NBA Finals Odds

NBA Finals Odds

Well, that was interesting for a minute, but now we’re back to the status quo, and the Warriors are the favorites against Cleveland in Round 4 of what’s becoming an entertaining, if slightly frayed, broken record.

After Cleveland pushed Boston to an ugly, ragged Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals before limping off the court with the win, the Houston Rockets had a chance to reinstall some parity into the NBA. Hosting the Warriors for a Game 7 of their own, home court advantage seemed to be carrying the Rockets through the first half, where they built up a comfortable 15-point lead before the Dubs worked the margin back to single digits going into the break.

Then the third quarter happened: Steph Curry couldn’t miss a shot, and the Rockets couldn’t make one, standing by helplessly as they were caught up in a deluge of unmatched threes. While the game echoed the general “tale of two halves” of Game 6 (where Golden State started slow and came on in a blitz for the entire second half, turning out a 46-point swing), Houston kept things a little more respectable here, losing by 9 points, 101-92.

However, the most telling stat-line of the night was, again, the 3-pointer: The Warriors were a strong 41.0% from deep, making 16 of 39 threes, while the Rockets – themselves a deep threat at almost any time (shooting .337 from three-point land during the regular season) – couldn’t buy a bucket from downtown, going 7-44 for a 15.9% rate. At one point, Houston missed 27 straight 3-pointers. That’s a statistical fluke for any team (and a new NBA record!) – it just came at the wrong time for the Rockets. If you took the over on their team threes at your online sportsbook, my sincerest condolences.

Now then, back to the hum-drum. This is the fourth NBA Finals in a row that will feature Golden State vs. the Cavaliers. Curry vs. LeBron. Another underdog rating for the GOHG (Greatest Of His Generation), with another chance to trend towards GOAT or goat. Also, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.

Look, the audience and the paying public might be getting sick of this seemingly inevitable annual matchup, and ratings will be interesting to watch. However, this is arguably the most compelling NBA Finals between these two clubs. With a third win in four years, Golden State will become an historical NBA dynasty. If LeBron can will his piecemealed, (poorly-)hand-picked team to another unlikely title (akin to the one they won in the 2016 season), it’ll cement his legendary status in the eyes of even his most determined haters.

Of course, this will be the hardest mountain for LeBron to climb, as these Warriors are younger than the Cavs and even better than before (particularly if Andre Iguodala is cleared to play), with a clutch, steely playoff reserve that we haven’t seen before. Meanwhile, the Cavs have one tremendous superstar and a concussed, J.R. Smith, and a concussed, unreliable three-point shooter who may or may not be ready to go come Game 1 (Thursday, May 31, 9:00 PM, ABC).

At Bovada, the LeBron-led Cavs are +12 dogs to the Dubs, and they carry a +600 straight moneyline. Meanwhile, the Warriors carry a -1000 straight moneyline. Imagine a Michael Jordan-led team in the ‘90s carrying those sorts of odds going into a Finals matchup. But rather than an indictment of LBJ (who has his faults – namely that he’s a terrible GM), it’s more a nod to the unstoppable schemes and talents that Golden State has developed over the last half-decade.

The Golden State/Cleveland series line has the Cavs at +500, while the Dubs are at -800. Currently, none of the top online sportsbooks (Bovada, SportsBetting, BetDSI, etc.) have series props on the NBA Finals matchup, but within the next few days, USA online sportsbooks knows you can expect to be able to wager on how many games the series will go and which team will emerge victorious. Right now, I think LeBron and the Cavaliers are good for two wins. However, I also think the Dubs will steal one of those in the late fourth quarter, probably at home.

Warriors in 5.