Cavs-Warriors Finals Projected On Updated NBA Lines To Win Title

Cavs-Warriors Finals Projected On Updated Lines To Win Title

Written by on March 4, 2015

The Cleveland Cavaliers opened the 2014-15 NBA season as the favorites on NBA lines to win the franchise’s first NBA title. There have been a few hiccups along the way, but the Cavs are right back there as the +230 favorites to win it all in June and that’s unlikely to change before the playoffs begin.

Cavs-Warriors Finals Projected On Updated NBA Lines To Win Title

 
  The only way I can see the Cavs slipping from the top spot is a major injury to LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and/or Kevin Love, the team’s Big 3. I actually believe that Cleveland could still win it all without Love, but if James were to go down then this team may not get out of the first round. LeBron is having another MVP-caliber season but generally is considered third for that award behind Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Houston’s James Harden. One thing working against Cleveland, perhaps, is that the team is just fourth in the East entering Wednesday. It has no chance of getting the top seed as that will belong to Atlanta. But the Cavs could easily climb as high as No. 2 and thus only not have home-court advantage against the Hawks in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Golden State has the best record in the West, plus an NBA-best 24-2 mark at home, and is the +500 second-favorite for the NBA title. Obviously injuries could derail any team, but really keep an eye on Warriors center Andrew Bogut. He has missed several games this season and is rather injury-prone. Bogut is the key to Golden State’s defense and this wouldn’t be a title team without him. Don’t be surprised to see rookie head coach Steve Kerr rest Bogut plenty down the stretch where possible to keep him fresh for the playoffs. A Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals is, predictably, the +350 favored matchup. The teams have split two regular-season meetings. The Warriors won at home 112-94 on Jan. 9 when James was out injured so throw that one out. On Feb. 26 in Cleveland, James had 42 points in a 110-99 victory. James vastly outplayed Curry, who was just 5-for-17 for 18 points. I want to touch on Oklahoma City, which is the third title favorite at +700 on NBA lines, and defending NBA champion San Antonio, which is fifth at +1100. It’s looking rather likely those two might be the bottom two seeds in the ultra-deep Western Conference. Keep in mind that no team seeded seventh or eighth has won the NBA Finals and only team from one of those seeds has gotten there (1998-99 Knicks lost to Spurs in five). Obviously the Thunder’s chances largely depend as well on the return of Kevin Durant from a second foot procedure. He said this week he “for sure” will return by the end of the regular season. An interesting case is Chicago, which was the betting favorite for a while but is now down at +2000. The Bulls have been destroyed by injuries of late. Former NBA MVP Derrick Rose and All-Star guard Jimmy Butler have recently been lost. Both are expected out a minimum of another three weeks and maybe through the end of the regular season. Can they get back before that to get a sense of rhythm with their teammates? The Bulls have an excellent record when their projected starting five has all played in the same game but that has happened only 19 times. With all due respect to Atlanta (+950), everyone wants to see a Cavaliers-Bulls matchup in the East playoffs. It’s just that might have to take place in the semifinals and not the finals. Atlanta would love nothing more than to see those teams beat up on each other and avoid either the Cavs or Bulls until the East Finals. Atlanta leads the East by 10 games and is the first team to clinch a playoff spot.