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3 OVER/UNDER Stats For The NBA Finals

The NBA Finals rematch of last season is finally here. Do you know what you’re betting on? 

If not, here’s a look at three intriguing OVER/UNDER betting stats you likely didn’t know about that might help you decide:  

Game 1’s total is high. Very high.  

The OVER/UNDER opened at 210 for Game 1 which is the highest total in an NBA Finals in 20 years. 

The last time a total climbed this high in the finals was Game 2 of the 1995 series between the Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic. The number was 212 that game and four players piled up more than 30 points in a 117-106 Rockets win as the total soared OVER. Three games in that series had closing totals higher than 210 and two of them hopped OVER the number. 

The Warriors are scoring 110.9 points per game this postseason and the Cavs are scoring 106.9 so it’s not hard to see why this total stretches skyward. Considering this could be the most popular NBA Finals ever, it's reasonable to assume sportsbooks have inflated this line a little in anticipation of the inevitable OVER money set to roll in from the recreational bettor. 

Game 7 of the Western Conference finals between Golden State and Oklahoma City was the most watched NBA game on cable TV ever with an overnight rating of 11.2. That's an average of about 15.9 million viewers according to Turner Broadcasting, which owns TNT. By comparison, three of last year’s games in the NBA Finals had higher ratings – aired on broadcast TV, not cable – so expect this series to be a popular wagering event and sportsbooks will have to adjust accordingly. 

The Cavs and Warriors play UNder in the playoffs

Over the past two postseasons the OVER/UNDER is 12-24-2 in Warriors games (66.7 percent for the UNDER) and 13-18-3 in Cavs games (58.1 percent for the UNDER). That’s enough to turn a profit on either team if you simply blindly bet the UNDER in every one of its games over the last two playoffs.

That matters because these teams have remained intact over the past two seasons, save for Cleveland's coaching change earlier in the season. 

The UNDER is also 28-47-3 (62.7 percent for the UNDER) in this year’s playoffs heading into the finals. 

NBA Finals totals tend to be inflated 

It only makes sense that totals would historically be set on the high side for NBA Finals. The finals attract a ton of recreational action and most casual hoops bettors tend to like playing the OVER if they’re going to bet the total. 

Books know it and they've profited from it. The OVER/UNDER is 49-70-5 in the NBA Finals going back the last 20 years. That’s a profitable winning rate of 58.8 percent for the UNDER.