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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 12:00 AM








If you’re a believer in this here-and-now Cleveland Cavaliers team than it’s a glass-half-full approach to Wednesday night’s Game 3 of this year’s NBA Finals:

True, the Cavs are down two games-to-none but – you might reason – all the Golden State Warriors have done so far is “hold serve” with Game 1 and Game 2 wins at home and there’s little debate that Cleveland was the superior team for most of Game 1. Also, Cleveland did manage to get within six points of the Warriors in the second half of Game 2 despite the fact Ty Lue’s club never was fully “engaged” in that Sunday night bash in Oakland.

The glass half-empty belief?

Well, what’s really the odds of Cleveland winning four of the next five games against the best shooting team in league history and especially how lost is the cause if LeBron James – who’s scored 80 points so far in this championship round of play – can’t get another 60-to-70 points from his so-called supporting cast?



GOLDEN STATE at CLEVELAND – Warriors lead series 2-0; Game 3 is Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, ABC

Gotta admit that we sometimes “fall in love” with the + / - numbers from these games and how about the Warriors’ 122-103 win/cover last Sunday night? Four of Golden State’s five starters registered double-digit plus figures with Kevin Durant a + 24, Stephen Curry a + 19, Draymond Green a + 19 and Klay Thompson a + 11 … in short, if the 4.5-point home underdog Cavaliers want to get back into this best-of-seven series then all those G-State plus/minus figures must be shaved down to single digits (or minus figures).

The Cleveland hopes of doing so rests with James – of course – but reserves Jeff Green and Larry Nance, Jr. (a combined 8 points in 31 minutes in Game 2) must be positive factors here and, without question, F Kevin Love must be more efficient with his three-ball attempts after going a combined 4-of-16 from downtown. Hey, the Cavaliers have posted some big-time “W’s” in so-called must-win games this post-season and now’s the biggest challenge thus far in these Finals … win or get ready to be “broomed” on Friday night.

One X-factor to watch here for Steve Kerr’s Warriors:

The nifty 28-to-12 assists-to-turnovers stat for Golden State in Game 2 was ultra-impressive stuff. If Cleveland doesn’t show more resistance to the Warriors’ drives to the hoop than you might expect a better-than-two-to-one assists-to-turnovers rate once again.


Here’s the 2018 NBA Finals head-to-head matchups so far between the Cavaliers and the Warriors (all home teams in CAPS):


DATE      WINNER         SPREAD  LOSER             SCORE

5-31        GOLDEN ST    - 13         Cleveland       124-114 (ot)

6-3          GOLDEN ST    - 11.5      Cleveland       122-103




(thru games of June 3)

Here’s the pointspread breakdown this post-season for the Cavaliers and the Warriors:


TEAM             WON      LOSS       TIE           PCT

Golden St.             10           8      0              .556

Cleveland               9              11   0              .450


Note: NBA Playoff Betting Favorites are now a collective 45-32-1 ATS (against the spread) for a .584 winning rate with two Pick ‘Em games while heading into Game 3 of the NBA Finals … and get this:

Golden State is 9-7 ATS as chalk sides in this year’s post-season (a .563 winning rate) to go along with a 1-1 spread split as underdogs in Games 1 and 2 in the NBA Western Conference Finals versus Houston. On the flip side, Cleveland is 6-8 vig-wise as betting favs in this year’s post-season (a .428 winning rate) while the Cavaliers are 3-2 ATS as pups and 0-1 spreadwise in a single Pick ‘Em tilt against Boston in Game 2 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals.


Now hear this …

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers keep banging out lots of winners in this year’s NBA Finals – and we’ll keep on smashin’ the books here in Game 3 with Sides & Totals action on this Wednesday night. We’re winning with Major League Baseball too, so make sure you cash in big every day right here at or via our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.



It’s always fun/interesting to check out the World Series win-it-all odds at varying points of the season and so let’s take a look at a batch of teams (note all odds are based on $100 wagers) …


TEAM                     ODDS                     COMMENT


NY Yankees           + 400                      The Bombers are 20 games over .500 and some guys (OF/DH Giancarlo Stanton) have yet to heat up

Boston                   + 450                      Lots more power/pop in this ’18 lineup but LHP David Price remains the key

Houston                 + 500                      If ‘Stros can land a reliever (or two) by trade deadline, then they’re the favorites

Washington          + 950                      Stop-and-start season thus far for the Nats but 2B Daniel Murphy’s return will be major boost

Milwaukee            + 1000                    The below-the-radar team that must show it won’t run out of gas come August

Seattle                    + 1300                    The M’s have been the masters of the walk-off win; lots of magic on their side so far

Chicago Cubs        + 1350                    Count us among the folks that believe the Cubbies offer “value” at this price

Cleveland               + 1500                    Wouldn’t necessarily count on another 20-plus game winning streak ahead

LA Dodgers           + 1500                    Last year’s NL champs won a bunch without LHP Clayton Kershaw and may have to do so again

Atlanta                   + 1700                    Youngest teams in the bigs is one of MLB’s top stories; does it have staying power?

Colorado                + 2300                    Rockies are rotten 11-16 at Coors Field … right, go figure

Arizona                  + 2500                    The swoon started before June for the D-Backs who need at least one more arm



NOTE: Catch our NBA Finals Game 3 recap plus much more in the next edition of Jim Sez.



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