Cavs Warriors Odds – Game 3 of 2018 NBA Finals

lebron-steph-curryThe Cleveland Cavaliers lost a heartbreaking overtime contest in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals. But this wasn’t quite the case in Game 2, as Golden State claimed a convincing 122-103 victory.

Golden State is in the position everything thought they would be, up 2-0 over the underdog Cavs. This means that Cleveland desperately needs a victory in Game 3 to avoid falling into the dreaded 3-0 hole.

Do they have it in them? Find out as I preview Cavs and Warriors odds heading into Game 3. Also, keep in mind that you can bet on all the 2018 NBA Finals action at GTBets.

Cavs Warriors Game 3 Odds – 9:00pm on Wednesday (June 6)

  • Golden State -4.5 (-114) / -198 moneyline
  • Cleveland +4.5 (-104)/ +165 moneyline
  • Over 217 (-109)
  • Under 217 (-109)

Why Cleveland Will Cover +4.5

Cleveland had a rough outing in the second game, especially on the defensive end. They had multiple miscommunications that led to several layups.

This helped players like Kevin Durant (10-for-14), Klay Thompson (8-for-13), JaVale McGee (6-for-6), and Shaun Livingston (5-for-5) have strong shooting performances. Steph Curry didn’t have an amazing field goal percentage (11-for-26). But he did make an NBA Finals record nine three-pointers. In summary, it just wasn’t Cleveland’s night.

But now they’ve got their backs to the wall with a home game coming up. You know that Cleveland will fire many punches throughout this fight, because if they lose, then the series is undoubtedly over.

The good news for the Cavs is that they played poorly and still hung around until the fourth quarter. LeBron James, who had 29 points, 13 assists, and 9 rebounds, looks like he’ll be a juggernaut every time out. And Tristan Thompson also made a good contribution with 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting.

If Cleveland can get at least one or two other players going, then they have realistic chance to win their first game of the series.

Why Golden State Will Cover -4.5

Golden State was as efficient as ever in dismantling the Cavs. Three of the starters finished with 20+ points, and five players scored in double figures. They shot 57.3% from the floor and 41.7% from the three-point line.

klay-thompson-warriorsThe Warriors had Cleveland far more confused this time around. Their ball movement led to a number of wide-open shots. And Curry kept the Cavs off balance with his barrage of three-pointers.

Golden State also held most players not named LeBron to subpar shooting nights. This includes Kevin Love (7-for-18), J.R. Smith (2-for-9), and Jeff Green (2-for-7).

It’s hard for Golden State to make adjustments, because there’s really not much to change. They crushed the Cavs in most facets of the game and will look to repeat this performance in Game 3. As long as the Warriors don’t go cold, then they have a strong chance to go up 3-0.

Final Thoughts on Cavs Warriors Game 3 Odds

One could argue that Cleveland should’ve won the first game. If not for a few plays that went against them down the stretch, this series could easily be 1-1.

But the Cavs can’t argue with much that occurred in Game 2, as they were thoroughly beaten. Changes are, though, that they come out with a lot of fire and make the next contest close.

Meanwhile, Golden State hasn’t been exceptional on the road in the 2018 NBA Playoffs. They claimed a Game 7 victory in Houston to get here, but that was with Rockets guard Chris Paul out. The road aspect is what creates a little drama here.

Look for LeBron to lead Cleveland in an inspired performance that captures the team’s first victory of the series.

Final Score Prediction: Cleveland wins 107-104 and covers their +4.5 spread

Golden Knights Now Underdogs as Stanley Cup Moves to Game 4

vegas-golden-knights-underdogs-stanley-cupThe Vegas Golden Knights have been an underdog ever since the 2017-18 NHL season opened. But the expansion team has defied expectations all along, including their domination of Winnipeg in the Western Conference Final.

They now find themselves in the underdog role once again in the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals. Things started promisingly enough with a 6-4 victory in Game 1. But Vegas has now lost two straight contests and are on the road in Washington for Game 4.

“We call ourselves the Golden Misfits for a reason,” said winger Ryan Reaves. “We’ve proven everyone else wrong all season.”

The Golden Knights were actually favored over the Capitals before the Finals. After all, they had home ice advantage. But they’ll need to win Game 4 in order to take control again.

“We’re still underdogs,” said left wing David Perron. “They’re a great team over there. Now the pressure is on them to keep going. We’re going to find a way to answer.”

Golden Knights Must Overcome Tough Washington Defense

The first game went Vegas’ way, as they forced the Capitals into a fast-paced contest. But Washington has since slowed things down and tightened up the defense. The result has been 3-2 and 3-1 victories within the past two contests.

This leaves the Golden Knights forced to respond and figure out how they can turn the game into more of an offensive affair again.

“We get it out on our blue line and we try to make a cross-ice play and they’re picking it off,” Reaves explained. “Their transition game is good. We’re getting to their blue line and we’re trying get cute again instead of doing what works. With this team, that’s getting it in and then going to work.”

Washington realizes this, which is why they’ve made such an effort to slow Vegas, which averaged 3.31 goals per contest — tied for fourth in the league.

“Offensive teams have certain tendencies, certain routes that they take through the neutral zone, plays they like to make,” said Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen. “So if you can be on top of them and turn over some pucks, stifle them, make it hard for them to gain entry with possession, that frustrates skilled players.”

vegas-golden-knights-underdogs-stanley-cup-1Vegas only landed 22 shots on net in Game 3. Tomas Nosek is the only Golden Knight who got on the score board. And this is only because Washington goaltender Braden Holtby did a terrible job of clearing the puck.

“They defended well. We were getting clogged up a little bit,” said Vegas winger James Neal. “They sit back. We’ve got to get pucks to the net. We didn’t have enough shots. We didn’t have enough bodies going to the net. They out-battled us. We’re going to look at that and fix it.”

Vegas Must Overcome Adversity by Getting Back to Game Plan

“We’ve just got to get back to our game, getting pucks deep and getting in on the forecheck,” explained defenseman Derek Engelland. “It’s been our key all season long, the five-man forecheck and five-guy pressure all over the ice.”

The Golden Knights don’t necessary have to force a high-scoring game to win. After all, two of their playoff victories have been 1-0 defensive gems. But they certainly need to get some more shots on goal and prevent mistakes at the other end.

“Working hard to get down low, we just couldn’t hold onto it or make a big play, and the Capitals are going the other way,” said Vegas center Ryan Carpenter.

Washington coach Barry Trotz did a good job of switching things up after Game 1. And this has really played a big role in their latest successes.

“There are things that they do that have given us some difficulties, and we’ve adjusted,” Trotz said. “They’ll do the same.”

Can Vegas break through Washington’s revamped defense? The answer will go a long way towards determining if these underdogs can overcome one more challenge.

“We’ve been in situations like this before: adversity, have our backs against the wall a bit,” said defenseman Luca Sbisa. “The belief in our group is still here. Just got to stick together.”