NBA Finals Betting: Cavaliers at Warriors

NBA Finals Betting: Cavaliers at Warriors

Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals was Cleveland’s for the taking. And then it wasn’t. Like they’ve done all season and during the playoffs, the Golden State Warriors grasped victory from the brink of defeat. The Western Conference champs closed strong in the fourth quarter to force overtime before outscoring the Cavs 10-2 in the extra session to seize a 1-0 series’ lead. And the loss was a costly one for Cleveland as they wasted a 44-point effort from LeBron James, and also waved goodbye to Kyrie Irving for the remainder of the Finals after he broke his left kneecap. Irving was sensational prior to exiting, netting 23 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals. Needless to say, he will be greatly missed. As if the burden on James wasn’t heavy enough, he will now be asked to pull off a herculean task to earn the Cavaliers first ever title. Here’s a preview and prediction for Game 2.

CLEVELAND AT GOLDEN STATE -7.5

First Kevin Love, now Irving. The postseason for the Cavs has been chock-full of immense challenges. The “Big Three” is down to one. The good news is that “one” happens to be the best player on the planet. However, a sterling Game 1 wasn’t good enough to stave off the potent Warriors, so LeBron will need a lot of help to avoid being swept. Timofey Mozgov was solid in the Thursday loss, racking 16 points and 7 rebounds, but he was the only player besides James and Irving to total double-digits. J.R. Smith must deliver better than 3-13 from the field, and Matthew Dellavedova has to log more than nine minutes. It might be time for head coach Dave Blatt to remove Mike Miller from mothballs; Miller’s days as a reliable bench scorer are over, but the Cavs need all the veteran assistance they can get if the hope to even the series.

Steph Curry was merely good in Game 1, which is bad news for the Eastern Conference champs. Klay Thompson showed no ill effects from the concussion he sustained versus Houston a week ago, scoring 21 points on 5-14 shooting. And Andre Iguodala chipped in a key 15 points in 32 minutes off the bench, providing decent defense on LeBron down the stretch. Draymond Green had a quiet start to the series, but his versatility at both ends of the floor gives the Warriors an advantage in the post. Curry smells blood. A 2-0 lead heading onto the road will be very difficult for the undermanned Cavs to overcome. Golden State’s ability to come up with huge defensive stops proved vital in their Game 1 victory, and it will likely continue to be the difference as the series progresses.

Cleveland is 3-10 ATS in the last 13 meetings overall. The Warriors are 20-5-1 ATS in their last 26 games played on two days rest. Cavs absolutely need this one, but a motivated Golden State team at home will be hard to handle.

Bet Golden State -7.5