NBA Pick on Cavaliers, Warriors to Sneak ‘over’ in Game 5

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, June 14, 2015 3:00 PM GMT

Sunday, Jun. 14, 2015 3:00 PM GMT

Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Sunday.

 

Although the ‘under’ is 4-0 during regulation time of these NBA Finals, there is sufficient reason to expect a relatively high scoring game Sunday night when the Cleveland Cavaliers (67-33, 29-21 away) this time pay a visit to the Golden State Warriors (81-20, 47-4 home) for Game 5 from Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA at 8:05 ET in a game televised nationally on ABC, with the series now tied at 2-2

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 195½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -107.

 

Cleveland Defense Solved
Similar to what they did vs. another great defensive team in the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference semifinals, the team with the best record in basketball this season the Golden State Warriors erased a 2-1 series deficit by winning a pivotal Game 4 on the road, this time 103-82 in Cleveland on Thursday. Andre Iguodala was a surprise starter for Golden State and he promptly shared the team’s high scoring honors with Stephen Curry with 22 points.

Thus all the hard work the Cavaliers did over the first three games, especially while being the winning NBA picks here in Oakland in Game 2 at a venue where the Warriors had been 47-3 this year, may now appear to be all for naught with Golden State re-seizing the home court advantage in what is now effectively a best-of-three series.

 

Return to Oakland May Help Offense More
The Cavaliers made this a much tighter series than most observers expected after Cleveland lost Kyrie Irving to a fractured kneecap in Game 1, joining Kevin Love on the sidelines and reducing the Cleveland “Big Three” to what is now essentially LeBron James and a bunch of role players. And the Cavs made it a series by playing suffocating defense, at least until the fourth quarter of Game 3, a quarter that may go down as the turning point of the series.

You see, due to that pesky Cavaliers’ defense, especially the work of the previously unheralded Matthew Dellavedova vs. the league MVP Curry, the Warriors resembled nothing like the team that led the NBA in scoring (110.0 points per game), field goal percentage (47.8 percent) and three-point shooting (39.8 percent), in fact posting season-lows after three quarters in consecutive games, sitting at 59 points after three quarters of Game 3 and then 55 in Game 4.

That Game 4 also included a season-low 37-point first half for the Warriors, but perhaps the athleticism Golden State possesses finally wore down that valiant Cleveland defense as the Warriors began to solve that unit by scoring 36 points in that fourth quarter of Game 3 with Curry scoring 17 of them while hitting five three-pointers. That allowed the Warriors to cut a 17-point deficit down to one point before the Cavaliers prevailed 96-91.

However, the tone of Game 4 had been set as the Warriors rode that momentum to their best shooting game of the series en route to their 103 points, and they would have been better than their final 46.8 percent shooting if not for coasting through the latter portion of the contest with a sizable lead. Coach Steve Kerr’s decision to go smaller by inserting Iguodala into the lineup while benching center Andrew Bogut proved genius as the Cavaliers had no answers.

Now the Warriors get a chance to show off their re-energized offense at home in Oakland where they are averaging 110.8 points per game on 48.8 percent shooting this year including the playoffs while posting that now 47-4 home mark.

 

Cavaliers Looked Tired
The Cavaliers also look visibly tired in Game 4, perhaps showing the after-effects of exerting so much energy on the defensive end vs. a great offensive team in the previous three games. Even King James did not look like himself, and while over 90 percent of the NBA would be happy with 20 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, that point total was a series-low for LeBron while the rebounds and assists were both his second lowest of the four games so far.

That noticeable lack of energy from James and the entire Cleveland team ruined any chance for Game 3 to go ‘over’ as the Cavaliers finished at an ugly 29-for-88, 33.0 percent from the field for the game, with James going an abysmal 7-for-22 overall. This Game 4 produced the third straight ‘under’ of this series and even Game 1 was ‘under’ at the end of regulation time before going ‘over’ during overtime.

However, there is hope for a better shooting performance by the Cavaliers here in Game 5 and a large part of that hope comes courtesy of the schedule-makers, with these teams this time having two days off between games. That means that the teams actually had one full day off while using the other day to fly to Oakland, and that should be a bigger boon to the tired Cleveland legs than to the younger Warriors.

 

Quantifying Extra Rest
Finally, the ‘over’ is 14-9 this season when the Cavaliers have played with at least two days of rest with those games averaging 205.0 points, easily good enough to go ‘over’ here. Going back further, the ‘over’ is now 38-16 in the last 54 Cleveland games when playing on at least two days rest. Now, the ‘under’ is 13-9 when the Warriors have had at least two days rest this season, but note that those games have averaged a bountiful 209.9 points!

The combination of that extra day off, the Warriors being more potent at home and the Cavaliers playing with more of a sense of desperation should all combine to produce an ‘over’ when Cleveland visits Golden State in Oakland for Game 5 on Sunday.

NBA Pick: Cavaliers, Warriors ‘over’ 195½ (-107)

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