NBA Finals Betting Odds: Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors

The NBA Finals are upon us and for the first time in NBA history we are getting a third straight match-up between the same two teams. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors have been head and shoulders above every other team in the NBA for the last three years and this rubber match should be really exciting.

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LeBron James leads the Cavaliers, but don’t count out Kyrie Irving in this series. His one on one play was huge for the team last year and he plays well against Stephen Curry for whatever reason. Kevin Love has also played his best basketball since coming to Cleveland this season and he should be a factor in this series. While everyone has talked about the Warriors adding Kevin Durant, the Cavs addition of Kyle Korver and Deron Williams has really made their bench into a strength and that could be a strength for them in this series as the Warriors are a bit top heavy. Channing Frye wasn’t playable in this series last year, but lineups with him, JR Smith and Kyle Korver are a three-point shooting nightmare.

Of course, the Warriors are arguably one of the greatest teams ever assembled and they are a big favorite in this series for a reason. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry get all the hype, but it is really Draymond Green that makes this whole thing work. His defense is otherworldly and he is really underrated on the offensive end. Throw in Klay Thompson as one of the best shooters in the league and Andre Iguadola and this is a very dangerous group. LeBron James may be the best player in the league, but it would be a big upset if the Warriors lost this series.

The series odds for this series say as much.

NBA Finals Series Odds


Cleveland Cavaliers+200
Golden State Warriors-240

I’d say that is a little on the low side for the Warriors, but it’s really hard to go against LeBron James. I find the series correct score props to be even more interesting.

NBA Finals Correct Score Betting Odds

Cavaliers win 4-0+2800
Cavaliers win 4-1+1800
Cavaliers win 4-2+575
Cavaliers win 4-3+700
Warriors win 4-0+475
Warriors win 4-1+275
Warriors win 4-2+400
Warriors win 4-3+400

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The Cavaliers sweeping this series would be the most shocking thing and the odds reflect that. The surprising thing to me is that the favored outcome is Warriors in five games. That reminds me a bit of the Heat’s last stand against the Spurs a few years ago when the first two games were split and relatively close and then the Spurs just turned it on and dominated. That is easy to envision, but this is also the best LeBron we have ever seen and it is so hard to bet against him like that.

A few more general betting odds for this series.

Total Games Played in NBA Finals

Over 5½ (-175)oUnder 5½ (+145)u

Number of Games Played in Series

7 +2006 +2005 +2504 +550

NBA Finals Game Spread

Cleveland Cavaliers +1½ (+105)Golden State Warriors -1½ (-135)

One of the more insane props I’ve seen is combining this year and next year. It just makes you realize how likely that this trilogy might get a sequel. These two teams are so good and the possibility of them having another rematch is far more likely than anyone would like to admit. Best of five?

NBA Championship – Multiple Season Winner

GSW wins 2016/17 & 2017/18 NBA Champ+125
Any other result -155
CLE wins 2016/17 & 2017/18 NBA Champ +1100
Any other result -1700
Golden State wins 2017/18 NBA Champ -147
Field wins 2017/18 NBA Championship +107
Cleveland wins 2017/18 NBA Champ +305
Field wins 2017/18 NBA Championship -425

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Finally, let’s take a look at the MVP odds for this series. If Cleveland somehow wins this thing, LeBron James should not only be named MVP but greatest NBA player of all-time. A lot has been said about LeBron versus Michael Jordan, but Jordan never had to face a team that was the favorite in the NBA Finals and no one has ever had to face a super team of this level. This would be huge.

If the likely thing happens though and the Warriors win this series? That’s when things get interesting. Do Durant and Curry split the vote? Does Draymond suddenly become the default MVP? Or will Klay have the series we’ve been waiting for him to have and just go nuclear for a couple of games? Lots of great odds here.

NBA Finals MVP

Kevin Durant (Warriors)  +180
Stephen Curry (Warriors)  +225
LeBron James (Cavaliers)  +260
Draymond Green (Warriors)  +875
Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers)  +1700
Klay Thompson (Warriors)  +2200
Kevin Love (Cavaliers)  +5000
Andre Iguodala (Warriors)  +10000
Tristan Thompson (Cavaliers)  +15000
JR Smith (Cavaliers)  +20000
Richard Jefferson (Cavaliers)  +25000
Iman Shumpert (Cavaliers)  +27500
Shaun Livingston (Warriors)  +32500
Channing Frye (Cavaliers)  +45000
Kyle Korver (Cavaliers)  +50000
Ian Clark (Warriors)  +55000
JaVale McGee (Warriors)  +75000
Deron Williams (Cavaliers)  +110000
David West (Warriors)  +165000
Zaza Pachulia (Warriors)  +165000

A few other notable player props.

Player to score 100+ points first

LeBron James (CLE)+150
Stephen Curry (GSW)+300
Kevin Durant (GSW)+350
Kyrie Irving (CLE)+450
Klay Thompson (GSW)+850
Kevin Love (CLE)+1000
field – any other player+1600

Player with most points in NBA Finals

LeBron James (CLE)-110
Kevin Durant (GSW)+300
Stephen Curry (GSW)+350
Kyrie Irving (CLE)+500
Klay Thompson (GSW)+1000
Kevin Love (CLE)+1200
field – any other player+2500

Player with most rebounds in NBA Finals

Kevin Love (CLE)+125
Tristan Thompson (CLE)+325
LeBron James (CLE)+400
Draymond Green (GSW)+400
Kevin Durant (GSW)+500
field – any other player+1000
Stephen Curry (GSW)+1400

Player with most assists in NBA Finals

LeBron James (CLE)-150
Draymond Green (GSW)+225
Stephen Curry (GSW)+450
Kyrie Irving (CLE)+650
field – any other player+1400

Player with most blocks in NBA Finals

Draymond Green (GSW)+170
LeBron James (CLE)+215
Kevin Durant (GSW)+250
Tristian Thompson (CLE)+500
Kevin Love (CLE)+700
field – any other player+800

Player with most steals in NBA Finals

LeBron James (CLE)+160
Stephen Curry (GSW)+200
Draymond Green (GSW)+250
Kyrie Irving (CLE)+375
field – any other player+500

LeBron James – Total Triple Doubles

No Triple Double+140
1 Triple Double+200
2 Triple Doubles+250
3 Triple Doubles+1000
4 Triple Doubles+2000
5 Triple Doubles+8000
6 Triple Doubles+20000
7 Triple Doubles+25000

Draymond Green – Total Triple Doubles

No Triple Double+100
1 Triple Double+200
2 Triple Doubles+500
3 Triple Doubles+1600
4 Triple Doubles+5000
5 Triple Doubles+10000
6 Triple Doubles+25000
7 Triple Doubles+50000

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A Warriors vs Cavaliers Finals is more inevitable than ever

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals saw more of the same from LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers: domination. Everything went the Cavaliers way and James felt like the best player in the series by a measure of 1,000,000. The betting odds on the series were Cavaliers -600 versus Celtics +450 before game one. Let’s see what they look like after game one.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics – Eastern Conference Finals
Fri 5/19Cleveland Cavaliers (Series)-2750
8:30PMBoston Celtics (Series)+1450

That’s a pretty huge swing.

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Teams that win game one of the series have a 381-117 record in the series in NBA Playoffs history so I get that the odds would shift, but that is still a pretty huge shift. The Celtics were the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but they are being given virtually no chance in the series.

In the Western Conference, the situation is even worse. After the Spurs led for much of game one, Kawhi Leonard landed on Zaza Pachulia‘s foot and the Warriors were able to comeback and win that one. Since then they dominated game two and once again look like the best team in the world. Stephen Curry has been amazing and Kevin Durant just takes everything they do to another level.

Before the series the Spurs were a +800 underdog with the Warriors as a -1250. After going up 2-0, the odds now look like this:

San Antonio Spurs vs Golden State Warriors – Western Conference Finals
Sat 5/20San Antonio Spurs (Series)+2250
9:00PMGolden State Warriors (Series)-4500

Teams are 262-18 when up 2-0 in the series in NBA Playoffs history so this one makes sense as well. Still, it’s sad to see what should’ve been a great series upended by a stupid injury to one of the league’s best players.

This NBA season, this NBA Playoffs has been all about the Warriors and Cavaliers meeting for a third time in the NBA Playoffs. That has never happened before, but it looks like it is definitely going to happen this season. I truly hope that series lives up to the hype because this playoffs has been a huge disappointment in terms of competitive basketball. Only two series have gone the full seven games while the best two teams have yet to lose one.

While we are still a bit off from that match-up, we can get a preview of what the series odds might look like. The current NBA championship odds have the Warriors as basically a 3/1 favorite. The Cavaliers win last year was pretty magical and there were a lot of factors that went into it. Draymond Green‘s suspension being key and Harrison Barnes missing a ton of threes not helping either. It’s hard to imagine those things repeat themselves with Kevin Durant now on the team.

That said, LeBron James is playing at a level higher than we’ve ever seen from him so if there were ever a time for the super team to be upset, it would be this year when LeBron is playing like Superman.

NBA Championship
Golden State Warriors-285
Cleveland Cavaliers+295

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Eastern Conference Finals: Cavaliers vs. Celtics Betting Odds

Despite an impressive win over the Wizards, being the number one seed and holding home court advantage for the series, the Boston Celtics find themselves as a big underdog for the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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Of course they are as LeBron James is Mr. Eastern Conference. He has been the star of the team representing the East in the Finals for six straight years and a seventh looks likely. Say what you will about his record in those Finals, I would say nothing, but that is truly amazing. The great Michael Jordan never made it to seven NBA Finals and you have to think that LeBron is going to make a run at Magic Johnson‘s nine NBA Finals appearances.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics – Eastern Conference Finals
Wed 5/17Cleveland Cavaliers (Series)-600
8:30PMBoston Celtics (Series)+450

That is all talk for another time though, let’s talk about this series. The Cavaliers are big favorites as they have LeBron James and he is the best player in the world, but how do they match-up from there?

Kevin Love and Al Horford are almost a wash. They both can nail the three and stretch the floor. I’d give a slight edge to Love’s rebounding and a slight edge to Horford’s ball handling. The big match-up will be Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving. Both men can score in droves and they will be guarding each other a lot in this series. Neither one is very good at defense so this will really be on Kyrie to take advantage of the size mismatch.

You have to think that Cavaliers will treat Thomas like they treated Stephen Curry in last year’s NBA Finals. Just continually putting the little guy in pick-and-rolls on defense and taking advantage of the mismatch. That really did a number on Curry as that series went on and, as good as he is, Thomas is no Steph Curry. That could be the key for the Cavaliers to keep this as a short series.

The Celtics have a lot of shooting with Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk all able to drain from downtown. That was a big advantage for them in the first two rounds of the playoffs, but the Cavaliers have so much more shooting that it’s not even fair. Kyle Korver, JR Smith and Channing Frye are three of the best three-point shooters in the league and LeBron is constantly creating for them. That advantage for the Celtics is a disadvantage in this series.

Rebounding was a problem for the Celtics as well and that will be a problem here as well. Tristan Thompson cleans up down there and Kevin Love will bang as well. I just have trouble seeing where the Celtics have an advantage here.

In all honesty, I see this series as another sweep or possibly a five-game gentleman’s sweep. The Cavs are just too good, too rested and too determined to get back to the Finals. The Celtics had a nice run, but they have a lot of work to do before they are on the level of this Cavaliers team.

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NBA Playoffs Second Round: Series Betting Odds, Schedule

We are getting one step closer to the NBA Finals as the second round starts Sunday. The first round had it’s share of excitement, but a lot of it felt like going through the motions and the level of competition should be very high in the second round. There are definitely some interesting series in this round with opportunities for upsets.

We’ll start with the Eastern Conference where all of the top four seeds advanced. It looked for a moment like the Bucks and Bulls might pull upsets, but the Raptors and Celtics righted the ship and move on to face far more dangerous opponents. There is definitely some value in these series so let’s take a look, starting with my favorite bet of the playoffs thus far.

#4 Washington Wizards vs #1 Boston Celtics

Sun 4/30Washington Wizards (Series) +140
1:05PMBoston Celtics (Series) -160
Game 1: Sunday, April 30, Washington at Boston, 1 p.m. (ABC)
Game 2: Tuesday, May 2, Washington at Boston, 8 p.m. (TNT)
Game 3: Thursday, May 4, Boston at Washington, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 4: Sunday, May 7, Boston at Washington, 6:30 p.m. (TNT)
*Game 5: Wednesday, May 10, Washington at Boston, time TBD (TNT)
*Game 6: Friday, May 12, Boston at Washington, time TBD (ESPN)
*Game 7: Monday, May 15, Washington at Boston, 8 p.m. (TNT)

These two teams split the series 2-2 and did battle, and yes, I do mean battle. These two teams really don’t like each other and they showed it in the regular season. This series will be heated and it could be long.

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The key match-up of the series will be John Wall and Bradley Beal against Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart. Wall and Beal have been great in this series thus far, but Bradley and Smart should defend them well. How Boston hides Thomas on defense will be a question and should be something that the Wizards exploit. This could be a very big series for Otto Porter as you have to think that the Celtics will just challenge him to beat them. If he is draining open three pointers in this one, it could be curtains for the Celtics.

Chicago beat Boston in the first two games by dominating the boards and Washington should be able to do that as well. Marcin Gortat usually plays well against this team and Al Horford is a great match-up for him down low. Markieff Morris should feast on Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk and Jonas Jerbko. This is a really bad match-up for Boston down low and they will definitely need to figure something out if they are going to advance in this series. In round one, that thing was Gerald Green. I don’t think that’s the answer here and I will be betting on the Wizards +140 to win the series.

#3 Toronto Raptors vs #2 Cleveland Cavaliers

Mon 5/1Toronto Raptors (Series) +380
7:05PMCleveland Cavaliers (Series) -475
Game 1: Monday, May 1, 7 p.m., Toronto at Cleveland (TNT)
Game 2: Wednesday, May 3, 7 p.m, Toronto at Cleveland (TNT)
Game 3: Friday, May 5, 7 p.m., Cleveland at Toronto (ESPN)
Game 4: Sunday, May 7, 3:30 p.m., Cleveland at Toronto (ABC)
Game 5: Tuesday, May 9, TBD, Toronto at Cleveland (TNT) (if necessary)
Game 6: Thursday, May 11, TBD, Cleveland at Toronto (ESPN) (if necessary)
Game 7: Sunday, May 14, TBD, Toronto at Cleveland (TNT) (if necessary)

This series feels like the line should be higher. The performance of Cleveland in the first round against the performance of Toronto in the first round is night and day. It seemed like Toronto was lucky to escape that Milwaukee series and if it wasn’t for a few breaks here and there we might be looking at a different series.

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Still, there were signs of a great Toronto team. The way they moved the ball in game five of that series was amazing and their defense was on point the whole series. There is a really great offense in here, but Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan need to rely less on iso and more on ball movement. PJ Tucker and Serge Ibaka have been great additions while Norman Powell was finally unleashed against the Bucks. This is a tough team, but they seem slow to make adjustments and often feel like they are defiant of them. That won’t fly against the Cavs, but you can see how maybe they have a chance.

The big reason is the Cavaliers defense that has been leaking points all season and didn’t stop leaking points against the Pacers. They just outscored them by a lot and had the best player in the universe on their team. That helps. LeBron James can single handedly win this series and history points to him doing exactly that. Toronto might try to use Jonas Valanciunas down low to take advantage of the rebounding/defensive issues so they’ll likely need Tristan Thompson in this series. Kevin Love might have a tough time in this series thanks to Serge Ibaka and Kyrie Irving is basically a wash with Kyle Lowry. When it comes down to it, Cleveland has LeBron and Toronto doesn’t and that’s why Cleveland will be in the Eastern Conference Finals once again.


#3 Houston Rockets vs #2 San Antonio Spurs

Mon 5/1Houston Rockets (Series) +205
9:35PMSan Antonio Spurs (Series) -245
Game 1 – Mon.  May 1, Houston at San Antonio, 9:30 p.m. TNT
Game 2 – Wed.  May 3, Houston at San Antonio, 9:30 p.m., TNT
Game 3 – Fri.  May 5, San Antonio at Houston, 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 4 – Sun.  May 7, San Antonio at Houston, 9 p.m., TNT
Game 5 * Tue.  May 9, Houston at San Antonio, TBD, TNT
Game 6 * Thu.  May 11, San Antonio at Houston, TBD, ESPN
Game 7 * Sun.  May 14, Houston at San Antonio, TBD, TBD

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This should be a fun one and I could really see an upset here. We saw it in the last round as the Spurs struggled outside of Kawhi Leonard. The Grizzlies’ Mike Conley had his way with Tony Parker, Patty Mills and Manu Ginobili and it’s easy to see James Harden doing the same thing here. They’ll need a lot of help from Danny Green. Plus, I love the idea of Patrick Beverley guarding Parker and Mills. That will be an issue and the age factor is a real issue for the Spurs as it’s a question as to whether some of these guys are going to be able to keep up with the Rockets’ rapid fire offense.

San Antonio will figure stuff out because Gregg Poppovich is a genius, but they need more than what they’ve gotten so far out of LaMarcus Aldridge. A couple years ago he was the marquee free agent and now he’s struggling. If the Spurs are going to win this thing, they need a big series from him. Pau Gasol is an interesting case as well. I like him against bench units, but this bench unit could be a bit too fast. I also wonder if Lou Williams will be a factor in this series or if the Spurs will just bully his game. I think the latter.

This will be a great series, but I have to go with the Rockets in this one. Houston has the better supporting cast and they will be able to unlock something that is too fast for the Spurs. I don’t love this as much as I love Washington, but the odds are better here. I’ll be betting Rockets +240 to win this series.

#5 Utah Jazz vs #1 Golden State Warriors

Jazz (Series) +1600
Golden State Warriors (Series) -3200
Game 1 – Tue.  May 2, Utah at Golden State, 10:30 p.m., TNT
Game 2 – Thu. May 4, Utah at Golden State, 10:30 p.m, ESPN
Game 3 – Sat. May 6, Golden State at Utah, 8:30 p.m., ABC
Game 4 – Mon. May 8, Golden State at Utah, TBD, TNT
Game 5 * Wed. May 10, Utah at Golden State, TBD, TNT
Game 6 * Fri. May 12, Golden State at Utah, TBD, ESPN
Game 7 * Sun. May 14, Utah at Golden State, TBD, TBD


This is the biggest line there is in the first round and for good reason, the Warriors are really awesome. I’d be picking the Warriors if they didn’t have Kevin Durant, but with him I am going for the sweep. His injury really unlocked what they do with Stephen Curry leading the offense, Klay Thompson draining threes and Draymond Green being all world on defense. This just feels like an easy win for the Warriors.

The Jazz will make a few games close. They were really impressive against the Clippers. Quinn Snyder is a hell of a coach. Gordon Hayward is going to get paid this summer and Rudy Gobert is imposing in the middle. They are a fun team, but the Warriors are just too fast and too dangerous for them to keep up. Prepare for another long Warriors layoff after the sweep.

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2017 NBA Playoffs: Conference Championship Favorites

With the NBA Playoffs underway we thought it would be a good time to take a look at the odds to win the respective conference championships. The Cavaliers and Warriors went into these playoffs as the favorites for those crowns and not much has changed in that regard yet. However, what has seen major changes is the teams below them especially in the Eastern Conference.

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The East now looks like the Cavs and then everyone else. Just like it has looked over the past few seasons. The big loser here is the Boston Celtics who find themselves down 0-2 to the eighth seeded Chicago Bulls. This is just a terrible match-up for Boston as the reinvigorated Rajon Rondo and Jimmy Butler have done an amazing job defending the Celtics and have really shut down Isaiah Thomas. The Celtics rebounding issues have really come back to bite them in this series. It’ll be really interesting to see if they are able to come back in this series. I don’t love their chances.

Toronto hasn’t looked very encouraging against the Bucks and it is in no way guaranteed that they win that series. Giannis Antetokounmpo has been amazing and this series could easily be 2-0 if a few plays went the opposite way. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have been themselves and Serge Ibaka has carried them at times, but I am overall not convinced that this team has what it takes to challenge Cleveland.

All of this benefits the Wizards the most and I have them as my best non-Cavs play on the board. They will skip the Celtics who gave them trouble and go straight on to face the 8th seeded Bulls. Unlike the Celts, I think they match-up perfectly with the Bulls. John Wall can run circles around Rondo, Bradley Beal can make Dwyane Wade look old and Otto Porter will be a great match-up for Butler on both ends. I had the Wizards in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cavs before this series and I feel 100% more confident in that pick if they are going against Chicago in round two.

Cleveland Cavaliers -270
Boston Celtics +1025
Toronto Raptors +1025
Washington Wizards +1025
Chicago Bulls +2500
Milwaukee Bucks +3500
Atlanta Hawks +5250
Indiana Pacers +9250

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In the West, not much has changed asthere haven’t been a lot of upsets or any scares so far. The team taking the biggest hit thus far has probably been the Oklahoma City Thunder as the Rockets had them scouted well in the first game and dominated them. They neutralized Russell Westbrook and it looks like they will cruise to the next round.

The Spurs should also cruise and we should be seeing a fun match-up between the Spurs and Rockets in the second round. The James HardenKawhi Leonard match-up will get all the hype, but I am more interested in this one from a style standpoint. Mike D’Antoni teams have always had trouble with Gregg Poppovich teams (the same as every other team, basically) and it’ll be interesting to see how this one goes. This Rockets team feels better than any of the old Suns teams while the Spurs feel old. That will be a great one.

The favorite is the Warriors and why not? They saw the best possible game from Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum and still won big. Kevin Durant looked great, Draymond Green looked like a defensive savant and Stephen Curry is still amazing. This team is going to the Finals.

Golden State Warriors -275
San Antonio Spurs +395
Houston Rockets +1370
Los Angeles Clippers +2750
Utah Jazz +4500
Oklahoma City Thunder +20000
Memphis Grizzlies +45000
Portland Trailblazers +50000

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