Celtics vs Warriors Picks and Predictions: Healthy Dubs in Good Position With Boston Visiting

The Golden State Warriors have Draymond Green back in the rotation at a crucial time. The Boston Celtics come to town tonight and should be a tough opponent but we still like the Dubs at home in our NBA betting picks.

Last Updated: Mar 16, 2022 1:17 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Draymond Green Golden State Warriors NBA
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The Golden State Warriors are getting dangerously close to full strength now that Draymond Green is back in the lineup. They'll welcome the Boston Celtics to town tonight in a clash between championship hopefuls.

NBA betting lines aren't leaning too much in favor of the home team, installing the Dubs as slight 2-point favorites. We'll see if we think that margin's too narrow with our free NBA picks and predictions for the Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors tonight, March 16.

Celtics vs Warriors odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Warriors opened as 4.5-point favorites on Tuesday afternoon before action on the Celtics trimmed it to between -2.0 and -2.5 at most books by the time of this writing. The total opened at 221.5 at most books and has been bet down to between 219.5 and 220.0 at most books as of Wednesday afternoon.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Celtics vs Warriors predictions

Predictions made on 3/16/2022 at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Celtics vs Warriors game info

Location: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Tip-off: 10:00 p.m. ET

Celtics vs Warriors betting preview

Key injuries

Celtics: Aaron Nesmith SG (Out).
Warriors: Andrew Wiggins SF (Questionable), Gary Payton II PG (Out), Andre Iguodala SG (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Warriors are 5-0 against the spread in their last five games. Find more NBA betting trends for Celtics vs. Warriors.

Celtics vs Warriors picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

Draymond Green returned to the Warriors on Monday after missing 32 consecutive games with a back injury. While Steve Kerr eased his defensive stalwart back into the rotation, Green was a +24 with six points, seven rebounds, and six assists in his 20 minutes of playing time. The Warriors thumped the visiting Wizards by 14 thanks in large part to Green and Steph Curry's 47 points.

All-Star forward Andrew Wiggins missed that game due to illness, but Kerr said Tuesday that he was feeling better and could be back in the lineup tonight. A Warriors team nearly at 100% will be extremely difficult to beat on its home court.

However, the Celtics are as healthy as they've been all season. While they did drop their last game 95-92 to the Dallas Mavericks, the Celtics spread the scoring around in a balanced attack that was ultimately undone by an atrocious third quarter. Five players scored in double-digits and Jayson Tatum led the way with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

Despite that loss, Boston has been one of the NBA's hottest teams of late, going 7-3 in its last 10 (5-5 ATS) and recently rattled off a nine-game winning streak from late January into early February.

Still, the Celtics are shaky away from home and are facing the second-best home team in the NBA. The Warriors are 29-7 at Chase Center, last losing there on February 27 to the Dallas Mavericks in a game without Green or Klay Thompson. Thompson has played at least 33 minutes in four straight, a total he hadn't reached prior to that on the season.

With Green active, the Warriors simply have too many ways they can beat opponents, and his presence was certainly felt by Steph Curry. In the 15 minutes the two shared the court on Monday, Curry was 13 for 16 from the field and 7 for 9 from three. He scored 41 of his 47 points with Green alongside him on the floor. As The Athletic's Anthony Slater showcases, Green's presence and tenacious play — even on a minutes limit — opens up opportunities for Curry. His 47 points on Monday was his second-highest output on the season after dropping 50 on the Atlanta Hawks back in early November. 

Golden State is also 17-2 SU at home with Draymond active this season. Tonight's game may not be a blowout, but the Warriors will comfortably win and cover the small spread.

Prediction: Warriors -2 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

Both the Celtics and Warriors have identical 30-37-2 O/U records and are tied for first in defensive efficiency over the course of the entire season. Only the Mavericks and Cavaliers allow fewer points per game than the Celtics (103.9) and the Warriors aren't far behind at 105 flat. At first blush, this game looks like it's primed to go Under its total.

That's where the market has leaned since the total opened at 221.5 and has trimmed to 219.5 at most books. I'm inclined to agree, even with the shorter number. Yes, Golden State and Washington combined for 238 points on Monday, and Green showed an immediate impact in opening up Curry's scoring opportunities, but the Celtics are a much different defensive team than the Wiz. They also play at a Bottom-10 pace and will likely try to slow the game down to keep the Warriors off rhythm.

Now, if Green sees an uptick in floor time and Wiggins is at full strength, this game could certainly hit the Over with relative ease — especially if Tatum and Jaylen Brown go off. But as much as Green helps facilitate the offense, he's best known as one of the best defenders in basketball rejoining a team that already ranked as one of the best defensive squads in the league. 

I'd probably fade the total tonight because of the variables at play, but the Under seems like the safer bet. If it shrinks much lower between now and tip, however, the Over will come into play.

Prediction: Under 219.5 (-110)

Best bet

I was eager to see what player props would be available for Green, particularly a combo for rebounds and assists, but none were available at the time of this writing. It might be tempting to take the Over on Curry's point total of 25.5 at -102 at FanDuel simply because of Green's presence, but he didn't exactly fare well in Draymond's last two games before his extended absence. Curry scored nine points on January 3 against the Miami Heat and followed that up with 14 against the Mavs on January 5. Both opponents rank within the Top 6 in defensive efficiency this season and the Celtics pose perhaps an even stingier threat as Boston has held opponents to just 33.8% shooting from beyond the arc — Steph's specialty — which ranks third in the NBA.

Instead, we'll circle back to our spread prediction and hammer the Warriors to win at home with a modest spread to cover. Even if Green is on a strict minutes limit, he showed how important he is to Golden State's success even in a reduced role. 

Pick: Warriors -2 (-110)

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