Finals Series Price Update: Warriors Steaming

nba finals

Monday, May 29, 2017 1:16 PM GMT

Sharp bettors don’t seem too concerned about LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. They’ve got the Golden State Warriors in their NBA picks for this year’s Finals.

Apparently we’re not the only ones who think the 2016-17 Golden State Warriors are all that. When we last checked in on the Western Conference champions, they had opened as -250 favorites at Intertops to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. Make it -260 now as we go to press – and that still looks like a bargain. Bovada has Golden State priced at –265; The Greek has them at –270.

On the flip side, if you happen to like the Cavaliers for your NBA picks, you’ll get a better price on the defending titleholders at those other books. You’ll be going against the grain, of course, as you would have been last year when the Cavs came back from a 3-1 deficit to take the championship from Golden State. But the way LeBron James is playing – aside from that brief spell during the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics – there might be “sneaky” value on Cleveland at these prices.
 

The Second Season

We’ve talked before about how James and the Cavaliers are playing at a markedly higher level during these playoffs than they did during the regular season. They’re definitely blowing out the computer projections at FiveThirtyEight, and as Nate Silver himself pointed out Saturday it isn’t just these playoffs – this has happened every year since James returned to Cleveland.

Now that the Cavs have gone 12-1 SU and 8-4-1 ATS during the postseason, they’ve raised their profile considerably from where they were two months ago. Yet the projections still have Cleveland winning this series just 10 percent of the time. Compare that to the NBA odds board at Bovada, where the Cavs are +225 at press time; run it through the SBR Betting Odds Converter, and you get 30.77 percent out the other side.

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The Jordan-versus-James debate is only “great for barbershops,” LeBron James said https://t.co/F9aSH9mXWf

— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 28, 2017
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Is that still too low? The sharps don’t seem to think so. Early reports from Vegas showed a classic split in the action between smaller, public bets on Cleveland and the big money on Golden State. Given how distorted the projections have become, we’ll be more inclined here at the ranch to mimic whatever the wiseguys are doing in these Finals – and keep our bet sizes small, just in case.