It’s been widely reported that the Warriors are one of the best home teams in basketball today, and now that they are in the NBA Finals, their home court advantage should play a large role against LeBron James and the Cavs. However, with a new Finals format, will it mean even more?
Up until a few seasons ago, the NBA Finals were different than the seven-game format of the rest of the postseason. Up until last season, the Finals were a 2-3-2 format, which really gave the team without home court advantage a big advantage, especially is they were able to steal a home game. This showed up in the Finals in the most recent LeBron James championship. However, now the NBA Finals are back to the 2-2-1-1-1, this allows for much more of an advantage to the team with home court, because they avoid the inevitable three road games in a row.
That might not play a huge role in these Finals, but it’s worth noting because it could give the Warriors even more of an advantage. Another factor that will give the Dubs some air over the Cavs is their overall home record. The Golden State Warriors won 12 more games at home than they did on the road this season, which other than the Trail Blazers was the best of any team in the NBA this season. Plus, they were very good at cashing ATS at home this regular and postseason as well. The Dubs are 29-19-1 ATS at home this year, and even though they are 3-5 ATS in the playoffs in home games, they have cashed in five of their last eight overall postseason games, and they are 7-1 SU at home during the playoffs.
On top of their record at home, they seem to stuff the stat sheets more at home as well. On the year, the Warriors are averaging 113 points per game at home compared to just under 107 points per game on the road. In the playoffs however, things have been a bit different for the Warriors. They are only averaging about 101 points per game at home this postseason thanks to some great defensive performances from the Pelicans and Grizzlies, however on the road, the Dubs are averaging nearly 109 points per game in the playoffs.
For betting purposes, this could really add some value to the over in this series once it shifts on the road to Cleveland. However with both of these two teams defense working overtime right now with how good they’ve been, I would be cautious betting the over with my NBA picks at any time in this series.
Cavs Newfound Defense
Something that has gone unnoticed in the playoffs has been the Cavs defense, which has been one of the best in the playoffs, if not the best. Who they played in the first couple of rounds didn’t hurt their points allowed averages either, but the Cleveland Cavaliers proved to be for real on defense in the Eastern Conference Finals. The loss of Kevin Love has helped them tremendously on defense, and throughout the playoffs, the Cavs have the #1 eFG% against at just over 45%.
Cleveland has now won seven playoff games in a row, and in those seven games, the Cavs defense probably won them at least five of them. In the playoffs, the Cavs are giving up only 92 points per game. On top of that, the Cavs are only giving up 88 points per game when playing on the road in the playoffs. The total for Game 1 reflects these numbers at only 202 ½, and while this number is pretty sharp on the NBA odds, it could still be too high if the first two games of the Finals trend the way the rest of the playoffs have gone for these two teams so far.