Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 1:10 PM
Cleveland And Golden State Meet For 3rd Straight Year For NBA Championship With Warriors So-So -260 Favorite To Win It All
Golden State 7-Point Favorite In Game #1 But The Cover Truly Remains Up In The Air
By Kelso Sturgeon
The two best teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA)—the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers (63-32) and the 2015-16 champion Golden State Warriors (79-15)—meet for the third-straight year in the championship series that most certainly will challenge bettors. Either team has the talent to win it all. The fact Golden State is the -265 favorite to win its second championship in three years is basically meaningless.
As tough as the first game appears I am releasing it as my 100-unit NBA Championship Round Game of the Year. You can win tonight’s Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors game for just $50, or purchase the entire best-of-7 championship series and get all the games for just $60. All major credit cards and Pay Pal accepted.
Tonight’s game tips off at 9:00 Eastern time and will be televised nationally on ABC.
When I say both teams have a chance to win it all—and I mean that. If I were placing a bet on who would win it all my play would be to take the +225 on the Cavaliers and bet the series would go the distance—seven games before the title. As to how many games the series would go, my bet would be on seven games.
It’s Anything Can Happen Time
In 2014-15, Golden State had a historic season, going 72-9 during the regular season and were strong favorites to win the NBA championship, which they did, beating Cleveland 4 games to 2 in that best-of-7 round.
Golden State was just as strong a favorite last year, opened up a 3-1 lead over Cleveland and then lost three straight to the Cavaliers who wrapped up the title in game #7.
Golden State is 12-0 this post-season while the Cavaliers are 12-1. In the numbers game that really counts, the Warriors are 8-4 against the spread (ATS) in its 12 wins while Cleveland is 7-4-2 ATS in post-season play. It also is worth mentioning Golden State is going for its 14th consecutive win tonight, dating back to the regular season.
The Warriors are 42-5 at home this season, while Cleveland is 27-21 on road. These teams met just twice during the regular season—and that was, oh, so long ago. Golden State hosted Cleveland January 16 and as 9-point favorites buried the Cavaliers, 126-91. Earlier in the season, they met in Cleveland, on December 25 in Cleveland and the Cavaliers prevailed 109-108 as 3.5-point underdogs.
Cleveland Closed Regular Season Playing Its Best Basketball
Cleveland seemed to be having and up-and-down season until they hit the playoffs and then it was lights out. Small forward LeBron James averaged 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists in last season's Finals and has been superb this postseason with averages of 32.5 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Point guard Kyrie Irving is averaging 24.5 points this postseason while Kevin Love is contributing 17.2 points and 10.4 rebounds. The Cavaliers will be hoping that swingman Kyle Korver (6.4 postseason average) and guards J.R. Smith (6.6) and Iman Shumpert (4.7) step up their performances in the series.
Warriors Are Looking For Redemption
Golden State hasn’t lived down the memory of blowing a 3-1 lead in last season's finals, the turning point being a one-game suspension handed to Green after a flagrant foul for kicking James in the groin during Game 4.
Small forward Kevin Durant (25.2 average) is a new part of the mix while point guard Stephen Curry (28.6) has once again been leading the postseason charge. Shooting guard Klay Thompson is averaging a lackluster 14.4 points on 38.3 percent shooting in the postseason but he scored 25 or more three times - including a high of 37 - in last year's Finals.
As noted I am coming out firing in Game #1, releasing it as my 100-unit NBA Championship Round Game of the year. The pointspread on this one makes the game dead-even but I believe I have found to factors that will decide the winner of this one. Game #2 in this series will again be played Sunday, June 4, at Oracle Arena in Oakland. The first game in Cleveland is scheduled for Wednesday, June 7.
The best-of-7 series is being played on the 2-2-1-1-1, format. If the series goes the seven games, the championship game will be played Sunday June 18 in Oakland.