2022 NBA Finals Game 1 Betting Tips & Predictions

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We have betting tips for the NBA Finals Game 1 between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors on Thursday.

Playing their sixth NBA Finals in the last eight years, the Warriors are the favourites coming into the best-of-seven series.

The Celtics are the new kids on the block, but bookmakers have the Warriors as favourites to take the opening game and we have our best bets available.

NBA Finals Game 1 Betting Picks

Boston Celtics vs Golden State Warriors Game 1 Prediction

The Boston Celtics have built towards this moment for years and it could finally pay off, but they’re lacking experience and that could have an effect in the opening game.

After being named in the All-NBA first team, Jayson Tatum is full of confidence and he could be the leading scorer of the series and on Friday. He will need to match the offensive output of Steph Curry, so he’s playing an important role.

However, we don’t think it’s about offence for Boston, which is one of the better defensive teams in the NBA. We loved what we saw from the Celtics defensively against the Miami Heat, which went the distance. They didn’t close out Game 7 well, but they will learn from their mistakes.

The defence will need to be at its best, especially against the Warriors, but Defensive MVP Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown are two of the best two-way players in the league.

The Celtics are paying $2.41 to win Game 1, so punters get a fair price. However, we’re about to make a strong case for why you should back the Warriors to take a 1-0 lead.

Experience can’t be overlooked in this situation and the Warriors have been here before. Their roster hasn’t changed much over the eight years, which is a huge positive and the additions of Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins have only strengthened their strong shooting ranks.

Playing at home is another bonus and they’re going to be tough to beat, so the $1.57 is good enough to bet with confidence. Bookmakers have the line currently at –3.5 and it has attracted most of the money in early betting markets.

Given the odds have firmed into $1.83 for the –3.5, we expect the line to move to around –4.5 come tip-off. Therefore, punters should lock in the odds now before it changes.

The Warriors have too much experience to pass up a Game 1 win in front of their adoring home fans.

Bet: Golden State Warriors –3.5 @ $1.83

Boston Celtics vs Golden State Warriors Game 1 Exotic Picks

There are plenty of value exotic bets available for Game 1 of the NBA Finals, including player performance doubles.

We think Jordan Poole could have a breakout playoff performance and bookmakers have generous odds for Poole.

He is paying $3.15 to score 16+ points and Golden State to win, so we’re prepared to take that value. Poole is a dynamic player on the rise, and although he comes off the bench, he often has a big impact on the scoring sheet.

There is also value in first basket betting options. There is a lot of risk with this option, but it’s fun and the returns could be quicker. We like Andrew Wiggins to get a pass from Steph Curry and knock down the opening shot of the contest.

Wiggins is paying $9.25 to make the first basket and we can’t turn down those odds.

Bet: Jordan Poole 16+ points and GS win @ $3.15

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About Daryl Curnow

After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA - English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism. Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. Coupled with his love of US sport, Daryl's picks have been featured on various websites around the world and viewed by millions of readers. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 - with a focus on horse racing, NBA, NFL, and college sports. When he's not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.