Cleveland Cavaliers (62-38 SU, 40-59-1 ATS) vs. Golden State Warriors (70-29 SU, 43-55-1 ATS)
Time: Thursday, May 31st, 2018 – 9:00 PM EDT
Where: Oracle Arena – Oakland, CA
TV: ABC / TSN
by Keith, Professional NBA Handicapper, Predictem
Odds Cleveland +700, Golden State -1000
Point Spread: Golden State -12.5
Total Line: 214.5
A video has surfaced presenting this fourth chapter as a parody of Full House. Once again, the Cleveland Cavaliers will head west to Oakland to face off with the Golden State Warriors at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California for Game One of the NBA Finals. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 PM and due to be televised on ABC with corresponding coverage available on TSN. As mentioned, this will be the fourth consecutive occasion that each of these two clubs has met in the Finals. This is a record for the first time in each of the four major sports leagues (NBA, NHL, MLB, and NFL) that two teams have met on this many occasions in consecutive years. Golden State has won two of the previous three meetings between the Cavaliers and Warriors. In 2017, Golden State defeated Cleveland in a term coined as a “Gentleman’s Sweep” when the better team loses a game to spare the opponent the humiliation. In 2016, LeBron led the Cavaliers back against the Warriors when they trailed 3-1 in the series to help Cleveland capture its first-ever NBA title.
Both teams had to work hard to get here, as they both endured Conference Finals that went seven games, where the outcome was settled in the last corner. Furthermore, both teams were required to win their respective Game Sevens on the road. For Cleveland, their trek took them through Boston where they were forced to hand the Celtics their first loss of the post-season on their home court. Golden State comes in off a victory in Clutch City where the Warriors trailed by double-digit margins against the top-seed of the West, the Houston Rockets. Many analysts argue that had Chris Paul been available for Houston that Golden State’s title reign would have come to an end.
On the year, the Warriors are 37-13 SU at home while Cleveland is just 25-25 SU on the road. Overall, Golden State has won seven of the last eight meetings between these two franchises. In the playoffs, Golden State has only lost one game on its court. The last time Golden State lost more than one game in a playoff series in Oakland was at the hands of King James himself in the 2016 epic.
The Cavaliers have been all but written off in this series. Furthermore, many did not believe Cleveland could make it this far to begin with even with the services of LeBron James available. The fact remains the Cavs have the best player in the game, and he is playing with everything to gain and nothing to lose. This makes Cleveland extremely dangerous.
Golden State at home in the playoffs is a position many bettors will like to hang their hat on. Furthermore, the playoff acumen of this franchise, the chemistry of the players, the quality on the roster, and their proven ability to dominate this league for the past several seasons makes the Warriors appetizing here when they are in the Finals, once again.
From the get-go, there has been a lean on the Warriors reflected in 66% of the public cash and 63% of the ticket action in on Golden State in Game One. As a result, we have seen a one-point line movement upward occur as a result. In Over/Under markets, we have seen the number drop by 3.5 points to reflect the action on the Under. To confirm this, 66% of the cash and 60% of the tickets are currently in on the Under in the present spot.
Often when you back the Cavaliers, you pay a premium to do so. This is because of the presence of the game’s most recognized game. However, this is a rare opportunity to get The King and his merry men at a very friendly price. The fact remains LeBron is the biggest x-factor in this contest and series for that matter. Giving him double-digit points to work with bodes tremendous equity and upside. Grab the points.
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