I don’t know about you, but I very much thought the 2016 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers would be very competitive basketball and likely go at least six games, with the Warriors taking the series. That latter projection looks smart but it hasn’t been very entertaining yet because Golden State routed the Cavs in the first two games. The series heads to northern Ohio on Wednesday night for Game 3 and the Cavs are again underdogs on sports betting lines. If they lose this game, it’s over.
How To Bet Warriors at Cavaliers Game 3 NBA Finals Odds & TV Info
When: Wednesday, June 8, 9 PM ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
NBA Odds: Warriors -1 (206.5)
Warriors at Cavaliers Historic Betting Trends
Here’s something I didn’t know: the Warriors are the first club to beat a LeBron James-led team seven straight games. Those were the final three games of last year’s Finals, two in this regular season and the first two games of these Finals. Never before had James lost seven times in a row to an opponent. The closest was six to the Celtics in 2010 and 2011. That bothered him so much that he left Cleveland for Miami.
The Cavs have now gone 10 games against Golden State without scoring at least 100 points. James has repeatedly been stripped by Andre Iguodala or smothered by Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut. James’ streak of 16 straight Finals games with at least 20 points ended in Sunday’s 110-77 loss. During Game 2, Iguodala was James’ final defender on 17 plays, resulting in James going 1-of-3 with seven turnovers. In the last 10 regular-season and playoff meetings between the Warriors and Cavs, James has shot 32-of-91 (35 percent) with Iguodala as his primary defender.
Cleveland shot just 35.4 percent from the field after 38.1 percent in Game 1. Kyrie Irving is shooting 33 percent for the series with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 5-to-6. J.R. Smith has just eight total points. The Cavs’ bench was outscored 85-41 through two games.
To make matters worse, the Cavs may not have Kevin Love for Game 3. He took a Harrison Barnes elbow to the back of his head in Game 2. Love managed to stay in the game but looked dazed later on during it and took himself out early in the third quarter for good. He is now is in the league’s concussion protocol. Love finished with five points on 2-for-7 shooting with three rebounds, one steal and one turnover. The Cavaliers were outscored by eight points in his 21 minutes of floor time, and by 25 points in the remainder of the game without him.
The best player in this series hasn’t been James or two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry or his Splash Brother teammate Klay Thompson. No, it has been Green. In Game 2, he had 28 points with five 3-pointers, seven rebounds and five assists. Green has taken more uncontested shots than any other player so far this series as the Cavs are focusing on Curry and Thompson. Curry scored 18 points in Game 2 despite foul trouble. Green is now the NBA Finals MVP betting favorite. The 33-point win Sunday was the Warriors’ most lopsided ever in a finals game — and they have won the first two by a combined 48 points. Golden State is the first team to go ahead 2-0 in the finals since the Lakers in 2009 against Orlando.
The Warriors have now won 87 games combining the regular season and postseason, tying the 1995-96 Bulls for the most wins in a season in NBA history. The Cavaliers are 2-10 all-time in the NBA Finals, the second-worst record for any team in the Finals. There have been 31 instances of a team taking a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals. The team with that lead won the championship 28 times.
Expert Betting Prediction
I have little doubt the Cavs play better, but the Warriors also won there by 34 during the regular season. Go Golden State on betting lines.