NBA Finals Free Pick: Defensive Prowess & Rusty Play Prevails in Game 1

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, May 28, 2015 6:53 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 28, 2015 6:53 PM UTC

Our NBA handicapping professional provides us with an early betting preview on Game 1 of the NBA Finals. We encourage you to read this enlightening piece that culminates with a totals pick.

NBA Finals Game 1 Early Preview
The Golden State Warriors will host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday June 4th. At the time of this writing (May 28th), NBA betting odds at Wagerweb lists Golden State as a 6.0 point favorite and the posted total is at 203.5.

Check out SBR's Comprehensive NBA Finals Prop Betting Directory

Head to Head Meetings
These teams have met twice during the 2014-2015 NBA regular season campaign. The home team won and covered on each of those occasions, and both contests stayed under the total. It must be noted in regards to the total, the previous two closing numbers (216.5, 211.0) were substantially higher than the one currently posted (203.5) for this series opener. Although both of those contests went under the total, there were a combined 208 and 209 points scored.


Both Teams Stellar Defensively in Postseason
Cleveland has allowed an average of 92.5 points per game, held opponents to a paltry 41.2% shooting from the floor, and limited them to a miniscule 28.1% success rate on their three-point attempts in fourteen playoff games. The Cavaliers have gone 6-0-1 under the total in seven road contests during the playoffs, and those outings averaged just a combined 184.1 points per game being scored.

The Golden State Warriors have gone 12-3 under the total during the 2015 NBA Playoffs, and have allowed more than 100 points in just three of those fifteen games. They’ve also gone 8-0 under at home during the postseason, and those contests have averaged a combined 193.3 points per game being scored. The Warriors have the reputation of being a high scoring fast paced team, and rightfully so. However, they’re a vastly underrated defensively, and have been especially so during the postseason.

Must Read: Warriors vs. Cavaliers Finals Matchup: Finding Best Value in Opening Odds

Final Analysis
Cleveland will be playing on nine days of rest, and Golden State will have eight days in that regard. I expect both teams to be a bit tight at the onset of Game1 considering it’s the NBA Finals, and with each club having such a long layoff since closing out their previous series. Needless to say, both of these teams have surprised many during this postseason with their play on the defensive end of the floor. At this juncture, I’ll have a small lean toward a low scoring game for this NBA pick.

Early NBA Pick: Cleveland/Golden State under the total of 203.5 at Wagerweb. (subject to change)

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