- NBA’s Playoff Final Four is set, with Celtics vs Heat and Mavericks vs Warriors
- Boston and Dallas advanced with Game 7 wins on Sunday
- See below for Conference Series prices and our early predictions
And then there were four.
It was an eventful Sunday in the NBA, with two Game 7’s to fill the final spots in each Conference Finals.
In the East, the Boston Celtics finally put the defending champs to bed, shooting the Milwaukee Bucks out of the Garden in a 109-81 triumph. They have a date with the top-seeded Miami Heat.
Out West, the Dallas Mavericks went into the Valley of the Sun and shredded the NBA’s top seed, ousting the Phoenix Suns in a 123-90 evisceration. They’ll match up with the Golden State Warriors.
Let’s look at the updated odds to win the Eastern and Western Conference.
NBA Playoffs Conference Finals Odds
|Eastern Conference||Odds to win Series|
|Western Conference||Odds to win Series|
|Golden State Warriors||-250|
Odds as of May 15 at FanDuel Sportsbook
Heat vs Celtics Analysis
Let’s get this out of the way first: I think that the Heat, Celtics and Bucks were the three best teams going into the playoffs, and nothing has changed that. The winner of this should be a favorite in the 2022 NBA Championship odds.
Miami is more rested, and haven’t yet been put to the test in the playoffs, punting the Hawks in five and the 76ers in six. Boston, meanwhile, put the clamps to KD and Kyrie in an opening-round sweep. They then went toe-to-toe with Giannis and dispatched the Bucks in seven.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 10, 2022
We’re going to find out just how strong Miami’s top-ranked scoring defense is in these playoffs. Boston boasts one of the elite scorers in the playoffs in Jayson Tatum. He’s putting up 28.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists, while shooting 37% from downtown.
For Boston, they’ll throw an deep stable of wings at Jimmy Butler, who’s been top-shelf for the Heat, averaging 28.7 points, 7.6 assists and 5.4 rebounds while shooting a crisp 52.5% from the field.
Against Philly, Jimmy Butler leads the Heat in:
▫️ Rebounds (tied)
Playoff Jimmy is back.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 12, 2022
If you’re feeling Miami, you might want to lock those odds in now, with the series price likely shortening if Kyle Lowry is healthy and available.
Lowry, who’s dealing with a hamstring injury, takes pressure off Butler, Tyler Herro and even Bam Adebayo by doing a little bit of everything. He’s only played in five games these playoffs.
The pick: Celtics (-175)
Warriors vs Mavericks Analysis
Golden State’s old-school playoff run is going to need to wipe out another upstart to book a trip to the Finals.
After bouncing Denver and dispatching Memphis in six games each, they’ll match up with Dallas Mavericks and their superstar Luka Doncic. Luka is leading the Mavs to the West Final for the first time since the franchise’s title run in 2011.
Luka Doncic is HIM
He finishes the first half with 27 points 🔥
WIN or GO HOME Game 7 on TNT pic.twitter.com/iwNqBc9XJG
— NBA (@NBA) May 16, 2022
The stage doesn’t seem that big for the 23-year-old Doncic, who didn’t look fazed at any point in putting away the top-seeded Suns on the road in Game 7.
Doncic had 35 points, 10 rebounds and four assists while sitting out the entire fourth quarter, in a game Dallas led 54-27 at the half.
WhiIe Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson continue to do their thing, the Dubs are being buoyed by newcomers to the party. That includes Jordan Poole, who is averaging 19.1 points and 4.8 assists and shooting 39.1% from deep.
The Warriors lead the series 3-1
Game 5: Wed. 9:30pm/et on TNT pic.twitter.com/BubBHpz37l
— NBA (@NBA) May 10, 2022
Andrew Wiggins, a first-time all-star, had his most impactful playoff performance in a closeout win over the Grizzlies, scoring 10 of his 18 in the fourth quarter.
Can GState withstand Doncic? After Wiggins, there’s not a lot of live bodies that can deal with Doncic. Andre Igualoda (neck) didn’t play against Memphis, while Otto Porter missed last game with a foot injury. Green will likely have to deal with him in crunchtime.
Golden State boasts the top offense in these playoffs, putting up 114.2 points per game, while the Mavericks boast the fourth-best scoring defense. They held the Suns to 96.2 points per game in the final five contests, winning four.
Great Warriors ball movement leads to Andrew Wiggins' big time throw down, highlighting the AT&T Teamwork Play of the Week! pic.twitter.com/jBBHP6wmkn
— NBA (@NBA) May 11, 2022
Dallas took the season series 3-1. Thompson missed two of those contests and Curry averaged only 20 points and a lowly 29% mark from three-point range.
This series price seems a little inflated for the Dubs, who looked shaky in the final three games of their series with Memphis. It’s great value if you’re picking an upset, though.