The long wait for the NBA Finals is finally over, and Game 1 is about to start. One of the better sportsbooks for props is Bovada and I have found 3 team props that look great for profit tonight.
First Quarter Total O/U 51 points
When we think about these two teams, offense is probably the first thing that comes to mind, but their defenses have been as important, or even more important. Combine their defensive numbers with the long layoff that both of these young teams have had to endure so far since the end of the Conference Finals, and you have a recipe for a lower scoring first quarter. Enter Bovada, who has the first quarter-combined total at 51 points, which may be too high for these two teams. I expect both to come out and feel each other out some in the first quarter, and I also expect there to be a certain rust factor after not playing in a game for eight days. On top of all of this, Bovada has this number wrong, as the chalk is with the over. Golden State is only averaging 26 points per game in first quarters in the playoffs, and their last two have been pretty bad at 17 and 22 points. Look for the Cavs to come out slow too, so take the under.
My Pick: UNDER 51 1st quarter points (-110)
Cavaliers Team Total O/U 98 ½
With a game total for the first game of the NBA Finals barely over 200 points, the sportsbooks seem to think that this one will be a lower scoring contest. At 98 ½ points, the Cavs team total may seem low to some people who look back on their run through the East, however it may in fact be high going up against one of the best defenses in the NBA. The Dubs match up very well against the Cavs in this one, and even though they likely won’t stop James in this one, they have the personnel to stop everyone else. Of I were Steve Kerr, I would let James score as much as he wants, but not allow anyone else to. If that strategy works, under 98 ½ points might be the play of the night. Before their final two games against a weak Hawks team, Cleveland averaged only averaging 96 points per game in their last eight games against weaker defenses than what the Warriors have.
My Pick: UNDER 98 ½ points
Total Games in NBA Finals
I’ll use this prop for my prediction for the series, and even though you don’t get as much value picking the team to win along with the amount of games, Bovada still presents some nice value for betting on how long you think the series will go, regardless of the winning team. Cleveland is a great basketball team, but the Warriors are head and shoulder above them, and five games may be all it takes to win the NBA Finals. As I mentioned above, letting Lebron get 40 points, but only allowing another 40 or 45 points may be the best strategy for the Dubs, and even with their improved defense, the Cavs don’t have enough healthy bodies to through at all of the Warriors options here. Even though they have run through the East, I think it’s more of a testament to how bad that conference is, more than it’s an example of how good the Cavs are. Take the series to end in five games.
My Pick: 5 Games (+225)