The Boston Celtics are back at home and running out of options in the NBA Finals, falling behind 3-2 to the Golden State Warriors in this championship series. Oddsmakers have faith in the Celtics’ chances in Game 6, setting them as 4-point favorites Thursday.
Boston was able to nullify Stephen Curry in Game 5, after the sharp-shooting guard tormented their top-ranked defense in the first four games of the Finals. But this Warriors team has multiple ways to win and showed that with an all-around team effort in the 104-94 victory, putting the Dubs one win away from another NBA title.
Here are our free NBA picks and predictions for Warriors at Celtics on June 16.
Warriors vs Celtics Game 6 odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
Following Golden State’s impressive performance in Game 5, bookies pegged the Celtics as low as -3 coming back home for Game 6. With early action buying into Boston’s desperation, this spread has since climbed as high as -4 at most shops. The total hit the board at 211 points and dropped to as low as 209.5 with early play on the Under, marking the lowest Over/Under of the NBA Finals so far.
Warriors vs Celtics Game 6 predictions
Predictions made on 6/15/2022 at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Warriors vs Celtics Game 6 info
• Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
• Date: Thursday, June 16, 2022
• Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET
• TV: ABC
Warriors vs Celtics NBA Finals odds
Warriors vs Celtics Game 6 betting preview
Warriors: James Wiseman C (Out).
Celtics: No key injuries to report.
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Over is 7-3 in the Warriors' last 10 road games. Find more NBA betting trends for Warriors vs. Celtics.
Warriors vs Celtics Game 6 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.
Heading into this championship series, I gave Golden State the edge due to all the ways that it could win basketball games. For the most part, the Warriors haven’t had to dig too deep into that toolbox with Curry blasting Boston for more than 34 points per game in the first four outings.
Game 5 was different. The Celtics refused to let Curry beat them, playing tight defense and picking him up the second he crossed half while getting much more aggressive defending screens and planting their heels well above the 3-point arc. It worked like a charm, as Curry struggled to find any offensive flow and finished an unholy 0-for-9 from distance. But with that defensive assault on No. 30, Golden State pulled out every other tool.
The Dubs finished with five guys putting up 14 points or more, including 21 points from Klay Thompson, who’s playing his best basketball over the past five quarters since before his Achilles/knee injuries two years prior. Thompson wrapped the Game 4 win in Boston with eight points in the fourth quarter then rolled that momentum into a 7-of-14 night, including 5-for-11 on triples, in Game 5 with countless back-breaking shots in the clutch.
Next to Klay are two pure “ballers” in Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole, who can instantly create offensive chances and give defenders headaches with their speed and aggressiveness. Wiggins, especially, has beaten Boston on both ends of the floor, averaging 18.4 points while helping limit Celtics star Jayson Tatum to 30.6% shooting on 2-point field goal attempts in the Finals.
Golden State’s defense was remarkable in Game 5, reminding everyone that the Warriors finished just behind Boston in terms of defensive rating in the regular season. In their three wins in this series, the Dubs have checked the Celtics to less than 100 points — something that happened only twice to the C’s in the three previous series, with the Warriors posting an advanced defensive rating of 98.5 over the past two outings.
So, what is Ime Udoka to do? Boston has been the best bounce-back team in the NBA this season — until Game 5, that is. While the Celtics may scratch and claw to send this series back to San Francisco, I have to like a two-possession underdog with a full toolbox to cover this spread.
Prediction: Warriors +4 (-110 at bet365)
The final score for Game 5 stayed below the total, thanks to a plodding first half which saw just 90 combined points on the board at the break: a flip of the difference in pace between the first and second halves in this series. The final 24 minutes of Game 5 pumped out 108 points at a pace rating of 100.0.
The Warriors scored 104 points, which was their second-lowest output over the past 11 playoff games, but the defensive approach on Curry opened up in the interior for the Warriors’ playmaking and the Dubs looked more like themselves in that second half than they have all series.
Whichever way the buckets come — offense, putbacks, the bench, points of turnovers — the versatile Warriors are good for about 105 points a night. If Boston is going to beat them at home in Game 6, it needs 106 or more, putting this final over the short total. That was the case in its two wins in this series: putting up 120 in Game 1 and 116 in Game 3.
The return to the TD Garden and a two-day hiatus will hopefully allow the Celtics to find their form after offensive brownouts have cost them wins in the past two outings. The Celtics have been solid from beyond the arc (firing at a 41% clip from distance for the series) but can’t seem to connect as they get close to the basket, shooting 43% on 2-point field goal attempts over the last two losses.
The officials used their whistles a little more on Monday than in previous outings. They called a total of 44 personal fouls in Game 5, which is more than the average of 37 fouls per game for the series. The teams attempted 46 free throws versus an average of only 35.3 FTA per game in the four previous contests.
The Celtics squandered too many of those freebies, finishing 21-for-31 from the line, but with the physicality of this series not going away with Boston on the ropes –— I’m expecting a busy night from the refs and more points being scored with the clock stopped than any of the previous Finals games.
Prediction: Over 209.5 (-115 at PointsBet)
The first quarter of Game 5 produced just 43 total points, thanks in large part to the Celtics starting flat on 8-of-23 shooting in those opening 12 minutes. It was a massive shift in production compared to the opening frames from the first four games of the Finals.
Boston and Golden State had combined for point totals of 55, 55, 61, and 60 in the first quarter of those games, with an overall pace rating of 99.5 out of the gate. Neither defense showed up early on, with the Warriors and Celtics’ offensive metrics spiking.
The Celtics can ill afford another slow start tonight and the Beantown crowd will be going crazy, powering what will be an exciting first quarter and hopefully thrilling Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
With the total sinking like a stone, the first quarter number is also dropping and sits as low as 52.5 points with the Over juiced to -128 at FanDuel. Other shops have it Over 53.5 at -110.
Pick: First quarter Over 52.5 (-128 at FanDuel)
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