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Warriors are big betting favorites versus Cavs in NBA Finals


Here are some angles to handicap as you wager on the NBA Finals

Four smart ways to wager on the NBA Finals betting odds | News Article by

For the fourth straight year, the Golden State Warriors will take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. The defending NBA champion Warriors are massive series price favorites at -1,000 while the Cavs – AKA LeBron James – are set at +650.

But let’s not forget 2016, when Cleveland exacted revenge on Golden State for its win in the 2015 finals and came back from a 3-1 series hole to pull off the improbable upset. And with the way James is playing this postseason, you can never count out the King on his court.

Here are some angles to handicap as you wager on the NBA Finals sport betting sites:

No Love?
Cleveland is really a one-man show, with all things running through LeBron. But what little help James is receiving from his teammates, a good chunk of those contributions came from All-Star forward Kevin Love. However, as we enter the finals, Love is a question mark for the Cavs due to a concussion suffered in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.

The Cavaliers aren't lost without Love and have played well when he missed time this season, moving to a more athletic lineup but one that doesn’t have the same smarts and scoring touch – especially when you consider Love’s ability to stretch a defense with his outside shooting.

For the playoffs, he’s averaging just under 14 points and 10 rebounds per game and will be desperately missed against the Dubs’ deep scoring attack if he can’t go in Game 1 or beyond.

Golden rules
The Warriors and Cavalier met twice in the regular season, with Golden State winning and covering the spread in both contests. Their first encounter was the Christmas Day marquee matchup, with the Dubs taking a 99-92 win at home as 5-point favorites – without star guard Stephen Curry in action due to an ankle injury.

The second showdown was less than a month later on January 15, when Golden State rolled Cleveland 118-108 as 5.5-point road chalk. However, the Cavs' roster underwent an overhaul at the trade deadline, so take these results with a grain of salt.

Going back to their recent regular season meetings and encounters in the NBA Finals, the Warriors have covered in six of the last head-to-head meetings with the Cavaliers.

Oddsmakers have hiked the Game 1 spread as high as 12 points, with the Warriors going just 12-20 ATS versus spreads of -11 points or more this season. Cleveland, on the other hand, has been a solid bet as a rare underdog, boasting a 16-9 ATS record when getting the points.

Total domination
Last year’s NBA Finals mashup between these teams was the highest-scoring finals series of all time, seeing betting totals tick up as high as 231.5 points. This season, both teams have trended toward the Under and ther total numbers reflect that, with the Game 1 Over/Under opening at 216.5 and getting bet down to 214.5.

Cleveland and Golden State played below the number in both meeting during the regular season and have a combined 12-22-1 Over/Under mark in the playoffs (Cleveland 7-11 O/U, Golden State 5-11-1 O/U) – playing Under almost 65 percent of the time.

Next level LeBron
If Cleveland is going to be competitive, it’s all going to fall on James. LeBron has carried the Cavs through the postseason so far, almost knocking off the Raptors and Celtics singlehandedly with dominant play on either end of the floor and coming up huge in the clutch.

Oddsmakers have his series scoring average Over/Under prop total set at 34.5 points per game, with the King entering the finals putting up 34 points per game through the first three rounds of the postseason.

Prop bettors may look to the Under in this series, as he’ll likely guard Kevin Durant on the defensive end, draining whatever energy is left in his deep, deep gas tank. James averaged 35.8 points in the 2015 finals, 29.7 in 2016 and 33.6 points over five games in last year’s finals. Keep in mind, he didn’t have an injured Kyrie Irving in the 2015 finals, but had a much easier road to the championship round that year.

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