Unlike the San Jose Sharks in the NHL, the Cleveland Cavaliers will be betting on basketball underdogs even at home in the Q Arena – though not by much, either – for game 3 of the NBA championship series which the Golden State Warriors lead 2-0, according to SBG Global sportsbook:
Warriors +1 (-110) 206½ (-110) -103
Cavaliers -1 (-110) 206½ (-110) -117
In spite of LeBron James’s best efforts – which have included giving his teammates gold-plated, Beats By Dre headphones complete with a special inspirational message before game 2 – the Cavs are out of their element. They have no frame of reference here. They’re like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know what’s going on. In game 1, Golden State’s bench outscored Cleveland’s reserves 45 to 10, which is largest bench scoring disparity in the NBA Finals in at least half a century. And in game 2, the Warriors won by 33 points, the widest margin ever in a finals game.
Additionally, game 2 was GS’s 7th win in a row versus the Cavs, counting last year’s finals, and including a 34-point blowout in January at the Quicken Loans Arena – which where the Warriors claimed the championship a year ago. All that is to say that fans betting on basketball who expect the Cavaliers to be an entirely different team might want to reconsider that expectation. Though they could and must play better at home, history is not quite on their side. The Cavs said that they would improve for game 2 and they did just that, if by improve they meant the opposite of the dictionary definition of the word.
Although James has played well – not at MVP level but not badly either –, he has had 11 of his team’s 53 turnovers in the first two games – which in turn have resulted in 51 points by Golden State. Furthermore, while Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala to pick up their slack in the rare off night, no one is really covering for James when he falters. The King failed to score 20 or more points for the 26th consecutive game and yet he was one point short of Kevin Love’s, J.R. Smith’s, and Kyrie Irving’s combined scoring output – though to be fair Love was taken out of game 2 and put in the NBA’s concussion protocol (which does not bode well for Cleveland’s chances in game 3).
The third game if the NBA championship series will take place on Wednesday night and we haven’t seen the best of the Splash Brothers yet. If you care to make this so-far-lopsided-affair a bit more interesting, do not hesitate to do some betting on basketball at SBG Global sportsbook.