Game 5 tips off at 9 PM EST on ESPN.
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
Over the last 10 days, we have seen an incredible back-and-forth series between the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors. Boston's two wins were highlighted by two massive fourth quarter runs, while Golden State has consistently been dominant in the third quarter and were able to use that momentum to dominate Game 2. Game 4 was by far the closest until the end, and I am very interested to see how both teams adjust heading into a crucial Game 5 tonight.
As it stands heading into this evening, most sportsbooks have a majority of the money and bets on Golden State -4, with the line bouncing between 4 and 3.5 for the past couple of days. However, the majority of bets are on Golden State moneyline, while very sharp money has been piling onto Celtics moneyline to contrast. There are a few different angles to come at this game from a betting approach, so let's jump into what I will be playing tonight.
All plays tonight are wagering 1u or to win 1u depending on if it is plus money or a play with juice respectively, unless otherwise stated.
Jayson Tatum over 13.5 Rebounds and Assists +120
You would have to be living under a rock to not hear or read about the criticism Jayson Tatum has faced on his inconsistent shooting this NBA Finals series thus far. Somehow he is still averaging 21.5 with a 12 point dud in Game 1, but we will not be focusing on that tonight.
Tatum has shown consistency on the glass and sharing with his teammates, averaging 7 rebounds and 7.75 assists per game this series. The only night he did not hit this total was in Game 2, where the Celtics severely underwhelmed expectations and the starters were benched in the fourth quarter.
I still go back to my statement at the beginning of this series, which is that if Tatum does not play well the Celtics are not going to win the title. Yes, he has been poor in his field goal percentage. But he has very much compensated everywhere else, and I expect that to remain consistent tonight whether the shots go in or not. Getting this at plus money is also a nice addition for one unit.
Jaylen Brown over 33.5 Points, Rebounds, and Assists -118
Steph Curry has gotten all of the attention and praise this series, and rightfully so with how he has willed his team to victory and brought this series to 2-2. As I touched on Tatum's underwhelming scoring this series, his partner in crime Jaylen Brown has looked great scoring the ball and on the boards. Brown has also been a large part of Boston's early first quarter runs, and if your book offers quarter player props (definitely hard to find but they are out there) I would definitely recommend checking out JB's. However, for this article, I am attacking it as a whole.
Brown will also need to have a stellar night for Boston to get the win, but it is worth noting that in the two games Boston lost he easily exceeded the number of 33.5 points/rebounds/assists. It has been clear that JB has shown up no matter the occasion, and yet he has been getting less attention due to how poor Tatum's shooting has been. If you think Boston wins this series, I would also look into Brown as the Finals MVP +450, as Vegas is still giving Steph and Tatum all of the love. For tonight, look for Brown's scoring and rebounding to continue to shine, and if he gets a handful of assists he will scorch right through this number.
Warriors 3Q -1.5 -125
The Warriors have dominated all four third quarters of this series at an alarming rate. There is not a lot to say about this play other than that we are going back to the well here as it is 4-0 thus far, and I believe Steve Kerr has done an excellent job with the halftime adjustments to give Golden State that added boost out of the break.
However, if this play does not hit, then it will mean that my next play is even more likely to win which is:
Celtics Moneyline +150 (1.33 Units)
The Boston Celtics are 8-3 on the road during the 2022 NBA Playoffs, and were 23-18 on the road during the regular season. Boston are 7-0 after a loss this postseason, tying the record for most postseason wins after a loss in NBA history. They also went 27-11 after a loss in the regular season, leading the NBA in wins after a loss.
Ime Udoka had a rocky start his first two and a half months in with the Celtics. However, once he got his squad to buy in, the Celtics have been on a tear that nobody saw coming. He holds his guys accountable and makes the adjustments necessary to win. It is clear in the trends above, and when watching on the court that the Celtics are great on the road, and great after a loss.
On top of this, the spread has not been a factor at all through four games and historically has not played a factor in the large majority of the last several years' NBA Finals games. If you are going to take Celtics, it is best to ride with the moneyline, but if you go Warriors I would take the spread no matter what. Don't sacrifice on juice just to be safe.
Let me know what you think of these plays, and join the conversation @HHSportsHQ on Twitter. Thanks for reading and best of luck.