Betting on basketball is a fickle business. For a while there – when the Golden State Warriors were struggling 1-3 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, to be more specific – the Cleveland Cavaliers were briefly the favorites to win the NBA championship; the first time that GS were not the favorite in the entire season. But lo and behold, Stephen Curry managed to out-Curry himself and led the Warriors to an impressive comeback, win three in a row, and finally overcome the Thunder in game 7 of an epic Western Conference Final series.
As a result of that spectacular return from the brink of elimination, the updated odds for the NBA Finals once again favor Steve Kerr’s boys. For example, at SBG Global sportsbook, the Warriors are favorites (-245) over the Cavs (-245). And that’s the way it is all across the board, with Golden State set to win not only game 1 but also the whole championship series. Cleveland is the most well-rested team of the two, but the Warriors have grown accustomed to adversity this postseason – Curry’s injury, Draymond Green’s erratic performances, the aforementioned slump against Oklahoma City, and so on and so forth.
Fans betting on basketball should take these updated odds into account, though there is one person to whom odds mean little, and that’s Cleveland’s own LeBron James. The ‘King’ has been involved in the last six NBA championship series; four with the Miami Heat and two with the Cavaliers – winning two with the former team. James trusts that his team is “better built” this year than they were in 2015, when they lost the finals 4-2 to the Warriors. He added that he doesn’t get involved in any of that “underdog, overdog, whatever the case may be.” At SBG Global sportsbook, ‘favorite,’ and not ‘overdog,’ is the correct nomenclature, but James has a point nonetheless.
NBA players should focus on what happens on the court and leave odds, spreads, totals, moneylines, etc., to people betting on basketball. One thing’s certain, though – which even LeBron can’t deny – and it’s the fact that the pressure is piling on these Cavs. They lost the regular season series versus GS for the second year in a row, which doesn’t bode well for their rematch in the finals. Furthermore, the Cavaliers have shouldered the responsibility to bring the city a major championship – after a drought lasting 52 years and counting – more than any other local team. The betting, as well as the, historical odds are against them, so it really is a good thing that James pays them no mind and concentrates on bringing home some gold, something for which he’s long overdue.