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 Tuesday.
It has been a historic NBA Finals with this being the first time in history that the first two games went into overtime, and we are looking for another ‘under’ Tuesday night hopefully in an overtime-free contest as the Golden State Warriors (80-19, 33-15 away) this time visit the Cleveland Cavaliers (66-32, 37-11 home) for Game 3 from Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH at 9:05 ET in a game televised nationally on ABC, with the series tied 1-1.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 194 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.
Game 2 Stayed ‘under’ Anyway
This series has not gone as many expected, especially after many people wrote off the Cavaliers after Kyrie Irving was lost for the season to a fractured kneecap late in Game 1. And yet both overtime games so far could have obviously gone either way, perhaps making the 1-1 split fitting as the Cavaliers handed the Warriors just their fourth loss at home all year 95-93 in Game 2 in a game that still stayed easily ‘under’ despite the extra five minutes.
And this was after the Warriors were the fortunate winning NBA picks 108-100 in Game 1 in a contest that did not go ‘over’ the posted total until during the overtime session, an extra period in which Golden State outscored Cleveland 10-2 to allow the Warriors to cover the point spread as 5½-point favorites.
Great Defense by Cavaliers So Far…
Remember that the Warriors led the NBA this season in points scored at 110.0 per game, field goal percentage at 47.8 percent and three-point shooting at 39.8 percent during the regular year, and yet they were held to just 39.8 percent shooting overall by a stout Cleveland defense in Game 2 after being held to a below average 44.2 percent shooting in Game 1, a game in which Stephen Curry shot 50 percent but the rest of the team shot just over 42 percent.
Game 2 was similar except that Klay Thompson was the Golden State guard shooting 50 percent from the field at 14-for-28, and the rest of the team was even worse than Game 1 at 19-for-55, 34.6 percent including 5-for-23 overall and 2-for-15 beyond the three-point line by Curry.
Now it is no secret that the Warriors are a better shooting team than they have shown, but give credit to a Cleveland defense that was leading all playoff teams in points against this post-season when these Finals began and the Cavaliers have not lost much defensively with Irving being lost as Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova are also both very good defenders.
…But Can Cleveland Keep Up Offensively?
Now, the great LeBron James was able to will the Cavaliers to victory in Game 2 with yet another triple-double as he finished with 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists, although the Cleveland defense deserved just as much credit for the victory as it was that unit that allowed Cleveland to steal a game in Oakland like it had to despite scoring only 95 points in an overtime game.
And if that Cavaliers’ defense continues at perform at an elite level as it has throughout these playoffs, then there would be no reason not to like the ‘under’ yet again here in Game 3. But what happens if the Warriors’ team we have seen all year resurfaces and Golden State figures out how to solve the Cleveland defense much like it did the great Memphis defense when trailing 2-1 in those Western Conference semifinals?
Well, believe it or not, we would still like the ‘under’ in that circumstance as we think the total points in this contest would merely be redistributed to produce a handy Golden State victory. That is because LeBron is basically going it alone on the offensive end this series and we do not see that changing tonight unless the streaky J.R. Smith suddenly rediscovers his shooting stroke.
That is what made the Irving injury seem so devastating at the time. You see, Smith, Dellavedova and Shumpert picked up the scoring slack for the missing Irving and Kevin Love in previous series, but Smith has struggled in these first two games while Dellavedova and Shumpert are using up so much energy on the defensive end vs. the Splash Brothers (and quite effectively at that) that they have not contributed much offensively.
Warriors on Nice ‘under’ Run
Finally the Warriors have been playing to inflated totals throughout these playoffs, and as a result the ‘under’ is now 11-3 in the last 14 Golden State games overall, an ‘under’ run that would obviously stand at 12-2 if not for the Game 1 overtime!
We expect more of the same here in terms of the total even with this change in scenery, so go ‘under’ again when Golden State this time pays a visit to Cleveland for Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday.
NBA Pick: Warriors, Cavaliers ‘under’ 194 (-110)