The Cleveland Cavaliers burned me in game two of the 2018 NBA Finals, as they hung around nearly all game and wilted away late. That had them failing to beat a -11.5 point spread and I dropped to 1-1 in the Finals.
The loss also dropped me to 15-13-1 in the NBA playoffs this year, but if you’ve rolled with me to this point you’re at least in the green.
Tonight we get game three, as the series shifts to Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland has been a far better team at home all year, as they’ve gone 37-13 on their home floor this year. Cleveland has also been quite good when faced with the underdog role, going 17-10 against the spread this season.
After coming so close to taking a 1-0 series lead, LeBron James and co. are back home in a game they absolutely have to get. Are they in a good enough spot to have them cover, or is there another bet worth attacking tonight?
Golden State Warriors (-4.5, -105) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (+4.5, -115) Total: 216.5 (-110)
I don’t like this spread at all. If anything, you’re going with the superior team and taking the Dubs to cover a light -4.5 point spread. They nearly did it despite going into OT in game one and then safely did so in game two.
Things do change when you go on the road, though. Golden State has experienced that in these playoffs, as they did drop two road games in the Western Conference Finals and they’ve at times been a much more vulnerable team away from the Oracle Arena.
You’re not getting the ridiculous value you got with the Cavs in the first two games, but the oddsmakers are still handing out a solid +150 Moneyline for siding with Cleveland in this game.
I’ll make this post short and sweet; I know the Dubs are the better team and probably should sweep the Finals. However, they did almost drop game one and their biggest weakness all year has been complacency.
If this series has any hopes of being competitive – and maybe even if it doesn’t – the Cavs have to stand their ground on their home court. LeBron James has been going full beast mode throughout these playoffs and he’s especially come up huge with his back against the wall.
James is going to do all he can do keep this series from going to a likely insurmountable 3-0 hole, so instead of just going for the +4.5 spread, I’m aiming high and backing the Cavs straight up tonight.
The Warriors have been a bit wounded in this series and there have been signs of Cleveland’s supporting cast showing life. They specifically played some of their best ball at home during the Eastern Conference Finals, so don’t be shocked at all if it’s not just LeBron James that turns it up for Cleveland tonight.
The momentum of this series could shift and the Cavs provide nice value at home. In a series that could possibly be over in two games, this is your last realistic shot at viable value and I think it’s worth the risk.