The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are looking at the highest OVER/UNDER ever in an NBA Finals when they tip off for Game 1 on June 1.
The Sportsbook total of 226 isn’t just the highest number we’ve ever seen in a championship series – it’s the highest by 15.5 points.
Last year’s seven-game series between these two basket machines laid claim to the six highest totals in NBA history, including Game 1, which was the previous high of 210.5. (The OVER went 2-4-1 in those games.)
So why is it so high this year?
Golden State is scoring 8.5 more points per game these playoffs compared to last year and Cleveland is scoring 5.6 more points per game. That’s 14.1 more points right there and throw in another point and a half of media hype for good measure.
These high totals have resulted in a lot of UNDERs in the past. The OVER/UNDER in the 15 highest Finals totals we have in our database going back to 1995-96 is 5-9-1 (64.2 percent). It’s not a huge sample size but the 15 highest playoff totals we have also went 4-11 on the O/U (75%).
We also know from last year’s coverage the NBA Finals have a tendency to go UNDER. The O/U in Finals back to 1995-96 is 47-67-6 (58.8%). That’s a profitable number and it’s one reason why I’m often thinking UNDER bets first when the NBA Finals tip off.
Here’s a look at the 15 highest totals we have on record for the NBA Finals going back to 1996:
|Date||Away vs. Home||Score||Total||O or U?|
|June 2, 2016||Cavs vs. Warriors||89-104||210.5||U|
|June 13, 2016||Cavs vs. Warriors||112-97||209||P|
|June 5, 2016||Cavs vs. Warriors||77-110||209||U|
|June 16, 2016||Warriors vs. Cavs||101-115||207.5||O|
|June 10, 2016||Warriors vs. Cavs||108-97||206.5||U|
|June 8, 2016||Warriors vs. Cavs||90-120||206||O|
|June 4, 2009||Magic vs. Lakers||75-100||205.5||U|
|June 19, 2016||Cavs vs. Warriors||93-89||205||U|
|June 4, 2015||Cavs vs. Warriors||100-108||203.5||O|
|June 7, 2009||Magic vs. Lakers||96-101||202||U|
|June 11, 2009||Lakers vs. Magic||99-91||200.5||U|
|June 19, 2000||Pacers vs. Lakers||111-116||199||O|
|June 7, 2015||Cavs vs. Warriors||95-93||199||U|
|June 5, 2014||Heat vs. Spurs||95-110||198.5||O|
|June 8, 2014||Heat vs. Spurs||98-96||198.5||U|
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