NBA Finals 2018 Prediction: Put Your Money Down on King James
It’s the NBA Final everyone has grown to love … or hate depending on which side you look at it. Another year, another championship that will feature LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers face the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
The rivals will clash in the championship for a fourth consecutive year, as the Warriors look to win a third championship during that span.
“Playing them for a fourth time is just an unbelievable achievement,” Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue told ESPN. “I don’t think people understand how hard it is. How hard it is to win. And to get back to the Finals, it’s not easy. It’s a gruelling season.”
It will become even more gruelling for James and the Cavaliers, who opened as massive underdogs against the Warriors. Oddsmakers with Sports Interaction have pegged Golden State as the early -967 favourites to win the NBA title once again. In fact, James has never been this big of an underdog heading into an NBA Finals as the Cavaliers opened at +611 to win it all.
The NBA Finals gets underway on Thursday night with Golden State hosting Game 1 of the best-of-seven series. Can Steve Kerr lead the Warriors to yet another crown? Let’s break down the best odds and betting lines and also offer a prediction on which one of the powerhouse franchises can prevail in the end.
Golden State Warriors (-967) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (+611)
Odds are courtesy of Sports Interaction.
The Golden State Warriors didn’t come close to the record-setting 73-win season the club posted a couple years ago. Golden State finished second in the West with a 58-24 mark and had to overcome some adversity along the way, playing without star point guard Steph Curry for the entire opening round of the NBA playoffs.
Yet, somehow, someway, the Warriors returned to the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive year and the club is look to win a third crown during that span when they take on the Cavaliers in the championship round.
In the head-to-head matchup, the Warriors that have dominated over the last 10 meetings, winning 10 of those games during that stretch. Over the course of that stretch, Golden State has outscored the Cavaliers 114.8 to 106.7 on average. Their last clash came on Jan. 15 when the Warriors walked away with a 118-108 victory on home court.
The Cavaliers would not have got to this stage without the play of James, who leads the league in playoff scoring averaging 34 points per game. Not far behind, however, is Warriors power forward Kevin Durant, who has posted 29 points per game in the post-season.
Expect much of the scoring in this series to come in the paint as both clubs have surprisingly struggled from three-point range in the post-season.
Sports Interaction is also offering a variety of intriguing prop bets for the series, including prediction the exact number games in the NBA Finals. The championship will likely need six or seven games to determine a winner. Despite the huge gap in the opening betting lines, consider putting a wager on the series going the full seven games, which is paying out at +350 heading into the NBA Finals. The over/under line on total games is +5.5 and taking the over will pay out at +125.
LeBron can cement his legacy as one of the greatest players in NBA history if the heavy underdog Cavaliers can defeat the Warriors in the final. At +611, how can you not put your money on King James?
NBA Finals Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers (+611)
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