NBA Finals Betting: Cavaliers at Warriors

NBA Finals Betting: Cavaliers at Warriors

The wait is over. The 2015 NBA Finals tip tonight in Oakland as the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers throw down with the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors. The Cavs last and first trip to the Finals was in 2007 when they were swept aside by the San Antonio Spurs. Meanwhile, this marks the Warriors’ first appearance since 1975 when they swept away the Washington basketball team formerly known as the Bullets. In other words, whomever seizes the title is long overdue to experience championship glory. LeBron James versus Steph Curry. Kyrie Irving’s chronic knee pain. Klay Thompson’s concussion. Steve Kerr coaching against a franchise he used to play for. J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert’s ascension from the sewer that is the New York Knicks. So many storylines to ponder. Here’s a preview and prediction for Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals.


For the second time in his mercurial career, LeBron James will look to capture the first ever title in Cavaliers’ franchise history. Hey, no pressure. It’s not like big ticket offseason acquisition Kevin Love is out for the series, or that Kyrie Irving is suffering from recurring knee inflammation. Oh wait, never mind. James carried his charges against Atlanta in the Eastern Finals and will likely have to do the same to defeat a potent Warriors’ squad. In his lone game against Golden State this season, James racked 42 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists; more importantly, the Cavs left town with a 110-99 victory. Also, Love chipped in 16 points and 8 boards to help the cause; not having his versatile offensive skills presents a challenge for a Cleveland roster that lacks consistent scoring threats. J.R. Smith and Irving must stay healthy and convert open shots to lessen the burden on Bron.

Klay Thompson has been cleared to suit up after suffering a concussion in the series-clinching matchup with the Rockets. However, symptoms can resurface, so pay close attention to his minutes and performance. Steph Curry has been lights out thus far in the playoffs, averaging 29.2 points, 6.4 assists, and 1.87 steals per game. How the Cavs choose to defend him will go a long way in deciding which team comes out on top. Curry is obviously deadly from long range, but his off the dribble and intermediate talents aren’t too shabby either. A player to watch is small forward Draymond Green, who excels on the glass and is improving on the offensive end. Green will likely be tasked to check LeBron, which could impact other phases of his game. And then there’s the enigma that is Harrison Barnes, a capable wing player who frequently resorts to disappearing acts.

Cleveland is 5-2 ATS in its last seven overall, but 1-5 ATS in its last six visits to Golden State. The Warriors are 9-3 ATS in the last dozen meetings, but 3-8 ATS in their last eleven home tilts. A home cover is quite possible, although LeBron is keenly aware how important Game 1s can be.

Bet Cleveland +6