Thursday, June 30, 2022

Celtics vs. Warriors NBA Finals Game 4 picks, betting odds: Expect Boston to hold off Stephen Curry and Co.

With the 2021-22 NBA regular season now in the books, the basketball betting market is hotter than ever. CBS Sports will be providing daily picks for the duration of the postseason. Sam Quinn will make at least one pick for every game between now and the NBA Finals. All lines courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics

Featured Game | Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors

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The number I can’t get over right now is Stephen Curry having almost 48 percent of his shots assisted in the regular season, but just around 27 percent being assisted in this series. The Celtics have done such a magnificent job of taking away Golden State’s off-ball actions that its only steady form of offense is Curry playing one-on-one. And hey, Stephen Curry is fairly good at playing one-on-one … but he’s 6-2 and 34 years old. Him playing one-on-one and, say, LeBron James playing one-on-one are very different things. As wonderfully as Curry has played this postseason, he still doesn’t have a 40-point game. Jimmy Butler had four of them because Butler’s size allowed him to rack up layups and free throw attempts in ways that Curry just can’t. The 47-point game Curry had against the Raptors in the 2019 Finals was an outlier. He’s not equipped to be the be-all and end-all of an offense, but without Golden State’s system generating the easy buckets it typically does, the onus falls on his teammates to create their own shots to support him. None of them have been able to do so. Until they do, I’m picking Boston. The pick: Celtics -4

All of the above applies to Golden State’s offense. Boston’s offense is trickier. Jaylen Brown seems to have cracked the Draymond Green code in Game 3 … but Jayson Tatum is shooting below 34 percent from the field in this series and grabbed his shoulder early in Game 3. He’s made up for his inefficient scoring in many other ways, but if the Warriors don’t trust him to score as easily as he otherwise would, they can divert defensive attention elsewhere and make life harder on everybody else. I want to see Tatum play at his typical level offensively before I pick another over in this series. The pick: Under 214

I can’t believe I’m about to do this but … I think Draymond Green is about to bounce back on offense. He hit the over in Game 2. In Game 1 he missed 10 shots … but when you get to attempt 12 over the course of a game, it’s very hard not to score eight points. He went over eight points in five of his six previous games before the Finals. When you handle the ball as much as he does and you’re playing against a team as turnover prone as Boston is, it’s just so easy to come away with two random points per quarter. That’s all Green needs to do. The pick: Green over 7.5 points

I don’t think Tatum’s 13 assists in Game 1 were all that sustainable, but I see no reason why he can’t repeat his nine assists in Game 3. Golden State is trapping him fairly frequently, and he’s grown enough as a passer to take advantage of that. Tatum has played 41 or more minutes in 14 playoff games and reached six assists in nine of those games. So long as this game is competitive, Tatum should pass the ball enough to rack up a decent number of assists. The pick: Tatum over 5.5 assists

Andrew Wiggins has eight combined steals and blocks thus far in this series, and it’s a matchup well suited for him to rack up defensive stats. The Celtics are notoriously sloppy with the ball, and it’s not as though he’s blocking players that he has an enormous height advantage over. He’s twice swatted away Brown’s jumper. Given his athleticism, size and general activity, this line just feels a bit low. The pick: Wiggins over 1.5 steals and blocks combined

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