After the Warriors dominated Game 4 to take back home court advantage, the NBA Odds have come out firmly in favor of Golden State, and it doesn’t look like that it’s going to change. However, even with all of the injuries for the Cavs, could they be a solid bet as big underdogs?
Spread Staying Put
On Friday it looked like this line was heading southward. After opening at -8 ½ in favor of the Warriors, the NBA odds had already shrunk to -8, and it looked like -7 ½ was next. However, not even 24 hours later the line is back up to -8 ½, and the Warriors seem like they are staying there. Being back home has a lot to do with this, but the two days of rest are going to help the Cavs far more than it helps the Warriors. That alone makes me think the line is just a few points too high, but I need to hear more about the Cavs' injuries and depth before locking anything in before Sunday night.
Another question is whether or not the Cavs will start to play more guys of the bench. Mike Miller may not be the answer, but the only other guy collecting dust on their bench is Shawn Marion. While he may be able to spell some guys on the perimeter on defense, Marion’s offense is likely not going to be there after sitting out so long. As it stands he may be in line for 6-8 minutes in Game 5, but it’s not going to help against what should be an onslaught from the Warriors in Oakland.
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Total Up Slightly Despite Third Straight Under
Low scoring games have been a trend for these Finals, and while it’s unexpected, the sportsbooks are also weary of a high scoring game. I’ve been wrong about both teams having a big offensive games twice now. However, despite the under cashing by 10 points in Game 4, the total is actually a half point higher than Game 4 at 195 ½.
After going small and unlocking the key to their offense on the road, the Warriors are probably confident heading back to Game 5 at home. If they can score just a few more points than they did in Game 4, the over could be a solid play for the first time. Golden State could easily get to 105 or more on Sunday night, and despite the spread being -8 ½, I could still see the Cavs getting well into the 90s to cash the over.
There is of course the possibility that the Cavs fall apart again and only score 12 points in the 4th quarter. However that would mean that LeBron James was ineffective after a poor Game 4 and two days to recover from it. I sincerely doubt that happens on Sunday night. James is going to have another heroic effort in this one, which means he only needs one other guy to put up 20 points, and the likelihood of the over cashing is great. It was Mathew Dellavedova in Game 3, and Tiomfey Mozgov in Game 4, but someone has to give Cleveland 20 for the over to cash.