NBA

NBA Finals Game 2 Betting Guide: Can the Warriors Bounce Back From Their Meltdown?

Steph Curry was scorching from the field in Game 1. What impact could that have on Golden State's potential to capture Game 2?

The Celtics went on an improbable fourth-quarter run to down the Warriors and steal homecourt advantage right out of the gate in Game 1. Can the Dubs bounce back with a huge win at home in Game 2?

Betting on the NBA can be tricky, but you can rely on numberFire to help. We have a detailed betting algorithm that projects out games to see how often certain betting lines hit. You can also track spread bet percentages at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Where do our algorithm, our power rankings, and the betting trends identify value in tonight's games? All odds are from FanDuel Sportsbook, and all ratings are out of five stars.

Celtics +4 (-108)

If you're a Golden State fan, look away.

It really doesn't get more traumatic for that game to go Boston's way. Jayson Tatum shot 3-for-17 (17.6%), Stephen Curry had one of his best scoring outings of the playoffs (34 points), Golden State shot 42.1% from three...and they lost.

To be fair, Boston's not likely going to shoot 52.1% from deep again, but that was more a product of Golden State's defense. Of Boston's 41 three-point attempts, 23 of them (56.1%) were considered wide open. On the other side, only 18 of the Warriors' 45 attempts (40.0%) were considered wide open.

Analytically, Boston has been the better team all season, so it wasn't a surprise to see them take Game 1. This is the team numberFire's model now gives a 71.9% chance to hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy in the coming weeks. Therefore, backing them with four points is kind of a no-brainer when taking anecdotes such as "the Warriors need this game" out of the analysis.

If Steph Curry had been cold from the field and Golden State played a crummy game, this would be a different story. However, that wasn't really the case. There's a decent chance Boston is what their analytics say they are -- a clearly superior basketball team.

Klay Thompson First Basket Scored (+600)

For fun, I'll toss out a small, fractional unit play on a first basket.

First basket betting can be a science, but never deviate from your process and chase results. It really comes down to who wins the opening tip and which players are most aggressive out of the gate.

In a potential toss Sunday between Kevon Looney and Robert Williams III, I'd favor Looney. He's won 55.6% of his career tip-offs compared to just 52.2% for "Time Lord", who is also playing through a bum knee.

With that, I'll be targeting a Golden State player due for regression in each game. Most notably here, Klay Thompson only took 3 first-quarter attempts in Game 1 despite averaging 4.2 per game during the playoffs.

If you're feeling especially daring, 57.1% of Thompson's first-quarter attempts this postseason have been three-pointers, and Klay Thompson First Basket as a Three-Pointer (+1300) pays out a handsome reward versus the other various outcomes inside the arc.

Swaim-Game Parlay (+540)

Celtics +4
Jayson Tatum Over 27.5 Points
Draymond Green Over 5.5 Points
Klay Thompson 2+ Three-Pointers Made
Draymond Green 1+ Blocks Recorded

Just one game a day means it's Same-Game Parlay season now more than ever on FanDuel Sportsbook. For some fun, I drop 0.25 units a day on one to see if it hits. Feel free to tail mine...or create your own!

Given the shot quality and defense we saw in Game 1, I can't deviate from Boston to at least have a shot to win this one late. Game 2's cornerstone bet is Celtics +4 (-108).

There are still prop edges to be had as well, per numberFire's model. It's usually not a huge fan of Jayson Tatum relative to his betting marks, but it's projected J.T. for 30.0 points on Sunday. He's badly due for shooting regression from his dismal effort Thursday as well. Jayson Tatum Over 27.5 Points (-110) was another key starting spot.

With a 2-for-12 (16.7%) effort in Game 1, shooting regression from Draymond Green was also the thought behind Draymond Green Over 5.5 Points (-350). It's hard not to see a slight improvement. He should cruise beyond this mark he had hit in six straight prior games.

Then, the final two legs of Sunday's lay are repeats. Klay Thompson splashed a pair of triples in Game 1, and he's projected for 3.9 makes by our model. The price on Klay Thompson 2+ Three-Pointers Made (-1100) is high, but it's just not high enough.

Finally, Draymond failing to record a block is what made the parlay fall short on Thursday, but I'm a forgiving man. It's actually not that; Green is averaging 1.1 per game in the playoffs and is now due for regression towards a mark he's hit in 13 of his last 20 games. Against my hostility, Draymond Green 1+ Blocks Recorded (-205) is at a fair price once more.