Cleveland Cavaliers (62-38) at Golden State Warriors (70-29)
NBA Basketball: Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 9:00 pm (Oracle Arena)
The Line: Golden State Warriors -12.5 -- Over/Under: 214 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors collide in Game 1 of the NBA Finals at the Oracle Arena on Thursday night.
The Cleveland Cavaliers booked their ticket to the NBA Finals with a 4-3 series win over the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. Not surprisingly, LeBron James led from the front with averages of 33.6 points, 9.0 rebounds and 8.4 assists per game while Kevin Love averaged 15.1 points and 9.6 rebounds before suffering that head knock in Game 6 which caused him to sit out Game 7. Other than those two players, you won’t be able to find any consistent contributors throughout the series, but LeBron put the team on his back in the series finale to get the win. Kyle Korver has been dealing with the tragic loss of his younger brother and he didn’t receive consistent playing time while JR Smith is averaging just 8.5 points in these playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors haven’t been at their absolute best in these playoffs and the injury to Andre Iguodala can’t be underestimated, but they still managed to find a way to scrape past the Rockets in a thrilling 7-game series in the Western Conference Finals. Kevin Durant averaged 30.4 points during that series and led the team with 34 points in Game 7, Stephen Curry averaged just 25.0 points and 5.7 assists but drained seven treys in the series finale, while Klay Thompson has been relatively quiet with averages of just 19.4 points. Compared to last season, the Warriors look like a stronger team, but somehow they look a lot more vulnerable as they constantly fell into that isolation offense trap which almost cost them the series against the Rockets.
Looking at the betting trends, the Cavaliers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning record, 1-6 ATS in their last seven games playing on three or more days rest and 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. Meanwhile, the Warriors are 6-17 ATS in their last 23 games following a win and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games playing on two days rest.
Head to head, the under is 8-2-2 in the last 12 meetings in Golden State, the Cavaliers are 2-6 ATS in the last eight meetings overall and 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings in Golden State.
There’s probably not too many people who are surprised that the Warriors were able to make it back to the NBA Finals, but the same can’t be said for the Cavaliers who have gone through so much adversity this season. In terms of matchups, the Warriors are clearly the better team at almost every position and they have the benefit of home-court advantage. I don’t think the Cavaliers have a chance in this series, but no one is expecting them to be successful at all so the pressure is on the Warriors in this one. It’s hard to see anything but a win at home for the Warriors to kick off the series, but I think the value is with the Cavaliers and the points.