NBA Finals 2022 odds: Four betting trends you need to know before Game 1
The NBA Finals are set to begin with the most dominant team in the past six years — the Golden State Warriors — facing the most dominant team in NBA history — the Boston Celtics — in a clash befitting of the league's 75th anniversary.
The 2022 Finals tip off Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET at Golden State. At FOX Bet, the Warriors are currently the favorites to win the series (-154). However, both FiveThirtyEight and ESPN's models disagree; they give the Celtics approximately an 80% chance of winning the series.
As you bettors out there patiently wait for the championship series to begin, we identified a few trends that can have you celebrating your winning ticket like Steph after a half-court heave as the clock expires.
While Boston's 17 banners are impressive, what was the team's record against the spread in some of those championship runs? Golden State is home to the league's sharpest shooters, but should you count on those buckets to help the Over hit when it comes to the point total?
With help from FOX Sports Research, we did a quick dive into a few trends gamblers will want to gauge ahead of this historic matchup for 2022 NBA supremacy.
Home teams win, straight up
If you ever had doubts that home court has its advantages, we can clear those up right now. Home teams are remarkably successful in the NBA Finals. Since 1991, home teams in NBA Finals games have gone 104-71 straight up (SU). Good for a 59% win rate for the home squads.
As for this season, the Warriors snagged home court this series with a 53-29 record compared to Boston's 51-31.
When it comes to the postseason, the Warriors have dominated at the Chase Center. Golden State is the lone team to run through the playoffs undefeated at home (9-0), and when it comes to gambling, the Warriors are 7-2 against the spread (ATS) in these playoffs.
If both teams hold down home court, maybe the Warriors in seven might be a wager worth considering.
The Under hits
It's easy to marvel at the Warriors' sharpshooting and expect them to eclipse the point total on any given night. When you've got Splash Brothers Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and the newest sibling, Jordan Poole, on the court, there's always a chance of raining 3's in the forecast. And let's not forget explosive Celtics' small forward Jayson Tatum who has averaged almost 27 points per contest this year. All this offensive firepower makes you think about taking the Over, right?
Well, history says it's the Under that hits in Finals matchups.
According to FOX Sports Research, since 1991, the Under has hit in 96 of 173 NBA Finals games. This means the combined points scored by both teams have gone under the Over/Under mark about 55.4% of the time.
This season — regular and post-season combined — the Under has hit in 50.5% of Boston's games and the Over has hit 49.5%. Golden State's games, on the other hand, have gone Under the point total about 53% of the time this entire year.
While the Warriors have an explosive offense that ranks No. 1 in the NBA, their defense isn't too shabby either. Golden State finished with a 105.1 defensive rating which ranks second in the league. Who was first? You guessed it, the Celtics. Boston's 106.2 defensive rating was the best in the NBA this season.
If you think the defensive metrics will hold, Unders may be your best bets in this series.
Celtics against the spread
Since 1991, the Celtics are 7-6 against the spread which means that bettors backing Boston to cover in the Finals have won about 53% of the time.
However, if you want to know where the money resides, where the money resides, where the money resides, it's with Boston as an underdog.
Here's something to keep in mind throughout these Warriors-Celtics games. When the Celtics are underdogs in the Finals, since 1991, they have gone 6-2 ATS. So gamblers who've gone Green and taken Boston to cover as dogs have had a sweet 75% return on their investment. Additionally, this season, Boston is 17-9-2 ATS as an underdog.
Even if you aren't a student at Harvard regurgitating Gordon Wood, how could you not like those apples?
The current line for Thursday's Game 1 matchup has the Celtics as 3.5-point underdogs at FOX Bet. If you like this trend, you might consider betting on Tatum & Co. to keep it close in Game 1 and to cover in other games where oddsmakers have the Warriors as favorites.
Favorites win, a lot
And by lot, we're talking 67% of the time.
Since 1991, teams favored in each Finals' contest have gone 116-57 SU. In what should be a tight series with lower spreads, taking the favorites on the moneyline could have you counting some coins over the next several games.
Now that you have checked out these NBA Finals betting trends, you should be ready to throw some cash at this series. Head over to FOX Bet to get in on the action now!
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