Thursday, June 4th, 2014
NBA Finals - Game 1
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The Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors on Thursday in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The opening line had Golden State as 1 point favorites and the over/under is set at 197.
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This years version of the NBA Finals features a current MVP and a former MVP. Pundits will make this about Stephen Curry and LeBron James but it's a team game and all around play got these teams to where they are today. James will try to lead Cleveland to their first championship in franchise history while Curry will try to be the sixth player to win an MVP and a championship in the same season.
Cleveland seemed to cruise through the playoffs with the exception of the second round. They took care of the Boston Celtics in four games, beat the Chicago Bulls in six games and won the Eastern Conference Championship with a sweep of the one seed Atlanta Hawks.
James has led the way for his team in these playoffs averaging almost a triple double with 27.6 points per game, 8.3 assists and 10.4 rebounds. He's shooting 43% from the field and has been the force behind an injury plagued Cavaliers team. Tristan Thompson has been an unsung hero in these playoffs with an average of 4 offensive rebounds per game. His tenacity has led the Cavs to the third-highest average on the offensive boards in these playoffs with 12.1. Defensive rebounding is going to be key in this series for Golden State as they ranked 18th in the league in defensive rebounds, pulling in less than 75% of the available defensive rebounds available.
The Cavaliers are 4-1 against the spread in their last 5 games following a straight up win and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest. They are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The under is 4-0 in the Cavaliers last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and also 4-0 in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
The favorites in this series had a pretty easy time making it to this point as well. Golden State started with a sweep of the New Orleans Pelicans and then eliminated the Memphis Grizzlies in six. Finally, they took care of a tough Houston Rockets team led by James Harden and Dwight Howard in five games.
Stephen Curry leads the Warriors with a playoff average of 29.2 points per game, 7.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds and two steals. Offensively, Curry has been a star in these playoffs and has kept his team going on the way to a championship. However, someone else is going to have to pick up some slack if they want to beat a tough Cleveland team. Klay Thompson's playoff scoring dipped a bit during the Houston series and they'll need him to get back to regular form soon. The concussion in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals was a hindrance but he's been cleared for Game 1. When he's on the floor, the Warriors are a much better team.
The Warriors are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games playing on 3 or more days rest and 20-8-2 ATS in their last 30 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. They are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games following a S.U. win and 4-9 ATS in their last 13 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. The under is 4-0 in the Warriors last 4 games playing on 3 or more days rest and 6-0 in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Head-to-head, the Cavaliers are 3-9 ATS in the last 12 meetings and 1-5 ATS in the last 6 meetings in Golden State.
Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Trends
Cleveland Cavaliers are 47-49-0 Against the Spread
Cleveland Cavaliers are 40-55-0 against the Over/Under
Golden State Warriors Betting Trends
Golden State Warriors are 53-40-4 Against the Spread
Golden State Warriors are 42-54-0 against the Over/Under
Injuries to Watch
12/24/14 C Anderson Varejao Achilles out for season
06/02/15 G Kyrie Irving Knee probable Thursday vs. Golden State
04/27/15 F Kevin Love Shoulder out for season
Golden State Warriors
06/03/15 F Marreese Speights Calf is upgraded to probable Thursday vs. Cleveland
05/31/15 G Klay Thompson Concussion is upgraded to probable Thursday vs. Cleveland
05/03/15 C Ognjen Kuzmic Ankle out indefinitely
Tony's Pick: Take Golden State
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