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NBA Finals Game 1 Betting Preview: Cavs Embracing Underdog Role

On the heels of one of the most exciting NBA Finals in recent memory, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are set to collide in the championship for the third straight year. With the Warriors taking Round 1 and the Cavaliers staging the first ever comeback from a 3-1 Finals deficit a year ago, the rubber match is set to be one for the ages. Sportsbooks opened the Warriors as 7-point home favorites with a total of 226.5 for Thursday’s Game 1.

Shark Bites
  • The Cavaliers are 2-5 SU in their last seven games on the road against the Warriors.
  • The Warriors are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six games at home after consecutive road games.
  • The Cavaliers are 1-6 SU and 2-5 ATS in their last seven games as an underdog of 7.0 or less.

While the NBA gets (rightfully) criticized for its lack of parity, there’s no disputing the fact that these two teams facing off creates an unparalleled level of drama year in and year out. At the age of 32, LeBron James is playing arguably the best basketball of his career and spearheaded the Cavs past the Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics. Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors’ high-octane offense went and added former MVP Kevin Durant to the mix in the offseason to make them seemingly unguardable.

James is making his seventh straight trip to the Finals and has already been crowned as the league’s all-time leader in playoff points. After winning the franchise’s first championship a season ago, Cleveland retooled on the fly by adding Kyle Korver, Deron Williams and Derrick Williams to pad the bench. On the flip side, the Warriors quietly made some solid signings behind Durant in the form of JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia, David West and Matt Barnes.

Last year’s improbable comeback by the wine and gold proved prior stats and records are relatively meaningless when these heavyweights collide, but there are a few interesting trends sports bettors can use to their advantage when handicapping the series.

For instance, the total may seem high but it’s at that number for a reason. The Cavs have been an OVER bettors’ dream of late, evidenced by 15 of Cleveland’s last 21 games going above the closing total. The OVER has also paid out in each of the Warriors’ last five. It’s safe to say there are more fireworks in store for the third Finals rematch, so don’t be surprised if these teams’ high-scoring ways continue.

Want more NBA Finals betting content? Our basketball page has all of the top need-to-know betting info to help you put some extra cash in your pocket. Enjoy the hoops, everybody.

OddsShark prediction models are expecting the Warriors to beat the Cavaliers 112.3-109.5.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Cleveland Cavaliers will look to vanquish their hosts on Thursday, as they are 43-48-4 ATS versus the spread this season, while the Golden State Warriors are 48-42-4 ATS. Cleveland is 56-37-2 against the points scored total betting line, while Golden State is 41-53 versus the line. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Golden State vs Cleveland injuries news.

It's a betting matchup between the No. 1-rated Golden State Warriors and the No. 17-ranked Cleveland Cavaliers, according to the NBA Power Rankings here at Odds Shark.

Statistical Matchup

The game also pits Golden State's No. 1-ranked offense averaging 116.2 PPG, against a Cleveland Cavaliers defense that ranks No. 18 at 106.61 PPG. The Golden State Warriors field goal percentage has averaged 49.55% so far, more than the Cleveland Cavaliers shooters have achieved on the year, 47.5% per game.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

The battle between the Cavaliers and Celtics didn't turn out to be much of a battle at all as Boston was handed a 135-102 defeat on Thursday at TD Garden.

Golden State got 36 points from Stephen Curry en route to a 129-115 victory over San Antonio on Monday at AT&T Center.

Next Betting Matchups

Cleveland at Golden State, Sunday, June 4th