Coming into the 2015 NBA Finals matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, few people really gave the Cavs much of a chance to win. After all, the Warriors won 67 games in the regular season and rolled through the difficult Western Conference playoffs with a 12-2 postseason record. But now they find themselves down 2-1 to the defensive-minded Cavaliers, who’ve done an excellent job of shutting down the league’s best offensive team. So can they make a comeback? We’ll discuss that soon, after looking at the Game 4 betting line:
Game Time: Thursday (June 12th) at 9:00pm ET on ABC
GTBets.eu Betting Line:
Golden State -2.5 (-110) Over 193 (-110)
Cleveland (-110) Under 193 (-110)
Despite losing two straight games to the Cavs, Golden State is once again favored on our betting line. However, Cleveland has shown the ability to beat the Warriors twice now, making this a tough decision. Let’s sort out which bet you should make by looking at five key factors for Game 4 between the Cavs and Warriors.
1. Cleveland is defying the Odds and making Experts look Stupid
The experts can’t make up their mind on who’s going to win this series after the Cavs pulled the rug out from under Golden State in games 2 and 3. And many are flop-flopping, including myself, following Cleveland’s 96-91 victory over the Warriors last night. The Warriors were originally expected to win in six or seven games by many experts. Then Kyrie Irving went down and Cleveland lost Game 1, making it seem like they’d be swept. But here we are, with Matthew Dellavedova of all people, leading the charge as the Cavs are up 2-1.
2. The Warriors really only have 2 Great Offensive Players
A huge reason why many thought that GS would walk away with the Finals is because of their depth. But as Cleveland has shown, there’s really not so much to fear beyond the “Splash Brothers,” Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Going further, Cleveland is daring Harrison Barnes, Andre Igoudala, Shaun Livingston and Draymond Green to shoot outside, while face-guarding Curry and Thompson. The Cavs are also giving Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli, Green and Igoudala plenty of chances to score inside. The end result is that Cleveland has managed to do what no other team this season has done: slow down the Warriors.
3. Golden State helped Cleveland’s Defense Immensely
Give much credit to the Cavs’ defense, which stifled GS to just 55 points through the first three quarters. But you also have to look at the facts, namely that players like Barnes (0-for-8 shooting), Green (2-for-10) and Leandro Barbosa (2-for-7) couldn’t make Cleveland pay from outside. These guys were left completely wide open in an effort to contain the Splash Brothers, and they couldn’t cash in. Assuming these guys can make outside shots, then Golden State has an excellent shot at winning.
4. Expect to see More David Lee
Unfortunately for GS, they don’t have a great third shooter who can space the floor and take pressure off Thompson and Curry. But what they do have on their bench is David Lee, who, after shooting 4-for-4 late in Game 3, proved he can be an X-factor. Lee lost his role to more versatile defenders like Green, Barnes and Igoudala late in the season, namely because of injuries and subpar defense. But he did show some offensive flashes that gave GS a spark and led them back into a close game. So expect to see him on the floor at least 15-20 minutes.
5. LeBron James closing in on Michael Jordan
One of the biggest stories prior to the 2015 NBA Finals was if LeBron had finally eclipsed Michael Jordan in terms of greatness. The common thought is that all he’s missing are the rings: LeBron has 2 to Jordan’s 6. But if James is able to lead this rag-tag group to the NBA Finals, against an excellent Golden State team, then he will really be at or above Jordan’s level. LeBron has two more home games left to close out the series (assuming GS wins Game 5 at home), and it’s hard to see him losing at Quicken Loans Arena. After all, his team took GS to two overtime games in Oracle Arena – a place they were 39-2 at in the regular season. Then he had the Cavs up by 20 at one point last night. So don’t be surprised if we see Cleveland go up 3-1 and put themselves in a position to close out the series.
Final Score Prediction: Cleveland 101 – Golden State 97