2018 Finals Preview for Game 1: Cavaliers vs Warriors NBA Odds & Pick
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are facing off in the NBA Finals. It’s the fourth straight year they will do so, with Golden State leading 2-1. The Warriors are massive series favorites to win a second straight title and also huge Game 1 NBA odds favorites Thursday in Oakland.
How to Bet Cavaliers at Warriors NBA Odds & TV Info
*Updated Video – June 1st
When: Thursday, 9 PM ET
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland
Radio: 1100 AM (Cleveland) / 95.7 FM (Golden State)
NBA Odds: Warriors -12 (214)
Finals Series History
In 2015, the Warriors beat the Cavaliers – then coached by David Blatt – in six games. In 2016, the Cavs looked toast down 3-1. However, Golden State’s Draymond Green was suspended for Game 5. Many believe if that doesn’t happen that the Warriors win in Game 5. Instead, the Cavs won in seven to give Cleveland its first-ever NBA title. Last year, the Warriors were fairly dominant in winning in five.
Why Bet on Cleveland?
The 12-point spread for this game is tied for the largest in a Finals game since 1991. The Los Angeles Lakers were 12-point favorites over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of the 2001 Finals, a game the Sixers won behind a huge night from Allen Iverson. The Lakers won the next four, though. The Warriors’ previous biggest Finals spread vs. the Cavs was -9.5 in Game 5 in both 2015 and 2017.
Will the Cavs have their second-best player in Kevin Love here? He missed most of Game 6 and all of Game 7 of the East Finals vs. Boston with concussion-like symptoms. That the Cavs won both just speaks to how great LeBron James can be. As of this writing, Love remains in the concussion protocol and thus doesn’t look good for Thursday. Love has played center and forward this season and is averaging 13.9 points and 10.0 rebounds this postseason. He missed a game in the 2016 Finals because of a concussion and sat out the 2015 Finals with a separated shoulder.
Who could we see on the court in Game 1?
Jeff Green likely would start again. He did in Game 7 in Boston and had 19 points and eight rebounds. Since 2009, Cleveland is 16-1 in potential series-clinching playoff games (3-1 this postseason). They have also won six of their last nine games when facing elimination since 2015. Obviously this isn’t a clinching game, but still.
Frankly, the only chance the Cavs have in this series is probably if the Warriors suffer a key injury – or LeBron somehow plays even better. The Cavs will have to be better on defense. That group was bottom two in the NBA during the regular season but has managed to be about league average in the postseason, allowing 105.9 points per 100 possessions. The Cavs have to find a way to be more disciplined and vigilant consistently throughout 48 minutes.
Why Bet on Golden State?
Golden State won both games this regular season vs. Cleveland. On Christmas in Oakland, it was 99-92. Klay Thompson hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:33 left. Kevin Durant’s block against a driving LeBron James with 24.5 seconds left went out of bounds off James, who said he thought he was fouled on the play. Durant finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots. Kevin Love had 31 points and 18 rebounds, while James contributed 20 points, six rebounds and six assists. Thompson scored 24 points and Draymond Green had a triple-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for the Dubs, who were without Steph Curry.
On Jan. 15 in Cleveland, the Warriors won 118-103. Durant scored 32 points and Curry added 23. The Cavs were down just 93-91 entering the fourth, but missed 17 of 19 shots to open the period. LeBron scored 32 points and Love 17 for Cleveland, which had its home winning streak stopped at 13.
What Happened in the Western Conference Finals?
The Warriors were pushed to their first road Game 7 on Monday in the West Finals in this title run but pulled away in the third for a 101-92 win. Curry led the Warriors by scoring 27 points with 10 assists, nine rebounds, four steals, one block and seven 3-pointers in 43 minutes. He finished one rebound shy of a triple-double, becoming the seventh player since 1984 to do that in Game 7. Durant scored 34 points on 11-of-21 shooting. Green added 10 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block.
The Dubs haven’t had Andre Iguodala the past four games and he’s up in the air for Game 1 at least vs. Cleveland. Iguodala (left lateral leg contusion) recently got a second opinion on his injured left knee and is “still trying to figure out what’s wrong.” Iguodala bumped knees with James Harden in Game 3 and missed the final four games of the Western Conference Finals. His status for Game 1 on Thursday is unknown.
Latest NBA Betting Trends
- Cleveland is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games
- Cleveland is 4-1 SU in the last 5 games
- The total went UNDER in 5 of Cleveland’s last 7 games
- Golden State is 6-1-1 ATS in the last 8 games when playing Cleveland
- Golden State is 12-5 SU in the last 17 games
- The total went UNDER in 5 of Golden State’s last 5 games
Expert NBA Playoffs Betting Prediction
Little doubt in my mind that the Warriors win this game, but I’m taking all those points in the NBA odds.