Cavs vs Warriors Game 5 Betting: Golden State has Momentum

golden-state-cleveland-game5Facing the possibility of going down 3-1 on the road, Golden State pulled out a huge 103-82 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. It was clear that the Warriors were the dominant team on Thursday night, as many expected them to be entering the series, and especially when Kyrie Irving went down with a broken left knee cap in Game 1. Given that Golden State now has the momentum, should we now expect them to walk away with the series, or does Cleveland stand a chance as action moves to Oracle Arena? We’ll cover this soon, but here’s a look at the Game 5 betting line:

Game Time: Sunday (June 14) at 9:00pm EST on ABC Betting Line:

Golden State -8.5 (-110)    Over 195.5 (-110)
Cleveland (-110)               Under 195.5 (-110)

Once again, Golden State is a huge favorite while playing at home. Of course, they were also -8.5 favorites in Game 2 as well and ended up losing. So this figures to be anybody’s game from both a betting line and winning standpoint. That said, let’s look at five points to consider going into Game 5 between the Cavs and Warriors.

1. Cleveland’s Unsung Heroes let them down Last Game

Cavs fans have been singing the praises of J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova throughout the 2015 NBA Playoffs. But these praises were quickly quieted with Smith (2-for-12), Shumpert (2-for-9) and Dellavedova (3-for-14) all having terrible shooting nights. Smith’s play was noticeably bad when considering that his team was outscored by 27 points with him on the floor. Game 5 presents another chance for these guys to redeem themselves, but can they do it?

2. Don’t let the Warriors get ahead

golden-state-cleveland-game-5Stats favor the Warriors greatly when they build a lead. They are 57-0 when pulling ahead by 15 points or more this season. And they are 69-3 when leading after three quarters. One more interesting number is that Golden State is just the sixth team to win a NBA Finals road game by 20 points or more. Throw in the fact that the Warriors were 39-2 in Oracle Arena during the regular season and you have the numbers all favoring the team from the Bay Area.

3. Golden State cut their Rotation, and it worked to Perfection

Much has been made about how thin the Cavaliers are due to injuries. But one should also note that Steve Kerr has cut the Warriors rotation considerably too. In Game 4, they really only played seven players, who all fit into their versatile small ball lineup. The starters all played at least 32 minutes each, while Shaun Livingston and David Lee logged 24 and 15 minutes respectively off the bench. Given the success of this lineup, don’t be surprised to see this combination again.

4. Cleveland played about as Badly as Possible

cavs-vs-warriorsWith what we’ve seen from the Cavs through the first three games, it’s clear that they played about as poorly as they possibly could have last game. Even LeBron James was a dismal 7-for-22 from the field and 5-of-10 from the free throw line. As a team, they shot just 33% from the field and 14.8% from the three-point line. Obviously LeBron is playing with a limited lineup, thanks to injuries to Irving and Kevin Love, but what was seen in Game 4 was just ridiculously bad.

5. The Cavs may not be as Lost as you think

Looking at everything we’ve discussed, it doesn’t seem like Cleveland has much of a chance to win at Golden State. But then again, they weren’t given much of a postseason chance when Love went down, and they definitely weren’t favored to win with the loss of Irving. And here’s a little something else to consider: Cleveland has held opponents to just 40.4% shooting and 25.6% from beyond the arc away from home. Sure, Golden State isn’t just any team; but they also suffered against Cleveland’s D in Game 2, shooting 39.8% from the field and 22.9% from the three-point line. So it’s not entirely possible that Game 5 could feature a rejuvenated Cleveland team winning after a two-day rest.

Final Score Prediction: Cleveland 98 – Golden State 94

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

2015 NBA Finals Betting: Key Matchups for Cavs vs Warriors

cleveland-vs-golden-state-bettingThe 2015 NBA Finals matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers is set to commence on June 4th (Thursday) at 9:00pm ET. Most online sportsbooks, including us at, are heavily favoring the Warriors on the Game 1 betting line; we have Golden State at -6. However, when you have LeBron James on your side like the Cavs do, anything can happen. But this series is about more than just LeBron vs. the Warriors, so let’s discuss some of the key matchups that we’ll see.

1. Stephen Curry vs. Kyrie Irving

This should decidedly be in Golden State’s favor, given that Curry is the reigning league MVP and Irving hasn’t been healthy since the first round of the playoffs. And Irving says that “it would be a miracle” if he were 100% for Game 1. It will be interesting to see how much Irving can slow down Curry since the latter is shooting a blistering 43.7% from beyond the arc in the playoffs. Expect plenty of Matthew Dellavedova for the Cavs here too, because he’s a pesky defender who can pressure Curry.

Advantage: Warriors

NBA: Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors2. Klay Thompson vs. Iman Shumpert

Here’s a classic offense vs. defense matchup, with Thompson being the offense and Shumpert being the defense. Thompson was off his 3-point game in the Houston series. But overall, he’s still hitting 42.5% from the 3-point line in the 2015 postseason. Shumpert has actually shot pretty well in the playoffs too (36.8% from 3-point), but his tough defense is what will test an elite shooter like Thompson.

Advantage: Warriors

3. Tristan Thompson vs. Draymond Green

Let this season be the year that both Thompson and Green emerged as big-time players. As for Thompson, nobody has been able to keep him off the offensive glass ever since Kevin Love went down with a shoulder injury. Given that Thompson even dominated the Bulls’ big front line on the boards, don’t expect the Warriors to slow him down. As for Green, he’s one of the league’s best defensive players and he’s also a very good rebounder (10.8 in postseason). He’ll be trying to slow down both Thompson and LeBron at different points of this series.

Advantage: Cavs

4. Timofey Mozgov vs. Andrew Bogut

There couldn’t be a more even matchup in the Cavs vs. Warriors series, considering that Bogut and Mozgov do many of the same things. Both are strong defenders who can protect the rim, so I expect a stalemate here. However, if one of these two is able to play bigger than the other, it could swing the series dramatically in favor of their respective team.

Advantage: Draw

5. Warriors Bench vs. Cavs Bench

Based on talent alone, this matchup easily goes towards the Golden State reserves. Andre Iguodala, Festus Ezeli, Leandro Barbosa and Shaun Livingston could all start on (certain) other teams in the league, yet they are coming off the Warriors’ bench to fill various roles. But that’s not to say Cleveland’s bench is chopped liver, because they feature Dellavedova, James Jones and J.R. Smith. The problem is just that they don’t have much size in the normal bench rotation.

Advantage: Warriors

cavs-vs-warriorsSuperstar Factor

On paper, the Warriors have more advantages; but as mentioned before, you can’t immediately discount a LeBron James-led team. Many consider him the best player in the world – despite Curry winning the MVP – and he’ll get a chance to prove he’s still on top in this series. The Warriors are no doubt the ultimate NBA Finals test, so can the Cavs hang?

Advantage: Cavaliers

Cavs vs Warriors NBA Finals Betting: 5 Things to expect

cleveland-vs-golden-state-betting-1The 2015 NBA Finals betting line is now set, with the Golden State Warriors taking on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors dusted off a pesky Rockets team in five games, while Cleveland obliterated the Atlanta Hawks with a four-game sweep. So which of these dominant teams has the advantage? We’ll discuss this, but first, here’s a look at the Cavs vs Warriors Game 1 betting line: Betting Line:
Golden State -5.5 (-110)       Over 202.5 (-110)
Cleveland (-110)                   Under 202.5 (-110)
Game Time:
 June 4th at 9:00pm ET

This series is often looked at as LeBron and Co. versus the Warriors deep and talented team, led by Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Thanks to Golden State’s balance, they finished the regular season at 67-15 – one of the NBA’s best records ever – then blitzed through the brutal Western Conference playoffs with a 12-3 record.

Cleveland was pretty impressive after some mid-season trades, and they went 12-2 on the weaker Eastern Conference side of the bracket. Plus, they have key injuries with Kevin Love out for the postseason and Kyrie Irving playing at less than 100%. So does this mean that they’ll get blown out of the water by the Warriors?

1. LeBron is the Real MVP

Curry has had an amazing season, and he’s somehow played even better in the playoffs. If you give this guy an inch of daylight, he’s going to burn you with the three again and again. However, not even Curry has the all-around game that James still has at age 30. Some didn’t have LeBron making it past the Bulls, and many believed the Hawks would take Cleveland to six or seven games. But even with a hobbled Irving, no Love and a cast of role players, James has carried his teammates to victory.

2. Golden State can beat Cleveland in a Variety of Ways

cleveland-vs-golden-state-bettingWhile Curry might be the undeniable leader of this team, followed by his ‘Splash Brother’ Thompson, this is more than just two great shooters. There’s Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barns and Draymond Green in the front court, along with Andre Iguodala, Leandro Barbosa, David Lee and Shaun Livingston coming off the bench. Cleveland just can’t match what the Warriors have all over the court.

3. The Cavs Defense has been Incredible

Before making mid-season trades that brought in J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Timofey Mozgov, Cleveland was in the bottom half of the league in defense. However, their D has improved tremendously thanks to Shumpert’s perimeter defense and Mozgov’s rim protection. So if there’s a team that can slow down the Warriors, it is definitely the Cavs. But Golden State’s defense is worth noting too because they have wings like Green and Iguodala that can at least force LeBron to take bad shots sometimes.

4. Tristan Thompson should continue feasting on the Boards

tristan-thompsonA huge reason for Cleveland’s playoff success – in Love’s absence – has been the rebounding of Thompson. Although he’s always been a strong rebounder, the undersized PF/C is playing like Wilt Chamberlain on the offensive glass. Golden State is going to be much tougher to grab offensive rebounds against than Atlanta. However, Thompson still had lots of success against the Bulls’ giant line, so don’t expect the Warriors to stop him either.

5. Iguodala could be Warriors’ X-Factor

If there’s one player that could make or break this for Golden State, it will be Iguodala. A former star in Philly, he now comes off the bench for the Warriors and provides energy, hustle and outstanding defense. More than this, he’ll likely be left open when out on the court with Thompson and Curry. So if he can hit the three (31.9% in this postseason), it could be Golden State’s special ingredient.

Final Analysis of Cleveland vs Golden State

Almost everybody expects the Warriors to win because, well, they’ve been the best all season. More than this, LeBron’s cast isn’t quite as talented as Golden State’s team. However, the one thing that Cleveland does have is amazing chemistry, which is surprising when you consider that this team was put together on the run this season. So expect LeBron, great defense and veteran leadership to power Cleveland to its first major sports title ever.

Series Prediction: Cleveland wins 4 games to 2