After a wild Game 1, the NBA Finals resume on Sunday evening. For the Boston Celtics, tonight’s game presents an opportunity to take a stranglehold of the series. Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors are essentially in must-win mode considering that the next two games of the series are in Boston. From an NBA betting standpoint, there are a whole host of ways to have action and make picks on Sunday’s NBA Finals Game 2. As has been the case throughout the postseason, the NBA props market continues to be a terrific way to bet on the biggest games of the year. The following article offers three of the best NBA player prop bets for the June 5th Celtics vs Warriors Game 2 matchup.
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Best NBA Betting Player Props for Celtics vs Warriors Tonight, 6/5
Robert Williams III O/U 6.5 Rebounds
It has been somewhat difficult to get a great read on Robert Williams’ production and role for the Celtics in these NBA Playoffs. This has been more so the result of him missing several games due to continued knee soreness than anything. However, he has been able to play in each of Boston’s last five games including Game 1 of The Finals. Williams’ playing time has fluctuated a great deal, but his minutes played haven’t exactly correlated positively with his statistical production.
After two very quiet efforts in Games 6 and 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Williams bounced back in Game 1 against the Warriors on Thursday. Across 24 minutes of action, he compiled a line of eight points, six rebounds and a whopping four blocked shots. The half-dozen boards saw him finish just half a rebound shy of the NBA betting picks prop total of 6.5 rebounds.
The fact that the former Texas A&M standout averaged 9.6 rebounds per game this season suggests that the NBA player props line is set on the low side. The Warriors were a top-5 team in terms of Rebound Rate this season. However, Kevon Looney is arguably the only player on Golden State’s roster who is truly capable of banging with Williams down low. Add in the fact that bettors can obtain plus-money odds on an NBA player props line that comes in over three boards lower than Williams’ season average and the over is easily the preferred play.
NBA Player Props Prediction: Robert Williams III OVER 6.5 Rebounds (+102)
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Marcus Smart O/U 14.5 Points
Another Celtics player who has been plagued by injuries during these NBA Playoffs is Marcus Smart. After being fairly quiet offensively in Games 5 and 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the 28-year-old has turned up the heat in each of the team’s last two contests. Smart scored 24 points in Boston’s Game 7 victory over Miami last round. He then proceeded to follow that up with a white-hot shooting effort in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Smart connected on seven of his 11 field goal attempts including four of seven three-point tries to score 18 points in Thursday’s win. Of course, the fact that Smart had to shoot over 50% from beyond the arc to score that many points is a feat that he is unlikely to replicate in Game 2. This is especially true considering that the Warriors were a top-10 defense as far as defending the three-point arc is concerned this season. As a team, Boston shot over 51% from deep in Game 1. That is a whole lot higher than the 34.6% that Golden State allowed on the season.
Despite Smart’s impressive individual scoring outputs in each of the last two games, the NBA betting picks market lists his points total at 14.5 ahead of Sunday’s matchup. In actuality, that line is set over two full notches higher than the 12.1 points he averaged over the course of the full season. With regression expected on his shooting percentages, betting the under here makes a lot of sense. Given the depth and versatility of the Celtics as a team at the offensive end, it is hardly necessary for Smart to jack shots or go off in the scoring column for the team to compete.
NBA Player Props Prediction: Marcus Smart UNDER 14.5 Points (-117)
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Jordan Poole O/U 13.5 Points
Jordan Poole was merely one of several Warriors players who struggled offensively in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. For the first time since Golden State’s lopsided defeat in Game 5 of the Second Round, Poole failed to crack double figures on the scoreboard Thursday night. Perhaps the bright lights of this stage overwhelmed the 22-year-old? Poole shot 2-7 from the field across 25 minutes and finished with just nine points in the loss. That output was less than 50% of the 18.5 points that he averaged on a per-game basis this season.
At the start of the NBA Playoffs, Poole was the hottest thing going in the Bay Area. As Stephen Curry got healthy and reclaimed the lead point guard role, it was no surprise to see Poole’s minutes decline and become less predictable on a game-to-game basis. Even so, the former Michigan standout has still supplied several massive scoring outputs for Golden State throughout the postseason.
Considering this, it is a bit surprising to see the NBA player props market listing his points total at just 13.5 ahead of Sunday’s Game 2. After all, Poole exceeded that line in four of five games in the Western Conference Finals. In three of those efforts, he did so with ease, scoring no less than 16 points. While the Celtics’ elite defensive play certainly presents a major challenge to Poole and the Warriors, this NBA picks total clearly sets up as a buy-low opportunity based on what the young guard is capable of achieving offensively.
NBA Player Props Prediction: Jordan Poole OVER 13.5 Points (-120)
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