Game 1 of the NBA Finals is finally here, and we get to see whether or not the health of the Cavaliers is going to mean anything! I am back with some nice prop betting wagers for Game 1.
Cleveland Cavaliers O/U 101½ pts
The Cavaliers will now play their first Game 1 on the road in the playoffs, and that is something that cannot be overlooked. The sportsbooks have set both the game and team totals very high for Game 1, and considering both clubs are coming off rest, this game could be a bit more defensive.
The Cavaliers' offense is much improved from last the NBA Finals, but if they try to get into a running and shooting battle with this Warriors team, they are going to lose. That being said, the Cavs' played well last season when they locked in on defense, and after not having to play much defense the entire playoffs, the Cavs are going to have to slow down their pace and defend even more if they want to win this game.
The Cavs are already playing slow with a playoffs pace of below 90 possessions per 48 minutes, and if last season was any indication, the Warriors are going to play some defense in this series as well. Last year in the playoffs, the Warriors had the best Defensive Rating of any team, allowing just over 100 points per 100 possessions. I also expect them to channel their defense from last season here in the 2016 Finals, and even though the Cavs are full of newfound offensive weapons from last year's playoffs, I doubt that will matter too much.
If you take away their big game to close out the Raptors in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cavaliers are averaging only 103 points per game on the road in the playoffs. That is also including their big 121-point effort in Atlanta in Game 3 of that series, so more realistically, the Cavs have a shot of falling below 100 points if the Warriors' defense is playing well, and the Cavs come out rusty. Take the under because of this.
Free MLB Pick: Under 101½ -120
Best Line Offered: at Bet365
Alternate Point Spread
Right now the sportsbooks have the Warriors as -6 favorites at home in the NBA Odds, and if you think that number is significantly off from where it should be, you can make a lot of money on the alternate point spread. If you think the Cavs are going to win outright, you can get odds of better than +200 on the alternate point spread.
However, I am going a different direction tonight, and adding points to the Dubs to make for a nice cap to our team prop picks tonight. I'm not even going that far, because a bet on the Warriors at -6½ is even money.
If you take away the Warriors Game 1 loss to the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals, they have been very good in Games 1 and 2 at home. Their average margin of victory in those five games excluding their most recent Game 1 has been over 18 points. Cleveland is good enough to upset the Warriors at home in Game 1, but the Warriors are riding the momentum heading into this series. Oklahoma City was riding momentum into their Game 1 win over the Warriors, so with that in mind, and with still some question marks about how Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love will perform in this environment tonight, I am backing the Dubs at -6½ to add some value to our team NBA Props Picks for Thursday night. Stay tuned for player prop picks!
My Pick: Warriors -6½ +100
Best Line Offered: at Bovada