The NBA Finals matchup is finally set.
The Boston Celtics pulled out a dramatic Game 7 road victory over the Miami Heat on Sunday night to capture the Eastern Conference crown and set up a Finals showdown with the Golden State Warriors.
While the Celtics-Heat series went the distance, the Warriors were resting at home after taking care of the Dallas Mavericks in five games in the Western Conference Finals.
On the heels of that strong showing against Dallas, the Warriors are the betting favorites in the NBA Finals over the Celtics. BetMGM set the Warriors as the favorites at -160 with the Celtics as +130 underdogs.
The Warriors opened the regular season at +1200 to win the championship with the Celtics down at +4000. When the postseason began, the Warriors — the No. 3 seed in the West — had +1000 odds to win the title. The Celtics, the East’s No. 2 seed, were +750 to win it all.
Of the NBA championship futures bets BetMGM received, 13.8% came in on the Warriors with 9.3% on the Celtics. More significantly, 22.3% of the money is on the Warriors with 13.1% on the Celtics.
Included in that money is a $125,000 bet on the Warriors to win it all at +360. Should the Warriors win, that bettor would win $450,000. There’s also a big bet on the Celtics side — $20,000 at +500. That bet would be a $100,000 win for that bettor.
Because last year’s NBA Finals participants — the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks — were eliminated in the semifinals, the Warriors were the only major liability remaining for BetMGM when the conference finals began. Needless to say, the book will be rooting for Boston.
The Warriors are playing in the NBA Finals for the sixth time in the past eight seasons. The Warriors won in 2015, 2017 and 2018 and lost in 2016 and 2019. The Celtics, after a rough first half of the regular season, are in the Finals for the first time since 2010. That year, the Celtics lost in seven games to the Los Angeles Lakers. Boston’s last NBA title came in 2008.
Warriors favored by 3.5 points in Game 1
The Finals begin in San Francisco on Thursday and the Warriors are 3.5-point favorites for Game 1 at BetMGM.
There is a lot of early action on the Warriors.
According to BetMGM on Monday morning, 87% of the bets and 90% of the money is on the Warriors. With the total, 71% of the bets and 81% of the money is on the over 210.5.
The Warriors are 9-7 against the spread during the postseason. The Celtics are 12-6 ATS during the playoffs, including a 6-1 mark as an underdog.
The Warriors and Celtics split their two regular season meetings with the road team winning in both matchups.