NBA Finals: Predicting Game 3 Odds Movement

Jordan Sharp

Monday, June 8, 2015 3:26 PM GMT

So far NBA Finals have been nothing short of amazing, & after Cavs won Game 2 that predictions of another short series are out the window. But how much odds movement can we expect in Game 3?

Total – Low Scoring Series So Far
If there is one thing that we have learned from the first two games of this series, it’s that this may be a low scoring series. If it wasn’t for overtime in the first game, the under would have cashed, and despite overtime in the second game, the under easily won for its backers in Game 2. Now that the series shifts back to the Midwest, the total has continued to drop. In Game 1 the total was about 202 ½, and in Game 2 it closed either at 200, or even 199 at some sportsbooks. Now for Game 3, the total has dropped all the way down to 194 in some places, after opening a half point higher at 194 ½. I don’t expect this total to move much more, because it’s already very low compared to where the total opened in this series for Game 1.

The Cavs insertion of Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova has clearly improved their defense, and the numbers prove it. So far in the playoffs, Thompson has been more of a rebounder and rim protector, but when Dellavedova is on the court, the Cavs opponents have an offensive rating of 99.2, opposed to 104.7 when he is off the court. Cleveland’s opponents are also shooting much worse with Delly on the court, as their opponent’s effective field goal percentage goes from 47% when Delly is off the court, to 43.5% when he is on the court. A total of 194 ½ is going to be hard to bet regardless because we don’t know how the Warriors will react to going on the road and the pressure being on them, but after dropping home court advantage and after shooting poorly for the first two games, the jump shots can start falling at any time for this talented young team, so under backers beware.

 

Spread – Back the Cavs?
Logic would tell us to back the Cavs at home with NBA odds that only favor them by a point. They just beat the toughest team to beat on the road on the biggest stage, and now they head back home to a home crowd that has been starving for a major sports championship. Quicken Loans Arena may collapse tomorrow night from the sheer noise and rowdiness that is bound to take place there, but does it mean we should just automatically tail the King and his Cavs?

Not so fast. The Cavs are still only 3-4 ATS at home in the playoffs, and if you include the regular season, the Cavs are an even 24-24 ATS on the year at home. However, as a home favorite they are 24-21 ATS, and on the year after a win they are 34-29-1 ATS. They do play much better with more than just one days rest, which could be a big factor after the Cavs looked exhausted after Game 2. However, I’m convinced that Lebron James is a robot, so he should be able to recover nicely for this one.

If more people jump back on the Cavs bandwagon after their Game 2 win, we could see this line jump up a half or full point. A few sportsbooks had the line at -1 ½ before Game 2 started, and it would not surprise me at all to see the Cavs at -2 before tip off on Tuesday night.