Cavs vs Warriors Game 4 Betting: Cleveland Defense dominating

cavs-vs-warriors-game-4Coming 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 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

curry-thompsonA 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

david-lee-warriorsUnfortunately 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 lebron-vs-warriorsmissing 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

Cavs vs Warriors Betting Game 2: Rihanna curses JR. Smith – Will He be Okay?

jr-smith-rihanna-nba-finalsThe first game is now in the books between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, with the latter winning 108-100 (OT) on their home floor. The Cavs had two chances to win the game in regulation, with LeBron James missing a jump shot and Iman Shumpert missing a last-second put-back. It’s not hard to pinpoint the X-factor here: JR Smith only hit 3-of-13 from the field at a time when Cleveland needed his clutch shooting. Additionally, Kyrie Irving left with another knee injury, making some wonder if this will even be a series anymore. We’ll discuss that, along with Rihanna’s possible effect on Smith, but first, here’s the Cavs vs Warriors Game 2 betting line:

Game Time: Sunday (June 7th) at 8:00 ET Line:
Golden State -8 (-110)       Over 200.5 (-110)
Cleveland (-110)               Under 200.5 (-110)

Judging by the line, this shouldn’t be much of a contest – especially with the Warriors at Oracle Arena again. Of course, the theme here, including mine personally, is that you can’t count LeBron out. But is it finally time to do so, given that King James is against a seemingly unbeatable army? Let’s look at five important factors that will determine Game 2 between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.

1. Golden State Small Ball can break Any Team

Draymond Green, LeBron JamesOvertime finally saw Steve Kerr pull out the small ball lineup that has crushed so many other teams this year – Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Igoudala, Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green playing center. These five, who are interchangeable with a couple bench players, give the Warriors five players who can shoot, dribble and spread the floor. The fear is that the Cavs can kill Golden State on the boards and inside with this small ball lineup. However, that was far from the case in the first game.

2. Kyrie Irving is done for the Finals – The Cavs are Possibly done Too

Irving already came into this series knowing that he wouldn’t be 100%. However, he looked like he was near 100% while shooting 10-for-22 and pouring in 23 points. That was before he went down near the end of Game 1 and limped back to the locker room; now the diagnosis is in – Irving has a fractured knee cap and needs surgery plus 3-4 months of recovery. Cleveland got by with Matthew Dellavedova at point in the Eastern Conference playoffs, but it’s highly unlikely they can repeat that feat against the Warriors.

3. JR Smith shot Terribly – But He has to be on Fire

jr-smith-clevelandTwitter was ablaze with rumors that Rihanna cursed JR Smith in the first game, as he shot only 3-for-13 with 9 points in 34 minutes. Smith was a hero in the Bulls and Hawks series for Cleveland, hitting timely shots and playing good defense. But some suggest that he wasn’t himself with Rihanna in the crowd because they supposedly have beef with each other. Whatever the case may be, Smith did not look good in the first game and he’ll have to get on fire for Cleveland when considering how limited their offensive options are.

4. Andre Igoudala did not stop LeBron – He took Advantage of Opportunity

Many headlines claim that Igoudala stopped LeBron down the stretch, or at the very least slowed him down. Well, the game footage shows that James did play somewhat worse offensively with Igoudala guarding him. And Iggy is definitely one of the league’s better wing defenders. But this isn’t just great defense at play – it’s great defense combined with Warriors depth. At any time, James could be facing Green, Igoudala or Harrison Barnes, meaning he’s never going to get a break this series.

5. Golden State’s Bench will win this One Easily

Given Irving’s status, Cleveland doesn’t seem to have any chance on the road, against the league’s toughest team. They might win 1-2 games in the series if they’re lucky, but Golden State just has way too much depth for the Cavs to contend with. And here’s a parting stat just to hammer this point home:

GS Bench = 14-for-27 shooting, 34 points
Cleveland Bench = 4-for-14, 9 points

Game 2 Score Prediction: Golden State 105, Cleveland 93