Golden State are rated worthy favourites to come out on top against Boston in the best-of-seven NBA Finals over the next couple of weeks.
The Warriors have reached this stage for the sixth time in eight years and are chasing a fourth championship triumph during that period.
It is 12 years since the Celtics made the Finals and the last of their record-equalling 17 victories came in 2008.
We’re backing Golden State to secure a 4-2 series success at 5.5 in our NBA Finals predictions.
Golden State Warriors Odds
Following a two-year absence, the Warriors have powered through to the final pairing in impressive fashion.
Golden State enjoyed a straightforward 4-1 defeat of Denver in the first round and were always in control when seeing off Memphis 4-2.
Dallas were brushed aside 4-1 in the Western Conference Finals and the Warriors will benefit from plenty of rest prior to facing Boston.
Head coach Steve Kerr said: “You go to the Finals, it’s almost a two-month journey filled with stress and fatigue, so if you can build a little break, it’s very meaningful.”
There is always the fear that Golden State could lose a bit of rhythm but they surely have the experience to combat any such issues.
Home-court advantage for the opening two games is another bonus and Kerr added: “To be in our beds for 11 days is very helpful.”
Stephen Curry has returned from injury in fine form and was the Warriors’ top scorer in the first four matches versus the Mavericks.
The 34-year-old point guard was outshone by team-mate Kevin Durant in 2017 and 2018 but is definitely the main man this time around.
Looking at the 2.1 to be crowned as the Most Valuable Player.
Boston Celtics Odds
Boston breezed through their opening test in the playoffs with a 4-0 clean-sweep of pre-season favourites Brooklyn.
The Celtics then showed tremendous spirit to edge out defending champions Milwaukee 4-3 after trailing three times in that series.
Miami also made the early running in the Eastern Conference Finals but Boston hung in there and eventually prevailed 100-96 on the road in Game 7.
Coach Ime Udoka made light of his side’s gruelling schedule, stating: “Feels like it was always meant to be this way: Difficult.”
A long stretch of outstanding efforts from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have helped the Celtic to belie their underdogs status.
“That’s us,” Brown declared. “We’ve been responding all year, all season, to adversity.”
Tatum added: “I think what we all have in common is that we’ve all been through those tough times and we remember how that felt.”
Such resilience and a solid defence will always make Boston tough to beat but we just feel the Warriors will wear them down.
Let’s add 2.25 for Golden State to be 2-1 up after three games to our NBA Finals betting tips.
Regular-season head-to-head: Warriors 88-110 Celtics, Celtics 107-111 Warriors
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