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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 13: Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics reacts after getting a technical foul during the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors in Game Five of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center on June 13, 2022 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by EZRA SHAW / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

The Boston Celtics are priced as home favorites as they try to force a decisive seventh game in these NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Read on for our Warriors-Celtics picks.

The first closeout opportunity of the 2022 NBA Finals will take place on Thursday night. Having successfully flipped the series in their favor, the Golden State Warriors will attempt to capture the title on the road in Game 6 against the Boston Celtics.

Prior to Game 5, the Warriors' (12-9 against the spread, 12-9 Over/Under) hopes of winning these NBA Finals seemed to be riding solely on Stephen Curry. Considering that he went 0-9 from 3-point territory on Monday night in a game that Golden State still managed to win, that outlook has now changed.

After shutting Curry down at the expense of allowing other Warriors players to have a better offensive game, it will be interesting to see how the Celtics (14-9 ATS, 10-13 O/U) choose to handle things defensively. Boston will be hoping that returning home will also help jump-start the offensive production of its own role players in Game 6.

Here are my picks and predictions for Thursday's NBA Finals matchup between the Warriors and Celtics (odds via BetMGM, PointsBet; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Warriors vs. Celtics Game Info

Date/Time: Thursday, June 16, 9 p.m. ET
Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA

Warriors vs. Celtics Odds Analysis

The point spread for Game 6 has held quite stable overall after opening at Celtics -3.5. However, an even line of Boston -4 represents the consensus spread in the market at the time of writing.

The total has gone on a bit of a wild ride after opening at 210. Initially, a surge of action bumped the number up. This was followed by a hefty amount of buyback that lowered the line below the opening number. Since then, more action on the Over has resulted in nearly all sportsbooks settling back in at the original O/U of 210 points.

When it comes to public ticket counts, a slight 54% majority have elected to lay the points with the Celtics at home. This runs contrary to the current moneyline ticket count. Presently, 56% of all outright bets have been in favor of the Warriors as a plus-money underdog.

Warriors vs. Celtics Picks

  • Celtics -3.5 (-115 via BetMGM) ??
  • Under 210.5 (-115 via BetMGM) ???
  • Robert Williams III Over 8.5 rebounds (+105 via PointsBet) ???

Warriors vs. Celtics Predictions

Celtics -3.5 (-115)

If the first five games of this series and really the entire playoffs are any indication, betting the point spread for Thursday's Game 6 is as good as betting the moneyline. After all, every game of The Finals thus far has featured a double-digit margin of victory.

The amount of lopsided final margins in the postseason as a whole has been eye-opening. One can therefore rationalize that if Boston wins Game 6 on its home floor, it will also most likely cover this small number.

Thus, the question then becomes whether or not the Celtics can bounce back after losing each of the last two games.

From a statistical standpoint, it can’t be any worse for Boston than it was in Game 5 on Monday. Sure, Jayson Tatum scored 27 points, but he spent more time complaining than he did involving his teammates. The drop-off in Tatum's facilitating the Celtics' offense was clearly visible in that only three players scored more than 10 points for the game. The C's were also atrocious from the charity stripe, shooting under 70% as a team.

A little home cooking figures to benefit some of the role players for Boston at the offensive end. If the Celtics can also clean up the careless turnovers and force a few more of their own, one has to give them the edge. After all, they are still the longer, more athletic team.

Under 210.5 (-115)

Three of the first five games of The Finals have stayed Under the posted betting total, including both Games 4 and 5. It's no surprise to find that the O/U has been set much lower ahead of Game 6 than it was for previous games in this series.

A pretty fair assessment of these NBA Finals to date is that both teams have shown tremendous vulnerabilities at times on the offensive end. For the Warriors, it was The Curry Show up until Game 5. The defensive adjustments by the Celtics that saw them picking Curry up just over half court whether he had the basketball or not were undoubtedly a factor in his poor shooting performance.

Fortunately for Golden State, Andrew Wiggins (26 points), Klay Thompson (21), Jordan Poole (14), and even Gary Payton II (15) all stepped up in the scoring column. Should bettors be banking on equivalent scoring contributions from any of those players tonight? Absolutely not. Thus, any bounce-back numbers from Curry will likely be canceled out when it comes to the Warriors' overall point total.

The Celtics' offensive potential really boils down to how selfish Tatum decides to be. Boston was at its best earlier in the series when he was a willing distributor. As he has tried to play iso ball more in the past couple of games, not only has the Celtics' scoring dipped but so too has their pace.

Time and time again, both in these NBA playoffs and in past seasons, we have seen defenses take over the longer a series goes. Based on the fact that the Warriors and Celtics were the two best defenses in the league all season from a statistical standpoint, we could be in for a good old-fashioned slugfest Thursday evening.

Williams Over 8.5 rebounds (+105)

The big question all throughout the playoffs regarding Robert Williams was the health of his surgically repaired knee. After being forced to miss several games and being limited in others, the 24-year-old has arguably been at his best during the NBA Finals. There were some doubts after he was visibly hobbled and limping on the floor in Game 2. Since then, Williams has played 26-plus minutes in every game and made a huge impact at that.

Williams smashed his current rebounding prop total in both Games 3 and 4 in Boston with 10 and 12 boards, respectively. Although he fell just shy in Game 5 on Monday, Williams still corralled eight boards while playing 30 minutes. Add a little extra pep from the Celtics faithful in TD Garden on Thursday and we very well could see Williams break down the double-digit rebounding barrier once again.

Given that Boston has shortened its overall rotation, playing time does not figure to be a concern. As he has looked quite healthy the past couple of games, betting on Williams to exceed a prop line that is Over one rebound below his season average of 9.6 makes sense, especially given the plus-money odds attached at PointsBet.

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Warriors-Celtics picks made on 6/16/2022 at 8:38 a.m. ET.