Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors
Date and Time: Thursday, June 1, 2017, 9 p.m. ET
Location: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
NBA Odds: Warriors -7, O/U 226
Cavaliers vs. Warriors TV Coverage: ABC
The Cavs enter Game 1 as a 7-point underdog, the first time this postseason they’ve been given points. And they aren’t taking too kindly to the spread. It’s not like LeBron James and Co. need added motivation. They are going against the best team in the NBA and the Warriors are looking to avenge a loss in last year’s final. But the Cavs have been exceptionally good on the road in the playoffs, winning all seven games while going 6-0-1 ATS.
James is playing his best basketball and will be a force against the Warriors. With the exception of his disappearing act in Game 4 against the Celtics, James has been phenomenal. He’s scored at least 30 points in 11 of 13 games and is averaging 32.5 points per outing. He’s gotten the needed support from Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love and the Cavs have the most efficient offense this postseason. They’ll need to score because it’ll be difficult to stop the Warriors from putting the ball in the hoop.
No team in league history has been as dominant as the Warriors through the first three rounds. The Dubs haven’t lost this postseason and have swallowed just one L in their past 28 games while going 20-7-1 ATS during that run. They whacked the Cavs by 35 points when the teams met in Oracle in January, taking some of the sting from last year’s Finals away, but not all.
The Dubs relinquished their crown last season but got the biggest jewel in free agency with this exact situation in mind. Kevin Durant chose Golden State with one goal – to win a championship. He wasn’t around last season and with Curry struggling in the Finals, the Dubs succumbed. KD is a matchup problem for the Cavs, who don’t want James trying to stop him. Durant averaged 28.5 points in his two games against the Cavs and shot 51.3 percent from the field.
There has been plenty of time for buildup with the Warriors having nine days between their series-clinching win over San Antonio and the start of the Finals. We could say they might be rusty and two of their closest games were the openers against the Jazz and Spurs. With seven days off following their first-round sweep of Portland, the Dubs shot just 24 percent on three-pointers and needed a 10-point margin at the free throw line to edge Utah in Game 1 of that series.
Golden State had five days off before starting the Western Conference Final and if not for an injury to Kawhi Leonard, they likely lose that one. The Warriors dug themselves out of a big hole after Leonard went down, outscored the Spurs 71-49 in the second half and escaped with a two-point win. The Dubs haven’t looked vulnerable too often this postseason, but those were the times and the Cavs need to pounce on the opportunity.
Cavaliers vs. Warriors Free Picks
The two highest scoring teams in the postseason have a record total of 226 for Game 1 of the Finals. Both teams have been good playing the over with the Cavs 9-4 and the Dubs 9-3, but only once this postseason was there a game with a total in the 220s. Golden State and Portland played above the closing total of 222.5 in the Warriors’ 128-103 win in Game 4 of that series.
In last year’s Finals the two never combined for more than 216 points in a game and both regular season meetings cashed the under. While both teams can score points with the collection of talent on the floor, they can also defend. The Warriors are tops in defensive rating this postseason while the Cavs are third. Cleveland will use the point spread to its advantage and the under looks like a safe bet.
Cavaliers vs. Warriors ATS Pick: Look to the under at BookMaker.eu
Cavaliers vs. Warriors Score Prediction: Warriors 109 – Cavaliers 105