The Daily Sweat: Warriors are favored at home over Celtics in NBA Finals Game 1

·5-min read

Let the NBA Finals commence.

Game 1 between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors tips off Thursday night. The Warriors are in their sixth Finals in eight seasons and enter as the betting favorites to win the series and 3.5-point favorites to win on Thursday night.

The Warriors are -160 to win the series while the Celtics are +130. Golden State’s status as such a big favorite is likely thanks to the team’s popularity. You can make a very good argument that the Celtics match up well against the Warriors and are the better team, especially if Robert Williams is healthy.

Williams’ health looms large over the series. He’s been the defensive key for Boston’s second-half surge as the Celtics became the best team in the NBA after the calendar flipped to 2022. But he was hobbled by a knee injury in Boston’s Eastern Conference Finals win over the Miami Heat and played just 15 minutes in the Celtics’ Game 7 win.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates with forward Andrew Wiggins (22) during Game 5 of the NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference finals against the Dallas Mavericks in San Francisco, Thursday, May 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins and the Golden State Warriors are 3.5-point favorites in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Boston will need Williams to be a significant contributor in Game 1 and across the series. With the Warriors getting more rest and opening the series at home, Boston could be facing a 1-0 series deficit.

Golden State is -165 to win Game 1 straight up while the Celtics are +140 to win. The total is 212.5 and looks enticing to bettors who think the Warriors could bury a flurry of threes to start the series. But it’s also worth remembering that these are two of the best defensive teams in the NBA. If Boston isn’t overwhelmed by Golden State’s offense at the start of the game, this could end up being a low-scoring struggle.

Bettors like the Warriors to cover the spread, too. Nearly 80% of bets at BetMGM are on the Warriors to cover and those bets make up 83% of the money wagered on the spread. Bettors are also fans of the over hitting, as two-thirds of the bets and money is on over 212.5.

BetMGM has a ton of bets available for Game 1. If you're looking to dip your toe into the sports wagering game now that the Finals are here, now is a great time to get started because of the myriad options available. How myriad? There are 62 different categories of bets that you can make. You can bet on anything from the first-quarter total to if Kevon Looney has more than 7.5 points. Here are some of those bets that you can make ahead of Game 1.

Player props


  • Jayson Tatum O/U 28.5

  • Stephen Curry O/U 27.5

  • Jaylen Brown O/U 24.5

  • Klay Thompson O/U 20.5

  • Andrew Wiggins O/U 16.5

  • Jordan Poole O/U 15.5

  • Marcus Smart O/U 14.5

  • Al Horford O/U 10.5


  • Kevon Looney O/U 9.5

  • Al Horford O/U 8.5

  • Jayson Tatum O/U 7.5

  • Draymond Green O/U 7.5

  • Jaylen Brown O/U 6.5

  • Robert Williams O/U 6.5

  • Andrew Wiggins O/U 6.5


  • Draymond Green O/U 5.5

  • Stephen Curry O/U 5.5

  • Marcus Smart O/U 5.5

  • Jayson Tatum O/U 4.5

  • Al Horford O/U 3.5

  • Jaylen Brown O/U 3.5

First Warriors FG

  • Steph Curry (+165)

  • Klay Thompson (+240)

  • Andrew Wiggins (+350)

  • Kevon Looney (+800)

  • Draymond Green (+800)

First Celtics FG

  • Jaylen Brown (+175)

  • Jayson Tatum (+280)

  • Robert Williams (+450)

  • Al Horford (+500)

  • Marcus Smart (+600)

Other props

  • Warriors to win by 5 or less (+400)

  • Celtics to win by 5 or less (+450)

  • Warriors to win by 6-10 (+360)

  • Celtics to win by 6-10 (+500)

  • Warriors to win by 11-15 (+625)

  • Celtics to win by 11-15 (+1050)

  • Game to go into OT (+900)

  • First half to have most points (+110)

Memorial begins Thursday

Jon Rahm is the favorite ahead of this weekend’s Memorial Tournament hosted by Jack Nicklaus. Rahm is +1000 to win ahead of Rory McIlroy at +1100 and defending champion Patrick Cantlay at +1600. Rahm won the tournament in 2020 and had a six-shot lead in 2021 when he had to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test.

Avalanche favored over Oilers

The Colorado Avalanche are 1.5-goal favorites ahead of Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Edmonton Oilers. The Avalanche won a wild Game 1 8-6 on Tuesday night and the total for Thursday night’s game is seven goals. Over seven is -135, so if you somehow think the game will include fewer than seven goals, you’re looking at +135 odds.

Who cashed tickets on Wednesday?

Bettors who had the New York Rangers and the over were very happy with Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night. The Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2 at home to kick off the series.

Over bettors in both Marlins-Rockies games on Wednesday were also very thrilled. The Marlins won the first game of the doubleheader by a score of 14-1 and then Colorado came back to win the second game 13-12 in 10 innings. The game was tied 11-11 after nine innings and the Rockies won on a two-run walk-off homer by Brendan Rodgers.