The NBA Finals are set to commence tomorrow night after much anticipation, and a maddeningly-long layoff with the Cavaliers traveling to the Bay for the third straight year. The two have famously split the first two meetings and are primed for an epic rubber match. We will be here on The Sports Geek for breakdowns before every game, but before tomorrow’s game, let’s take a quick look at the overall series, as well as some interesting wagers.
2017 NBA FINALS
Cleveland Cavaliers +200 vs. Golden State Warriors -265
For two teams that matchup so evenly on paper, the Vegas line tilts heavily in the Warriors direction. I also believe the Warriors are the slightly better team, but the VALUE is clearly on the side of the Cavaliers. COULD Cleveland win this series? Absolutely. And that makes +200 pretty juicy. Will they? That’s a whole other story, but from a math/value standpoint, Cleveland is the more attractive wager.
Since the Playoffs have began and Cleveland flipped the proverbial “switch” is has been THEM, and not the Warriors who are the best offensive team on Earth. From an offensive efficiency standpoint, the Cavaliers 120.7 actually greatly outdistances the Warriors 115.8. And the “terrible defense” the Cavaliers play has miraculously revived itself in the postseason with a 104.6 rating compared to the Warriors 99.1. Golden State still has a defensive edge, but keep in mind, they were playing two very limited offensive teams with Utah and a Kawhi-less Spurs. They haven’t had to guard the dizzying arsenal of shooters Cleveland uses to surround King James and keep the floor spread.
The Cavaliers are also DEEPER than the Warriors with a far better scoring bench. Over a long series, especially if LeBron can draw fouls on the Draymond and Durant, that could be a significant edge for the Cavaliers.
The point is, this series is NOT as lopsided as Vegas is leading us to believe and Cleveland has a real shot in this series. For an official pick, I’ll go Golden State in a tough seven game series, but I am not willing to eat -265 to do so.
Wagering Tip – If you like the Cavs to win the series, considering betting LeBron to Win MVP at +265 rather than the Cavs to win the series at +200. Sure, Kyrie could steal the spotlight for a few stretches and maybe even a game or two, but if the Cavs win the title, LeBron will be the MVP.
I’ll also be on some OVERs in this series. Both teams are scoring with tremendous efficiency which should make for a fun, entertaining and up-tempo series. They are a combined 17-8 on the OVER for the postseason and both have had a week to rest and get healthy.
LeBron James to have MOST ASSISTS (-150)
LeBron James to WIN MVP (+265)
Kevin Durant FIRST TO SCORE 100 POINTS (+350)
WARRIORS 4-3 OVER CAVS (+400)
Good luck everyone – and get ready to enjoy an absolutely EPIC NBA Finals!