The NBA Finals tip off Thursday as the Golden State Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1. This marks the fourth-straight year these two teams have met at this stage, with the Warriors winning two of three so far. This year’s matchup is lopsided, but there’s still plenty to consider when it comes to placing wagers.
Let’s take a closer look at where the value’s at in this match.
- Golden State -12.5: 2.02
- Cleveland Cavaliers +12.5: 1.87
- OVER 215.5: 2.03
- UNDER 215.5: 1.86
What to Watch For
Opening the Series: Cleveland is 2-1 in Game 1’s so far this postseason, including going 1-1. The Warriors are 3-0 in Game 1’s.
King James: LeBron is averaging 34 points, 9.2 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game so far in the playoffs. He is just one player, though, and the Cavaliers will need each of their players to maximize their potential every minute of the game if there’s any chance of a competitive series.
Gentleman’s Sweep: The Warriors won the first two games at home in last year’s Finals by an average of 20.5 points.
The average score for Game 1 after 10,000 simulations is 116-104, in favor of the home team.
- The Cavaliers are 4-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last five games.
- The total has gone UNDER in four of the Warriors’ last five home games.
LeBron James is projected to finish Game 1 with 31 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds, 1 steal and six turnovers. Only one other Cavalier averages double-digit scoring in the simulations — George Hill (10.9 points).
Steph Curry and Kevin Durant lead the way for the Warriors in sims. Curry averages 28 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and three turnovers. Durant is projected to finish with 26 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, 1 steal and three turnovers.
This is a three-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend pick. Odds — at 2.03 — indicates there’s a 49.3 percent chance the total combined score goes above 215.5. That happens in approximately 58 percent of AccuScore sims, suggesting some added value on the pick. AccuScore would have listed the total closer to 220.