Simply put, the Cleveland Cavaliers are the NBA Finals betting on basketball underdogs because they are playing the Golden State Warriors. The Cavs would be the favorites against any other team, but GS isn’t just any other team, as Curry and Co. proved against the Oklahoma City Thunder. But while the Warriors may have never encounter a record they didn’t shatter, Cleveland actually has the better playoff record (12-2). Moreover, the Cavaliers outscored opponents by a combined 177 points in the first three playoffs rounds – tying the ’85 Lakers for the 2nd largest margin heading into the NBA championship series.
NBA Finals Game 1 odds at SBG Global Sportsbook:
Cavaliers +5½ (-110) 210 (-110) +215
Warriors -5½ (-110) 210 (-110) -255
Lebron James is not only Cleveland’s franchise player – that Miami detour aside – but a benchmark of the NBA finals in particular and the playoffs in general, and the main reason for people betting on basketball to put their money on the Cavs. James is set to tie legends Karl Malone and Danny Ainge for 10th all-time most postseason games played. Additionally, The King is three steals away from overcoming John Stockton for 4th place in NBA postseason history and five rebounds away from leaving Larry Bird behind for 10th place in that category –if he achieves that feat, James will become the first player in the history of the playoffs to rank in the Top 10 in points, rebounds and assists.
What else can be said about these Cavaliers? Well, they rank 2nd in points-per-game and is unbeaten (12-0) when scoring 100 points or more these playoffs. Cleveland has outrebounded opponents by the second biggest margin among all 16 playoffs teams. Defensive-wise, the Cavs have conceded 94.3 points-per-game, including keeping opponents to fewer than 100 points in 11 out of 14 playoffs games. Cleveland has hit 202 three-point shots for a .434 average – a 2016 postseason-high of 14.4 three-pointers per game.
Kyrie Irving, the aforementioned James, and Kevin Love have contributed in at least 20 points each on six occasions in these playoffs, which includes each of the last two games versus the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. The last time a triad of players managed to accomplish that in back-to-back games was during the 1982 Conference Finals was in 1982, when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and two other guys did so against the San Antonio Spurs – which is not that surprising at all. James has scored a minimum of 20 points in 24 consecutive postseason games, tying with his 2010 self for career-best. As can be seen, these are all great reasons to put your betting on basketball money on the Cavs at SBG Global sportsbook – if it were not for those pesky Warriors.