NBA Finals: Celtics vs. Warriors Game 5 Preview & Picks

Tied 2-2, the NBA Finals shift back to the Bay Area on Monday for a critical Game 5 matchup, as the Golden State Warriors host the Boston Celtics.

Returning home as -3.5 point favorites, the Warriors are riding plenty of momentum following Stephen Curry’s sensational 43-point performance in Game 4’s 107-97 victory.

With the series now a best-of-three, the C’s need at least one more road triumph if they are going to hang an 18th championship banner from the TD Garden rafters.

Celtics vs. Warriors Game 5 Analysis & Picks

The Celtics and Warriors continue to trade blows, alternating victories through the series’ first four games. It should not come as much of a surprise, as both teams have yet to lose back-to-back games this postseason. What is surprising, however, is the fact that each contest has been decided by double digits – Golden State’s ten-point win on Friday representing the narrowest margin of victory in the series to date.

In addition to tying things up at two games a piece, the Dubs regained home-court advantage, a place where Steve Kerr’s group has been far more dangerous this postseason. Golden State is a dominant 10-1 at Chase Center in these playoffs, covering eight of those contests. That said, Boston has proven to be no slouch on the road, handing the Warriors their only home loss, while compiling a playoff-best 8-3 mark away from TD Garden (9-2 ATS).

If the first four contests are any indication, Game 5 will likely come down to which club wins the second-half battle, given that the team who has won the final 24 minutes has come out victorious in the first four games of this series. To that end, Golden State continues to dominate the third quarter, outscoring the C’s 136-87 ahead of Monday’s showdown. Meanwhile, Boston’s two victories were thanks to strong performances in the final frame, including a 40-point fourth quarter in Game 1.

This matchup is so tough to call given the nature of the series thus far, but I find myself leaning towards the Warriors handing the C’s their second straight loss and heading back to Beantown up 3-2. Golden State is a different team at home, and with what will surely be an electric atmosphere, I’m willing to take the Dubs against the spread and on an outright basis.

Picks: Warriors -3.5 (-110), Warriors moneyline (-160) @DraftKings