Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors will get their first shot at redemption against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers when Game 1 of the 2016-17 NBA Finals gets underway on Thursday night in front of what will surely be a rocking Oracle Arena.
After acquiring perennial all-star and former league MVP Kevin Durant in free agency in the offseason, Curry and the Dubs entered the regular season as prohibitive favorites to win this year’s NBA championship after getting upset by James and the Cavs in last season’s history-making finals collapse. Now, let’s find out if the Warriors will get the win and ATS cover as 7-point home faves in Game 1. Find out more about the updated NBA betting lines here.
A Closer Look At The 2017 NBA Winning Favorites Cavaliers At Warriors Game 1
When: Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 9:00 PM ET
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
Live Stream: Watch NBA
NBA Odds: Golden State -7 / Over/Under: 226
Why Bet the Cleveland Cavaliers Odds in game 1
Cleveland (63-32 SU, 44-47-4 ATS) may be underdogs in Game 1, but there are several great reasons to back LeBron James and company in the opener after watching them dispatch Boston 4-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals, Toronto in the semis and Indiana in the conference quarterfinals while losing just one game along the way (12-1 SU).
First and foremost, Cleveland is a robust 8-4-1 ATS in their 13 playoff games after struggling to consistently cover the spread during the regular season. The Cavs have also been consistent in playing Over their total nine times this postseason.
James and the Cavs are playing great offensive basketball and have scored at least 106 points in every game while topping 115 points nine times in 13 contests. Another great reason to back Cleveland is that, while there have been other superstars playing excellent basketball this postseason, none have been as singularly dominant as LeBron James (26.4 ppg, 8.7 apg, 8.6 rpg) this postseason.
Cleveland’s future Hall of Famer has scored at least 30 points nine times and the Cavs have another superstar in Kyrie Irving (25.2 ppg) that can be completely unstoppable as Boston just found out and the Dubs did in the Finals a year ago. Last but not least, Cleveland is almost as good as Golden State in offensive efficiency, finishing the regular season ranked fourth in scoring (110.3 ppg) and second in three-point shooting percentage (38.4%).
Why Bet the Golden State Warriors Odds in game 1
Why back Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and the loaded Dubs (79-15 SU, 48-43-3 ATS) in Game 1? Let me count the reasons.
The best reason to back the Dubs in Game 1 is that they have a roster that just can’t be matched talent-wise, not even by Cleveland. The Warriors have four legitimate all-stars and three of the best perimeter shooters the game has ever seen in former MVP winners Curry (25.3 ppg) and Durant (25.1 ppg) and fellow all-star Klay Thompson (22.3 ppg).
The Warriors also have one of the best all-around players in the game today in all-star forward Draymond Green (10.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 7.0 apg). Outside of their top four all-stars, the Warriors also have scoring balance throughout their roster with seven other players putting up between 4.6 and 7.6 points per game. The Warriors are also the first team in league history to complete three sweeps in a best-of-seven series
Last but not least, the Dubs have been much better than the Cavaliers at the defensive end of the floor in ranking 11th in points allowed (104.3 ppg), first in field goal defense (43.55) and first in three-point shooting defense (32.4%). The Warriors are 8-4 ATS in their 12 wins and nine of their 12 games have played Over the closing total.
Expert Analysis and Prediction
Analysis: For Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals, I’m going to advise you to back the loaded Golden State Warriors to get the win and narrow ATS cover much like they did in their second regular season meeting this year when they routed the Cavs 126-91 at home on Jan. 16 to easily cover the spread as a 9-point home favorite.
I know Cleveland won the first regular season meeting this year 109-108 on Christmas Day to cover the spread as a 3.5-point home underdog, but the Warriors have been lying in wait for Cleveland all season long and will almost surely want to deliver a serious message to Cleveland in the opener that resonates with their rivals throughout the finals.
The Cavaliers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against teams from the Pacific division and a winless 0-4-1 ATS in their last five games against teams from the Western Conference while the Golden State Warriors have gone a scorching 20-6-1 ATS in their last 27 games overall.
Golden State has compiled an insane 42-5 SU mark and respectable 23-22 ATS record at home this season while Cleveland is a modest 27-21 SU and 23-24 ATS on the road. I’ve said it all season long, but I’ll say it again. The Warriors have the look of a team with a date with destiny and I have seen nothing this postseason to make me think otherwise. Golden State wins in Game 1 by double digits to cover the spread – and deliver a message to James and company that there won’t be any history-making comeback in this year’s NBA Finals.