People of a certain age throughout New England are quite familiar with seeing their hometown Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.
It is Boston’s 22nd appearance in the NBA finals but first since 2010, when the Celtics lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010. The Celtics most recently won it all in 2008.
What they aren’t familiar with in Massachusetts is being able to place a bet on the Celtics, or their opponent. That won’t become familiar until Massachusetts passes legal mobile sports betting.
As it currently sits, Gov. Charlie Baker would sign a bill but has not been presented with one. Bills have not passed yet in either the House or Senate.
It will be a large market in the United States when it does pass.
For now, though, let’s take a closer look at the finals to see what the odds look like for fun or if you want to venture to New York or Connecticut to bet.
The Finals open tonight when the Golden State Warriors (53-29) host the Celtics (51-31) at Chase Center in San Francisco, with tipoff scheduled for 9 p.m. ET (ABC).
NBA Finals Schedule
- Game 1: Tonight at Golden State, 9 p.m., ABC
- Game 2: Sunday, June 5 at Golden State, 8 p.m., ABC
- Game 3: Wednesday, June 8 at Boston, 9 p.m., ABC
- Game 4: Friday, June 10 at Boston, 9 p.m., ABC
- Game 5: Monday, June 13 at Golden State, 9 p.m., ABC (if nec.)
- Game 6: Thursday, June 16 at Boston, 9 p.m., ABC (if nec.)
- Game 7: Sunday, June 19 at Golden State, 8 p.m., ABC (if nec.)
The Celtics’ Road to the Finals
The season early on was a colossal struggle for the Celtics under first-year coach Ime Udoka.
To the credit of Udoka and his players, though, the Celtics finished the season in strong fashion.
The second-seeded Celtics have gone on to a surprising sweep of the Brooklyn Nets and seven-game triumphs over the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks and top-seeded Miami Heat.
Are the Celtics Favored? No, They Are Not
BetMGM Sportsbook has the Celtics as a 3.5-point and +140 moneyline underdog in Game 1. The Warriors are -165 on the moneyline. Over/under total points for the game are now 213.5.
The Warriors are -160 to win the series and the Celtics are +130.
After all, the Warriors are in the finals for the sixth time in eight seasons. They have won three championships in that span.
The teams split a pair of regular season games. The Warriors won in Boston, 111-107, on Dec. 17. Jayson Tatum’s 27 points led five Celtics players in double figures.
The Celtics struck back on the West Coast, 110-88, on March 16. Tatum and Jaylen Brown had 26 each to lead the way.
Odds Along the Way
The Celtics opened the season in NBA betting at BetMGM at +4000 to win the NBA championship. Before the first round, they dropped dramatically to +750, then dropped to +375 for the series with the Bucks.
For the Eastern Conference finals series with the Heat, you could get the Celtics in NBA betting at +220.
Heading into Game 1, Boston is now +130 to win the crown with 9.3% of the tickets and 13.1% of the handle per BetMGM.
BetMGM had the Warriors at +1200 to claim the title before the season. The Warriors entered the first round with a modest drop to +1000 and the second round at +300. Now the Warriors are the favorite at -160 to win it all with 13.8% of the tickets and 22.3% of handle.
Bettors will want to stick with BetMassachusetts to find out the latest launch updates on operators like bet365 Sportsbook MA.