Who will win the NBA Finals? Accuscore use their advanced simulation models to predict the outcome. Learn why Accuscore think the Boston Celtics will take home the title and inform your NBA Finals predictions.
The pinnacle of the NBA season 2021/2022 is at hand, with only the two best teams remaining in the NBA Playoffs: the Golden State Warriors from the Western Conference and the Boston Celtics from the Eastern Conference.
It has already been a season to remember for the Celtics, who started the season off as huge underdogs with odds of 41.000 to win the championship (which put them 13th overall and sixth in the East). The Golden State Warriors, on the other hand, have pretty much performed as expected, as their pre-season odds were 12.000 (fourth overall and second in the West).
The teams had remarkably similar regular seasons, with the Celtics winning 51 games and the Warriors winning 53 games. Even their offence and defence scored similar numbers; the Celtics averaged a score of 112-104, while the Warriors’ score was 111-105. However, in the playoffs, the numbers have somewhat changed and we can see that the Celtics’ defence played a huge role in their playoff success over their Eastern Conference rivals the Brooklyn Nets, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Miami Heat.
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Warriors vs. Celtics: Path to the NBA Finals 2022
The Celtics have had a tougher route to the finals than the Warriors, despite sweeping past the Nets in the first round. The next two rounds saw game sevens, first against the reigning champions the Milwaukee Bucks and then the fierce Miami Heat, who finished on top of the Eastern Conference in the regular season. While the Celtics’ offensive production went down to 107 points on average, their defence picked up, allowing only 101 points on average throughout the playoffs.
The Warriors have still scored the most points on average in the playoffs (114.5).
The Warriors’ path to glory was perhaps surprisingly smooth. In the first round, they steamrolled over the Denver Nuggets 4-1, then sent the Memphis Grizzlies packing 4-2, before dispatching the Dallas Mavericks in the Conference Final. What was expected to be a hard-fought matchup became a show of the Warriors’ offensive depth. Mavericks star Luka Doncic stole the show on the floor but managed to only lead his team to one victory over the Warriors, allowing Golden State to take a prolonged breather before the finals.
The setup for the NBA finals seems clear: it is the offence of the Warriors against the defence of the Celtics, but with a twist. The Celtics’ starters have scored on average only a single point less than the Warriors’ starters in the playoffs, but the Warriors have still scored the most points on average in the playoffs (114.5). Futhermore, the Warriors are allowing 109.1 points on average compared to 101 allowed by the Celtics. With their improved and tough-as-nails defence, the Celtics just might be the team to stop Golden State’s offence. Just like the Toronto Raptors did in 2019.
Accuscore Analysis: Who will win the NBA Finals 2022?
The Accuscore simulations are predicting an extremely close battle for the Championship, but the Celtics do have a slight edge. Boston does need to steal that one win from San Francisco, but are likely to win their home games. Overall, the simulations indicate the Celtics have a 52.8% probability of winning the Championship and with the odds of 2.350* (42.6%), there’s nice value for the underdogs Celtics to go all the way.
Moreover, the series is very likely to be decided after seven games, with a probability of 31.1%. The odds on offer for the Warriors to win the series 4-3 are 4.140*, which is not quite enough to match the probability of 15.6%, but the Celtics’ 4-3 win odds remain playable at 7.200* (13.9%), as the simulations indicate a 15.5% probability for the road team to win the final game of the series.
And since the simulations are encouraging to go all-in for Celtics, there’s value also for “Series Spread +1.5 Games” for Boston with odds of 1.584*. In simulations, all the winning results for this bet combine to 68.1%, while the odds indicate a probability of 63.1%.