Cavs road to the Finals:
- Beat Detroit 4-0 (average score 103.5 to 95.0)
- Beat Atlanta 4-0 (average score 112.0 to 99.5)
- Beat Toronto 4-2 (average 113.0 to 84.5 in wins, 91.5 to 102.0 in losses)
- Overall average margin of victory: +16.5 in wins, +12.5 overall
If three of the four have good nights, the Cavs haven't had a problem at all. The issue arose in games 3 and 4 against Toronto, which are currently their only two playoff losses. Two of the Cav's three primary support guys were cold, at least by their standards (Love and Kyrie in Game 3, then Love and Smith in Game 4).
Warriors road to the Finals:
- Beat Houston 4-1 (average 113.5 to 89.8 in wins, lost 97-96)
- Beat Portland 4-1 (average 121.3 to 112.8 in wins, lost 120-108)
- Beat Oklahoma City 4-3 (average 110.5 to 97.8 in wins and 100.3 to 119.7 in losses)
- Overall margin of victory: +15,0 in wins, +6.4 overall
Steph and Klay are averaging 26.7 and 26.2 points each. Obviously, the best-shooting backcourt in history isn't having a problem filling up the scoresheet.
If they have an easy weakness to spot, it's that their leading rebounder (Draymond Green) is 6'7" and the only other big man who plays more than ten minutes a night is Andrew Bogut, who averages 6.5 rebounds in just 18 minutes per game.
The Cavs frontcourt, of course, is made up of Love (6'10", 9.6 rebounds per game), James (6'8", 8.6 rpg), Tristan Thompson (6'9", 8.4 rpg). For me, the Finals boils down to one question: can the Warriors hit enough shots to overcome Cleveland's presumed advantage on the boards? Vegas seems to think they can, and they seem to think that pretty aggressively.
Game One, Tonight at 9:00, at Golden State
Point Spread: Warriors -6
For the Warriors to cover, they'd have to dominate this game like they have dominated almost all of their wins in the playoffs.
The -6 confuses me though, because the Dubs have pretty much been winning by double digits and losing by getting their doors blown off. Does -6 mean Vegas is swaying toward a doube-digit victory or toward the Cavs winning game one? I'm having a hard time reading it.
Over/Under 211 Total Points
From the Golden State side, this isn't helpful. Either the Warriors will win big and the game will go over, or they will lose big and the game will go over. To be fair, games 6 and 7 against the Thunder both would have stayed under.
The average Cavs game, however, is way below that 211 number. Their only games all postseason that would have gone over were games 2 and 3 against the Hawks. To piggyback on what we mentioned before, they've been controlling the glass and controlling the pace.
So, in my mind, the O/U being set this high favors Golden State.
The Bet: Tease Golden State -1.5 & Over 206.5
Teasers are the best, and this gives us a little bit of breathing room on the Warriors and the over. I think I would feel confident betting both/either of the normal lines, but teasing always kind of seems to just draw me in.
(Editor's note: I will try to update this with some player props when they are released this afternoon.)