Cleveland at Golden State NBA Finals Odds & Game 2 Preview

Posted by Juan Carlos on Friday,June 2, 2017 12:01, EST in

The Golden State Warriors were the first team in NBA history to start the playoffs at 12-0. Now they are the first to start 13-0 as they easily handled Cleveland in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night and are NBA odds favorites for Sunday’s Game 2. The NBA Finals trilogy continues and it’s just going to get even more interesting in these next few days!

Cleveland at Golden State NBA Finals Odds & Game 2 Preview

When: Sunday, June 4, 8 PM ET
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland
TV: ABC
Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Cleveland / Golden State
NBA Odds: Warriors -9 (221)

Why Bet On Cleveland?

LeBron James did his part in the Game 1 loss. He scored 28 points, adding 15 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks, two 3-pointers … and eight turnovers. The turnovers are too many. James fell to just 1-7 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, including 0-6 on the road. Coach Ty Lue did stick to his promise of putting James on Kevin Durant, but that plan may be getting a tweak in Game 2. James will tire out more easily chasing Durant around.

Kyrie Irving scored 24 points with three rebounds, two assists, one block, three 3-pointers and four turnovers in 35 minutes. Stephen Curry easily got the best of him in this game. Kevin Love made 4-of- 13 from the field for 15 points with a playoff career-high 21 boards, adding one assist, three blocks and three 3-pointers.

The problem is that outside the Big 3, no one else did much. J.R. Smith scored three points with two turnovers in 28 minutes. Tristan Thompson failed to score with four rebounds and two assists in just 22 minutes. The Cavaliers failed to score at least 100 points for the first time this postseason, and Klay Thompson was a big reason why. Only one shot against him in Game 1 dropped for Cleveland. With Thompson as a primary defender, Cavaliers players were just 1-for- 12 against him.

“We made a lot of mistakes. There’s nothing really needs to be said,”; James said. “We know we’re capable of playing a lot better. We didn’t play as well as we know we’re capable of.”

The underdog has fared well against the spread in Game 2 of the NBA Finals of late as Game 2 favorites have gone just 9-16- 1 ATS (36 percent) the previous 26 postseasons, including a 2-7 ATS mark since 2008. Favorites are only winning by an average score of 98.11-92.92, an edge of just 5.19 points per game. Over the past nine years, that final score is to 98.67-95.11. The underdog has won Game 2 outright a dozen times in the past 26 seasons.

The Warriors covered the 6.5-point spread in Game 2 vs. the Cavaliers last season, winning 110-77, but fell ATS in Game 2 of the 2015 finals, losing 95-93 to LeBron James & Co. as 7.5-point home favorites.

Why Bet On Golden State?

Leading by eight at intermission, the Warriors wrested control of Game 1 in the opening moments of the third quarter with a scorching 13-0 run. The Dubs look like truly one of the best teams in NBA history – better than last year’s club. This team hasn’t lost at full strength since March 10 when it fell at Minnesota on the game’s final possession.

Durant is a big reason why this club is better than last year’s. He was the best player on the floor Thursday with 38 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, three 3-pointers and no turnovers in 38 minutes. He became just the fourth NBA player to score at least 25 points in his first six NBA Finals games. Asked what stood out about the Warriors in Game 1, LeBron answered concisely, “KD.”

Durant had six dunks in the first half of the game, which already broke his previous career high in a playoff game (four). The Warriors cleaned up in the paint with 56 points in that area, which had a lot to do with their 27 fast-break points and getting a whopping 45 shots within three feet. The Warriors made an incredible 21 baskets in the paint in the first half against the Cavs, and 19 of them came in the restricted area.

The Warriors have tied the NBA record of 13 straight wins in the postseason (but no team had started a single playoffs at 13-0). They had just four turnovers on Thursday, tying the 2013 Spurs and 2005 Pistons for the fewest in a Finals game. Durant’s 38 points were the second-most points scored in Finals history by a player who didn’t turn it over.

Curry was great too with 28 points, six rebounds, 10 assists, three steals, two turnovers and six 3-pointers in 34 minutes. It's his first 20-10 game of the 2017 postseason and also the first in his career during the Finals. The Warriors had 31 assists as a team.

What should really scare Cavs backers is that Thompson continued to struggle from the field and the Warriors still won easily. Thompson made 3-of- 16 from the field for six points with three rebounds, four assists and one steal in 36 minutes, but he played fantastic defense.

The Warriors could get back head coach Steve Kerr for Game 2 as well. Kerr, who has been out since the middle of the first round of the playoffs due to effects from back surgery almost two years ago, is feeling better.

Cleveland at Golden State NBA Finals Game 2 Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers

I don’t see the Cavs winning a game in Oakland and now think this series could end in five games instead of six, but they will at least put up a fight and cover.