Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:00 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Golden State +6½ over Boston
7:30 PM EST. We’ll acknowledge that we faded the Warriors in their last game, but please understand this is not a “zig-zag” based on that last result. We’ve been following the Dubs closely of late, having wagered on their last three games. In this case, the situation and the narrative from the Celtics' side will dictate the play.
The revenge angle is one that is old, tired, and so common that it would be clichéd to call it a cliché. However, it is a narrative that the pick sellers and the pundits eat up. It’s low-hanging fruit that cannot be resisted. The market loves that crap, too, so rather than harp on it, we’ll use the lame “revenge angle” to our advantage.
The Warriors beat the C’s in the finals last year, and they walloped Boston back in San Francisco in December, 123-107. The story that night, much like it is tonight, is that the Celtics will be fired up or extra motivated to avenge their championship defeat. The only difference this time is now the battle has moved to the C’s home floor, so surely this time their thirst for revenge will trump all else. See how fun that is? We get it. The problem is, just exactly what measure of “revenge” can Boston truly take from this game, which will be the last time they see the Dubs unless there is a Finals rematch?
This game is the featured contest on TNT tonight, so you’ll get plenty of storylines, but we’ll leave you with one more. Recent form is going to loom large here, as it, too, is low-hanging fruit for the talking heads. They love wins, and to that point, the C’s have ripped off seven wins in a row. It makes a great talking point, but there were just two of those games where Boston was not a double-digit favorite (Dallas & Brooklyn). The Celtics' last two wins came in back-to-back games at Charlotte in which they handled the Hornets with ease winning by 12 and 16 points. All offense to the 12-win Hornets, but they aren’t much more than a glorified practice squad most nights. Beating up on dregs dulls the senses and does not properly prepare them for the Dubs running their full lineup.
The Warriors are just 2-2 since the return of Steph Curry, but it takes time for a team to adjust when a star player returns. This is Curry’s fifth game back after a couple of days of rest, and it’s going to be played in front of the basketball world. You don’t think dude will be ready for prime time? We’ll take Curry, the Dubs, and the points over the “revenge angle” every time.
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Golden State +6½ -104 (Risking 2.08 units - To Win: 2.00)