Preview and prop betting pick for Game 5 of the NBA Finals
What a difference a game makes. Of course, in a best-of-seven playoff series in the NBA that is often going to be the case. The nature of such events is to see the result of the adjustments each team makes as they try to bounce back from disappointment. The NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics is very much like that, as BetOnline customers have probably noticed.
When it comes to who is taking control in the paint, or on the boards, or hitting from three-point range, there is not necessarily a detectable pattern. However, there have been some things that have been rather consistent.
One of those is that Jayson Tatum is not getting very good shots under most circumstances. In fact, when he made just eight of his 23 shots in Boston's 107-97 loss in Game 3, he actually improved his overall shooting percentage for the series. Tatum is just 34.1% accurate from the field, but what's unusual is that he has been better than usual from long distance, shooting 45.2% (14-of-31). As far as shots closer to the basket are concerned, he's been nothing better than dreadful, as he has made just 14 of 51 (27.4%). So it would seem logical that the Warriors have to run him off the three-point line going forward.
When it comes to consistent excellence in the series, you can't do much better than Steph Curry, who has been asked to carry an additional offensive burden by coach Steve Kerr and has delivered in style.
In Game 4, Curry was operating on ankle that was sprained in the previous game, and his response was 43 points, ten rebounds and four assists, hitting an amazing 64.3% on those shots that were uncontested. It was the seventh time in his playoff career than he scored 40 points or more. And the more he dominates the ball, the better Golden State seems to be; the W's are 6-0 when his Usage rate is over 35%.
With the series tied up at two games apiece, this is how the numbers look as they are posted at BetOnline.ag for Game 5 at the Chase Center in San Francisco (9 PM ET on Monday):
Golden State Warriors -4 (-108)
Boston Celtics +4 (-112)
Over 210.5 Points -110
Under 210.5 Points -110
And the Warriors are now the favorites to win the series:
Golden State Warriors -145
Boston Celtics +125
Golden State has gotten poor shooting overall from the likes of Draymond Green (23%) and Klay Thompson (36%), although it should be noted that they have gotten something positive out of them defensively. And Andrew Wiggins surprised some people, we're sure, with 16 rebounds (which led to seven second-chance points).
But if we're being really honest, the best player for the Warriors, aside from Curry, might be center Kevon Looney, who has not played as much as the other G-State starters, but has made the most of it. Actually, Looney didn't even start Game 4, but he had a lot of impact, with eleven rebounds and a plus-minus figure of +21, the highest on either team. When he was on the floor, the Warriors had an Offensive Rating of 125 and a Defensive Rating of 89.1. Aside from his defense, Looney has also been the best offensive rebounder in this series. Coming into this series, there was a lot of concern on the part of Golden State's backers with the size of Boston up front. But when Looney's out there, the Celtics can't act with much impunity in the paint.
If the Celtics could attach Marcus Smart to Curry, they would, and probably should. In almost five minutes of Game 3, the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year held Curry scoreless when he was directly guarding him. In 4:37 directly opposite him on Friday night, Curry made one of four shots.
Both teams are well aware of the other's prowess from three-point territory, and we're expecting to see an emphasis on the defensive end. Even when there were 124 points in the first half of Game 3, the game landed only a few points above the total. So we'll continue with the UNDER.
But you want to talk about things that have been consistent? The Warriors have outscored the Celtics in the third quarter of all four games, and have a +49 margin in that period for the series. We've gone with it in the last three contests, and see no reason not to stick with it. Golden State is laying 1.5 points in the third quarter odds.
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