This is a tough game to handicap. Talent and experience suggest that Golden State will win and cover in Game 5. But could recent playoff history and the zig-zag theory indicate the best bet may be Boston +3.5?
The 2022 NBA Finals are all tied up at 2-2 as the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors prepare for a critical Game 5 on Monday night.
The Celtics are coming off a heartbreaking defeat and wasted opportunity, so it will be interesting to watch and see how they react. Boston had Golden State on the ropes at least four times in Game 4, holding leads of 5 or more points in all four quarters, yet somehow ended up losing the game by 10 points (107-97), shocking just about everyone.
Warriors superstar Steph Curry put together a sterling performance to guide his team to a victory (43 points and 10 rebounds, en route to what should be an MVP Award).
This series is now a best-of-three with Golden State regaining home advantage, since the Warriors host Game 5, and a potential Game 7 (if necessary).
KEY STAT IN SUPPORT OF BOSTON:
Throughout the playoffs, the Celtics have had up and down performances, but they’ve always found a way to bounce back. In fact, Boston is a perfect 7-0 when coming off a loss this postseason and they’ve been especially tough on the road, with an 8-3 record away from home.
Boston's road prowess and the zig-zag theory makes Boston +3.5 an attractive wager. Recall the zig-zag theory we wrote about in Game 4, in which we predicted a Golden State upset.
KEY STAT IN SUPPORT OF GOLDEN STATE
The Chase Center in San Francisco has been a safe haven for the Warriors in the playoffs, with Golden State posting a 10-1 record at home.
Golden State picked up lots of momentum on the road win in Boston, and return home where they've lost just one game in these playoffs. They can now taste victory and sense a championship within their grasp. With no way to slow down MVP Curry, we wonder how Boston will outpoint the Warriors.
Golden State's defense has also been very stingy in the NBA Finals up to this point. Even with Boston shooting above its typical percentage from 3-point distance, the Celtics are scoring only 1.1 points per possession in this series, which won't cut it against a team like Golden State.
Here's a look at the latest odds on Game 5 at SPREADS.CA:
We believe the stronger play is Golden State to exceed 106.5 points, listed at SPREADS.CA. The Warriors average well above this number at home, and fueled by the roar of the crowd should find their way to the basket.
Also keep in mind the Warriors supporting players behind Curry have not played well in this series. That should change at some point, and this could be the breakout game. No Golden State player scored above 18 points in the previous outing. Even with the less-than-impressive numbers from other starters and off the bench, the Warriors racked up 107 points on the road in the last game.
So, eclipsing 106.5 seems within reach, especially if Curry keeps on playing at this level, and the supporting cast chips in with their season averages.
We will take GOLDEN STATE TEAM TOTAL OVER 106.5.