The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are set to meet in the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive year, after the Warriors took down the Rockets on Monday in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals.
And in news that shouldn’t shock you, oddsmakers don’t give the Cavs much of a chance in the series.
Sportsbooks give the Warriors anywhere from -750 to -1200 odds to win their third title in four years. The Cavs have been underdogs in all four NBA Finals series meetings with the Warriors, but never anywhere close to the current odds.
The Warriors have already moved from -1000 to -1200 @LVSuperBook.
— OddsShark (@OddsShark) May 29, 2018
Per BetDSI sportsbook, the Warriors have been installed as 11.5-point favorites over the Cavs for Thursday’s Game 1.
Here are the pre-series odds for the last four NBA Finals. pic.twitter.com/BjfnedVC9H
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) May 29, 2018
#NBAFinals If #LebronJames wins this series, pundits should forget all his losses in the finals. Books giving him no shot compared to past matchups. #NBA Series Odds (2015-18)
2018: GSW -1000, CLE +650
2017: GSW -240, CLE +200
2016: GSW -215, CLE +180
2015: GSW -220, CLE +185 pic.twitter.com/UP1aJN1laZ
— VegasInsider.com (@TwitVI) May 29, 2018
Oddsmakers think Game 1 will be a blowout victory for the Warriors at Oracle Arena. Golden State is favored by 11.5 to 12 points in Game 1.
NBA Finals Game 1: Cavs at Warriors (-12, 217.5) via @WynnLasVegas.
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) May 29, 2018
NBA Finals Game 1:
Golden State is listed as a -11.5 point favorite against Cleveland.
The Warriors are -900 on the moneyline with the Cavs coming back at +600. pic.twitter.com/1Ad8Bh6Nlj
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) May 29, 2018
A 12-point spread would tie the largest point spread for an NBA Finals game in the last 25 years.
The Game 1 line opened with the @warriors as a 12-point favorite.
That would tie the largest spread in an NBA Finals game over the last 25 years (Lakers vs. 76ers in Game 1 of the 2001 Finals).
Tyronn Lue was involved in that one, too… pic.twitter.com/bjCLLUNhZV
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 29, 2018
Cleveland fans are used to seeing double-digit underdog odds like that, but for Browns games. This is a pretty massive line for an NBA game, and especially when talking the Finals.
And really the only reasons the odds aren’t even worse for the Cavs are because they have the best player in the world in LeBron James, and because of the possibility of an injury. We saw how much losing Chris Paul hurt the Houston Rockets in Games 6 and 7, for example. Still, the Warriors would be favored even if one of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, or Draymond Green were to get hurt.
The Warriors overcame a 3-2 series deficit to take down the Rockets in the Western Conference Finals, a series that most basically considered the NBA Finals.
The Cavs needed seven games to beat the Pacers in the first round, and were truly outplayed in the series. Cleveland also needed seven games to beat a Celtics team that didn’t have Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. And it’s taken LeBron playing at an insane level, with seven 40+ point performances in the playoffs. He’ll likely need to continue playing at that level and get more help from his teammates to make the Finals a competitive series.
The Warriors beat the Cavs in six games in 2015 and five games in 2017, while the Cavs pulled off a stunning upset (after trailing 3-1 in the series) to knock off the Warriors in seven games in 2016.
Game 1 of Warriors-Cavs Part 4 tips off Thursday (9 PM ET; ABC) at Oracle Arena.