Golden State at Cleveland NBA Finals Odds & Game 3 Preview

Posted by Kenny Bell on Tuesday,June 6, 2017 11:38, EDT in

Last year, the Cleveland Cavaliers were routed in the first two games of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland but of course rallied to take four of the next five for the first championship in team history. However, the 2016-17 Warriors have Kevin Durant. They have dominated thus far in the Finals as the series heads to Ohio with the Dubs leading 2-0 and favored for Wednesday’s Game 3. Things could turn around, but anything can happen at this stage of the finals. Let’s take a look at the NBA odds for this matchup.

Golden State at Cleveland NBA Finals Odds & Game 3 Preview

When: Wednesday, June 7, 9 PM ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
TV: ABC
Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Golden State / Cleveland
NBA Odds: Warriors -3 (226)

Why Bet On Golden State?

In the 132-113 Game 2 win, Kevin Durant (33 points, 13 rebounds, six assists) and Stephen Curry (first career postseason triple-double) led the way once again, but they got some more help from their teammates than they did in Game 1. The Warriors had more than 100 points by the end of the third quarter and cruised to another double-digit victory, shooting better than 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 90 percent from the free throw line.

Golden State flourishes in the open floor. And despite 20 turnovers (15 of them live balls) on Sunday, they still scored more efficiently than they did in Game 1, when they only had four (none of which were live balls).

The Warriors won Games 1 & 2 by a combined 41 points and had an average win probability during those games of 77%. Last season they won games 1 & 2 by a combined 48 points and had an average win probability during those games of 76%.

The Warriors are the first team to take a 2-0 series lead in consecutive NBA Finals since the Bulls in 1996 and 1997. But everyone remembers how that ended last year. The difference this year might be as simple as Durant. He’s leading the Finals with 35.5 points per game, but he’s doing so much more than scoring. Durant leads the Warriors in rebounding (11 per game), has 14 assists and his teammates are shooting 61 percent off his passes. He’s also held the Cavaliers to 37 percent shooting when he is the primary defender.

Overall, Durant is 23-26 on the road during his postseason career. But Durant and the Warriors haven’t lost this postseason in any location. Durant has played five playoff road games with the Warriors (he missed Game 3 against the Trail Blazers in the first round) and they have won each of those games by double-digits.

Golden State has won 14 straight playoff games, setting an NBA record for most consecutive postseason games won (previous: 13 straight postseason wins by the L.A. Lakers from 1988-89 and Cleveland Cavaliers from 2016-17). The Warriors’ 14-game postseason winning streak matches the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 14-game playoff win streak from 1992-93 for the longest streak of playoff games won among the four major professional sports leagues. Golden State has won 29 of its last 30 games overall dating back to the regular season

Why Bet On Cleveland?

Following Game 2, LeBron James is now averaging a triple-double in the NBA Finals. He is the third player to average a triple-double in the first two games of the Finals, joining Wilt Chamberlain (1967) and Bob Cousy (1959). James had a triple-double by the third quarter of Game 2 and finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists. It was one of the most complete Finals games he has ever played.

The Cavaliers’ depth represents their only real hope in this series. James has been great per usual averaging 28.5 points, 13.0 rebounds and 11.0 assists over the first two games. Kevin Love (21 PPG, 14.0 RPG) has played well. And Kyrie Irving has provided adequate scoring to complement them. Well Irving is shooting 40 percent from the field, has seven turnovers to just nine assists through two games, and the Cavaliers have been outscored by 34 points across 75 minutes in two games.

Still, Cleveland’s ‘Big Three’ has largely been fine, but its secondary options have left much to be desired. The Cavaliers — who shot 38.4% from downtown during the regular season, second to only the Spurs — shot 35.5% from three in Game 1 and 27.6% in Game 2 thanks in large part to their struggling bench, which has hit just five triples on 24 attempts. Kyle Korver has made one of his six 3-point attempts in a total of 43 minutes. Deron Williams has missed all nine of his shots. Channing Frye can’t stay on the floor because there’s no one for him to guard.

Iman Shumpert had six points, four rebounds and three steals in 22 minutes off the bench, and despite shooting only 1-for- 6 from the field, he was considered a bright spot in the loss because of his attack mentality and on-ball defense against Durant. Shumpert’s play, coupled with JR Smith’s disappearing act in the series thus far, has the Cavs considering a lineup change at shooting guard for Game 3. Smith has just three points in this series.

Despite Sunday’s loss, the Cavaliers had some positive takeaways at both ends of the floor. In Game 2, Cleveland had 27 assists on 45 field goals to go with just nine turnovers. The Cavs were just one assist shy of tying their 2017 playoff high (28, twice) and one turnover from their 2017 postseason low (eight, twice).

Golden State at Cleveland NBA Finals Game 3 Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers

Including this postseason at home (5-1), the Cavs have won 14 of the last 16 playoff games at Quicken Loans Arena. In six home games this postseason, Irving is averaging 29.5 points on .512 shooting from the field, including .413 (19-46) from beyond the arc.