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June 14th, 2022

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Sportsbook Traders June Update

For this month's Sportsbook Traders Update, the traders are here to share a few thoughts on how they thought the NBA Finals were going to go! These are just their opinions, in their own words, not betting advice. But hey, these guys know their stuff! This was written on June 2nd. How accurate do you think their predictions are? Will they be right about the stats, how about games played? Find out below!

Nick

While the Warriors have had an impressive run to reach the NBA, many factors outside benefitted them. First, they played a Denver Nuggets team in the first round, missing two of their star players (Michael Porter Jr & Jamal Murray). In the second and third rounds, they played teams coming off a long series with key players missing. The Celtics have eliminated the Nets, Bucks, & Heat. I am taking the Celtics in 6, with Jaylen Brown winning Finals MVP in his old college hometown. Some Stats to consider: Kerr's Warriors took both matchups in his first year at the helm in 2014-15, but since then, Boston has won nine of the last 14 clashes, making Kerr's career record against the Celtics a measly 7-9. When defended by Marcus Smart, Warriors star Steph Curry shoots 29% from the floor. Golden State has also fallen to an 85.0 offensive rating when Smart is the primary defender on Steph Curry, the second-lowest among all qualified players for the metric. With Wiggins guarding the opposing team’s best player throughout the Western Conference Playoffs, his impact was felt on the defensive end of the court. Consider this. Golden State found itself plus-111 in the minutes Wiggins was on the court through 16 games heading into the NBA Finals. This will also be key, with Wiggins going up against the likes of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Luke

The Boston Celtics have made one of the best playoff runs by a Celtics team in a long time, and they now have a chance at their first title in 14 years. They swept the star-studded Brooklyn Nets with Kyrie and KD, beat the league's former champions with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, and took down Jimmy Butler and company in game 7’s on the other team's home court. You could even say they are “Road Warriors,” but that does not make them the real Warriors. One thing about this Celtics run is the last two teams they have recently beaten were missing key pieces. Khris Middleton and a labored Tyler Herro were both significant contributors on the offensive side for the Bucks and Heat, and the Celtics do not have injuries on their side this time around. A three-headed monster with the Splash Brothers and their newest running mate Jordan Poole are just hitting their stride with their most recent game against the Mavericks (Game 6, Klay is back). The Celtics are a young and incredibly talented team but have struggled in a few games against teams that do not have a similar offensive prowess as the Warriors (Jimmy Buckets dropped 47?!). The Warriors have been the #1 team in offensive rating in 2/3 rounds so far in these playoffs and are 9-0 at home. I am going with the Warriors to finish the series in 6, with Steph Curry as the Finals MVP.

Nathan

With the NBA Finals starting today, let's look at some of the keys for each team to lift the coveted Larry O'Brien trophy.

Keys for the Celtics:

The C's have advantages in the size department with Robin Williams and Al Horford in the backcourt to protect the rim and get second possessions on the glass.

The C's may not be able to run and gun with GSW for a 7-game series, but by slowing the pace, they can limit total possessions and frustrate GSW defensively.

When a team shoots the 3 at a 36.6% clip, you must commit to guarding the perimeter well, and Smart and Brown will have to limit GSW to contested looks for the C's to have a chance.

Keys for the Warriors:

Keeping the pace of the game-high will benefit GSW by generating more open looks on the fast break and tire Boston quicker.

Having four competent shooters from deep will keep Boston spread out defensively, but if Poole can get hot during the series, he will take eyes away offensively from Curry and Thompson.

With the C's having a size advantage, correctly sliding to double and providing help will help GSW frustrate the C's big men and still have strong perimeter defense.

Overall, I think we are in for an exciting series with two teams playing opposite styles. This series will be a series of adjustments, and whichever team can adjust quicker will have the upper hand. I think this series will be a lot closer than most people expect.

Final thoughts

How did they do? It has definitely been a contentious final. Will the Warriors take it home next game? Tune in Thursday at 8 pm CST and lock in a bet for your team below!