It’s no surprise, but we’re finally here. For the fourth straight season, the Cavaliers and Warriors are meeting for the right to be called NBA champions. One team may be heavily favored in this series, but there are still good bets to be made on Game 1 and beyond.
NBA Finals Game 1 Prediction
The Warriors are a 12.5 point favorite in Game 1, a number that seems large for the NBA finals. But in each of the last two series between these teams, the Warriors would have easily covered this spread in both opening home games. That’s four straight series-opening home games that Golden State has won comfortably.
Why not include the 2015 series? Because only the last two series have been coached by Tyronn Lue, and this has been part of Lue and LeBron’s strategy in recent years. The Cavaliers want to win the home games.
It’s no secret that the Cavaliers don’t have the talent to compete with Curry, Durant, and even the supporting cast of the Warriors. Unless the Warriors have a meltdown from behind the arc, the only road game the Cavaliers will win is Game 7.
Even with Kevin Love back in the mix, what can he do? The Warriors don’t care about your interior defense. They are playing against a percentage of open looks they are guaranteed through superior ball movement. Hopefully Love can provide some offense for the Cavaliers besides James. The Celtics wanted to maximize LeBron’s effort in the Eastern Conference finals, so Love only averaged 14.5 points in his four games played.
NBA Finals Game 1 Best Bets
Hear me out here. Bodog is offering -210 on the series going under 5.5 games. That means that they believe there’s over a 60 percent chance that the series lasts four or five games. Despite the Warriors being -800 to win the series outright, Golden State is +215 to sweep at +170 to win 4-1. Both are much better bets if you strongly believe the Warriors will make this a short series.
Alternatively, if you think LeBron James can will his team to victory, the series is much likely to go seven games. Cavs in seven is +1800 at Bodog, and is one of the more probable longshots you’ll ever find.
As mentioned above, both of the previous two series have started with the Warriors going up 2-0 in blowouts. I’ll be on the Warriors tonight and on Sunday.
If you’re taking the total, the points have gone over in four of the last six meetings between the two. The Warriors could average 130 points as a team in this series.
When it comes to MVP, there are only two places I’ll put my money. The first is on Kevin Durant, who is a modest favorite at -150. Durant dominated in the finals last year, and should be unchallenged in this series. It would take a brilliant shooting display from Curry, which is possible, but it’s easier to stop Curry from getting his shot than it is Durant.
The other bet, if offered at your book, would be LeBron James to win MVP despite the Cavs losing. It’ll be harder to argue if it’s a short series, but LeBron is unquestionably the most valuable player to either team in this series. It will come down to just how heroic is effort will be, and if he is worthy of being just the second person to win the award on the losing team. The minimum needed is likely 30 points and a triple double, which is well within the realm of his capabilities.
Warriors to win Game 1 and 2
Warriors in 4, Warriors in 5
Durant to win MVP
Source: Heavy Sports