The last time the City of Boston hosted an NBA Finals game was June 13, 2010, when the Celtics beat Kobe Bryant and Los Angeles Lakers 92-86 behind 27 points from Paul Pierce to take a 3-2 series lead – only to lose the final two in L.A. The Finals return to the TD Garden tonight with the Celtics and Golden State Warriors tied 1-1 and Boston a 3.5-point favorite at Caesars Sportsbook. Bettors like the Warriors against the spread. Click here for model picks.
For what it's worth, Boston is 12-1 straight up and 11-2 against the spread after a loss since late January, including 6-0 on both in these playoffs. After a double-digit loss over that enter 13-game span? Boston is 4-0 SU & ATS with an average margin of victory of 16.8 points. The Warriors, meanwhile, are 1-5 ATS in their past six road games.
Despite those numbers, Golden State is taking 67 percent of the money on the spread tonight at Caesars and 57 percent of tickets. On the moneyline, the Warriors (+130) are getting a whopping 82 percent of tickets and 77 percent of the money. On the total of 213 points, down from an open of 215.5, the Over is taking 52 percent of tickets, but the Under 51 percent of money. The O/U is 1-1 so far.
Golden State has one of the most incredible playoff streaks in NBA history going. It has won at least one road game in 26 straight postseason series dating to the 2013 first round. That's the longest such run in league history. Draymond Green (26), Klay Thompson (26) and Stephen Curry (25) are the only players to win at least one road game in every playoff series they've played in (minimum of 20 games played).
The Warriors won the lone regular-season meeting in Boston on Dec. 17, 111-107. Steph Curry had 30 points and Andrew Wiggins 27. Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole were out. Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 27, but they really hadn't clicked as a unit back then.
Injury-wise, Boston is listing center Robert Williams as questionable and Golden State is doing the same with Andre Iguodala, Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr. The only one likely to sit of that group is Igoudala, who missed Game 2.
One of the referees tonight is the infamous Scott "the Sheriff" Foster, and the Celtics are "allegedly" 12-0 SU in their games he has worked this season, including the playoffs. He worked Game 7 vs. the Heat. Boston won Game 4 against the Heat, as well as Game 4 against the Nets in the first round when Foster was among the referees. I can't independently confirm the 12-0 number (it's from pretty reputable sources) but can the playoff ones.
Free NBA pick: Celtics moneyline -160
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