its way here. The Warriors defeated the Nuggets, Grizzlies, and Mavericks, needing no more than six games each to eliminate them.
Boston, which is making its 22nd trip to the NBA Finals as a franchise, had a tough road here. After sweeping the Nets in the first round, the Celtics took each of the previous two Eastern Conference champions — the Bucks and Heat — to seven games.
Who will win this year’s NBA Finals? Let’s take a look at our series predictions and best bets.
Warriors vs Celtics NBA Finals Winner Odds
- Warriors Win NBA Finals (-160)
- Celtics Win NBA Finals (+140)
NBA Finals odds are fresh as of Monday, May 30 at 11 a.m. ET and provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
Warriors vs Celtics NBA Finals Prediction
The Warriors open as favorites in the series and in Game 1, which doesn’t come as a major surprise. After all, Golden State will have home-court advantage in the NBA Finals, where the team has gone a perfect 9-0 so far this postseason.
Fortunately for the Celtics, they’ve been stronger on the road in these playoffs than at home, going 7-2 away from TD Garden and 5-4 on their home floor. Their defense has traveled well, and they rarely appear rattled by opposing crowds.
With that said, the key for Boston in this series is consistency. The Celtics had huge stretches in games this postseason where they looked completely incapable on offense, and the Warriors are fantastic at punishing teams for their momentary lapses.
On the other hand, Golden State’s key to victory is protecting the ball. The Warriors committed the second-most turnovers per game during the regular season, and they’re averaging 14 per game in the postseason. They can’t afford to cough the ball up that often against a Celtics team that likes to slow things down and limit possessions.
Overall, this series features two teams that are relatively balanced. The Warriors and Celtics ranked first and second in defensive rating this season, respectively, and between Stephen Curry and Jayson Tatum, there will be plenty of star power on display.
Warriors vs Celtics NBA Finals Winner Pick
Warriors in 6 Games
The Celtics have had the more difficult path to the NBA Finals, and while that’s certainly a good thing considering who their next opponent is, you have to wonder if it will begin to wear on them as this series continues.
Golden State has had time to prepare, and the Warriors can also draw on their experience in this position. This group knows what it takes to win a title. The Celtics have proven that they’ll continue to be a force for years to come — they’ll win a title in the next couple of seasons — but the Larry O’Brien is returning to the Bay this year.
Warriors vs Celtics NBA Finals Best Series Bets
Warriors Win Game 1 & Series (+105)
WAGER: 2 Units
Since the 2015 playoffs, the Warriors have gone 21-2 in Game 1’s. It’s an astonishing testament to their talent and preparedness. This group simply knows how to come out and set the tone early, though they’ve also gotten some help from their home crowd along the way.
The Warriors have been perfect at home so far in these playoffs, and they should be able to carry that momentum to a Game 1 and series victory, making this our NBA bet of the day.
Stephen Curry Wins NBA Finals MVP (+100)
WAGER: 2 Units
Curry is a three-time NBA champion and is widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all time. Still, he’s yet to win a Finals MVP. Andre Iguodala earned it in 2015, and Kevin Durant won in both 2017 and 2018.
With that said, this finally feels like the year. Klay Thompson has been inconsistent as Golden State’s second option, and Draymond Green has struggled to stay on the floor. Curry has clearly been the Warriors’ best player this postseason, and if he can lead the team to victory, the Finals MVP award will be his to lose.