NBA Finals: Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Overview

Posted by Aaron . on June 1, 2016 in

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been waiting since last year’s NBA Finals to get redemption against the Golden State Warriors, and after a lengthy journey through the 82-game regular season and the first three rounds of the postseason, they have their wish. Before we go deeper into this betting lines overview, let’s take a look at how Cleveland punched their ticket to the Finals:

NBA Finals: Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Overview

Round 1: Beat the Detroit Pistons, 4-0
Round 2: Beat the Atlanta Hawks, 4-0
Western Conference Finals: Beat the Toronto Raptors, 4-2

 

 

It took the Cavaliers just 14 games to get to the Finals, while the Warriors needed 17. Particularly in the conference finals, the Warriors had to expend a lot more energy than the Cavaliers did, and it remains to be seen whether that will have any lingering effects going into the NBA Finals, whether in terms of fatigue for the Warriors — or the benefit of having to play intense basketball.

The Cavaliers did not win in either meeting with the Warriors this season. They traveled to Golden State on Christmas Day and put up a game fight, but fell, 89-83. On January 18, the Warriors came to Cleveland and won in a laugher, 132-98.

There is a lot of pressure in Cleveland that simply won’t be in place for the Warriors. No Cleveland team has won a professional sports championship since the Indians won the World Series in 1964. However, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love will be on the floor for the Cavaliers; last year, they were on the shelf, having fallen by the wayside to injuries, leaving LeBron James and the rest of the roster to tangle with the talented Warriors. This means that the Cavaliers will have a starting lineup that features five first-round draft picks (and four from the top five and two #1 overall picks), as well as three All-Stars. The Warriors, of course, have three All-STars of their own and four lottery picks in their starting lineup.

It’s worth noting that Golden State is trying to do something that no team has done since 1998: beat the same opponent in consecutive NBA Finals. The Chicago Bulls knocked off the Utah Jazz in both 1997 and 1998.

You might think that it would be difficult for Tyronn Lue to win a championship, given that it is his rookie season. It is rare for a coach to take over a winning team mid-season and then go on to win an NBA title, but it has happened before. In the 1979-1980 season, Lakers coach Jack McKinney was involved in a bicycle crash and suffered from brain injuries that were almost fatal. Paul Westhead took over the team, and the Lakers rolled to a league title. The same thing happened when Westhead stepped down after starting the 1981-82 season with a 7-4 record, to be replaced by Pat Riley, who would lead the Lakers to the title — and three more after that. However, most of the time, when a team replaces a coach with a winning record (ask Don Nelson and Larry Brown about this), things don’t go so well the rest of the way. However, Lue appears to have the team listening to him, and the playoffs have shown a strong Cavs lineup.

Expert Pick and Final Series Prediction

I love what the Cavaliers do on offense. However, it’s hard to pick against a 73-win team that just emerged victorious from a significant gut check. I’m predicting Golden State in six.