The Golden State Warriors are on the verge of completing one of the greatest seasons in NBA history, and if everything goes to plan they will have produced the fourth-best regular and postseason record of all time. The squad's dominance came out of left field as most experts predicted Golden State to be a 50-something win team that would probably be eliminated in the second round of the playoffs. Heading into the season the team was 25/1 to win the NBA title, and now it is a solid favorite to get past the Cleveland Cavaliers in the finals.
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The straight-forward analysis is that Golden State is too good, and Cleveland too banged up, for this series to end any other way than with the Warriors winning their first NBA title in nearly 40 years. The question on the table is whether or not it's too late for bettors to jump on the Golden State bandwagon. Let's take a closer look at the team, how it matches up with Cleveland and figure out if there is still value betting on the Warriors. All odds come from Bovada.
2015 NBA Finals Odds and Lines
Series Price Lines
Golden State: -190
The series price opened in the -240 range at most sportsbooks and was immediately bet down into the -190 range at Bovada and many other sites. Surprisingly, most bettors are squarely on the Cleveland bandwagon for this NBA Finals, and that lean is a bit shocking from a basketball standpoint. Yes, LeBron James and the Cavaliers have a higher profile with the general public, but most NBA experts probably assumed that Golden State's dominance would have caught on by now.
The Warriors are an absolute juggernaut, and the opening series price of -250 was right on the money. Now at -190 all the value lies with Golden State, who is now being underrated, when most bettors may have expected to squad to see inflated lines heading into this matchup. Cleveland could win this series based on experience and the intangibles of having the best player in the world on its team. But on paper Golden State is the far superior team.
Game 1 Lines
Golden State: -6
Total: 204 (O -115)
Golden State opened up as a -5.5-point Game 1 favorite, which is a standard line in this situation, and immediately moved to six points after a few days of betting. The trouble with the line movement is that most of the Game 1 action has been slanted toward Cleveland, yet the oddsmakers still felt the need to push the line to six. The home team has covered Game 1 of the NBA Finals 9 of the last 11 times, and it seems like the oddsmakers are trying to entice even more betting action on the Cavaliers. Six points is a big number, but again all the value is on the Warriors.
ATS Records: Golden State: 7-8
Totals Record : Golden State: 3-12
The totals line opened at 203 and moved to 204 after a day of betting, which is not surprising, since Golden State is seen as a high-scoring, fast-paced squad. The trouble for the average bettor is that perception is not necessarily true as the Warriors have only gone "over" in three of 15 games, which is a shockingly low percentage. The squad was one of the best defensive groups during the regular season and can shut down its opponents for long stretches of time. The biggest factor in Golden State's "under" affairs, however, has been the number of blowouts that the team has participated in this postseason. The team has been a part of 11 games that were decided by 10 points or more during these playoffs, which causes bench players to enter the game during the fourth quarter and reduce scoring.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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