Sports bettors are heavily favoring the Stephen Curry-led Warriors, while two popular projection models have the Celtics as big favorites. According to the online sportsbook PointsBet, 87% of the money wagered on the winner of the Finals is for the Warriors, who are favored at -150 to win the series.
It’s not a surprise that many sports fans are betting on Golden State — a recent dynasty that is eyeing an NBA title for the first time since 2018 when it won its third championship in four years.
The Warriors didn’t need to win a Game 7 in any of their first three series wins, as they handily defeated the Nuggets (five games), Grizzlies (six games) and Mavericks (five games). The Celtics, meanwhile, took all seven games to take down the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals and the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in the conference semifinals.
But not everyone is as confident in the Warriors. ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) gives the Celtics an 86% chance of winning the series. FiveThirtyEight’s model has similar odds, giving the Celtics a 79% chance of claiming their 18th crown and first since 2008.
Some bettors are buying the Celtics hype, though, as some sportsbooks have reported large wagers on Boston. Caesars Sportsbook reported that a bettor on Wednesday placed $100,000 on the Celtics at +140 to take down the Warriors.
The Warriors are 3.5-point favorites in Game 1 on Thursday night, which is scheduled to tip off at 9 p.m.
• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at email@example.com.
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