NBA betting: After Warriors and Celtics split first 2 games, series odds are close
The Golden State Warriors are going to have to win a road game in the NBA Finals to take another championship.
The betting market thinks the Warriors will do that. But it's not by an overwhelming amount.
The odds to win the NBA championship have a tight gap after two games of the series. Golden State, which won Game 2 in a blowout, are the -115 favorite at BetMGM. The Boston Celtics, who won Game 1 with a late flurry, are -105 odds to win.
If you have a strong feeling about either of these teams taking the series, now might be the time to bet.
Celtics and Warriors trade wins
Boston came into the series as underdogs. The Warriors were a healthy -160 favorite to win the NBA Finals. Then Game 1 happened.
The Celtics got hot from 3 late and pulled away from the Warriors for the win. Game 2 started the same way, but a disastrous third quarter for the Celtics turned the game into a blowout (it is really strange how many NBA playoff games this season have been uncompetitive).
The Warriors are still favored, and perhaps it's because Boston isn't unbeatable at home. They dropped two home games to the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round and two more to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. They were 28-13 at home in the regular season, which is good but not intimidating. It's not like the Warriors feel they can't steal a game in Boston.
But, it's not like Boston will be scared of having to win a game in San Francisco, if it comes down to that. The Celtics have done that once already.
Series goes back to Boston
The Celtics were a fantastic team from Jan. 29 on, and that's why the pre-series odds seemed a little off. A few analytical systems thought the Celtics had the best chance to win the NBA Finals before the playoffs started. That seemed prescient through Game 1, when the Celtics had the series lead.
Boston had a horrendous stretch in the second half in which the offense wasted too many possessions, and the Celtics couldn't hit a shot on the rare occasion they got an open look. If you hit a dry spell against the Warriors, they can turn out the lights quickly. That's what happened on Sunday night. Golden State outscored Boston 35-14 in the third quarter. Most starters from both sides sat in the fourth quarter.
Boston and Golden State are evenly matched. Golden State was good all season and has a championship pedigree. The Celtics were arguably the best team in the NBA from Jan. 29 on. The odds reflect how evenly matched the teams are.
The Celtics are favored by 3.5 points for Game 3. The series is practically a coin flip after two games.