NBA Finals Odds 2016: Can Underdog Cavs Earn Redemption, Upset Warriors?

The Cleveland Cavaliers will be looking to end a five-game losing streak against Golden State when they visit the Warriors for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night as 5 1/2-point betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by

Cleveland earned its third trip to the NBA Finals in franchise history with a six-game victory over the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference finals, but it remains the underdog on the NBA series prices. Cleveland sports +180 odds to win the series ahead of Thursday night’s Cavaliers vs. Warriors betting matchup at Oracle Arena.

The Cavaliers posted wins in their first 10 playoff contests, including sweeps of the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks, before being brought back to Earth by the Raptors, who dominated in a pair of victories at Air Canada Centre in Games 3 and 4 of the East finals.

Cleveland otherwise has looked ready to challenge for its first-ever NBA title, going 18-7 straight-up over its past 25 outings despite weathering a 1-3 SU stretch in the final days of the regular season after clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Cavaliers’ defense has played a critical role in the club’s march to the NBA Finals, holding opponents to a minuscule 94.3 points per game in 14 postseason games. But the Cavs managed to cover the spread in just nine of those contests, dropping them to a middling 16-15 against the spread over their past 31 games.

The Warriors also are on a tear as they prepare to defend their NBA crown, tallying three straight SU and ATS wins over Oklahoma City in the Western Conference finals after the Thunder had pushed them to the brink of elimination by grabbing a 3-1 series lead.

The Thunder’s 108-102 victory in Game 1 marked a rare home loss for the Warriors, who strung together 54 straight regular-season home wins before their record-breaking streak was halted in early April and have lost just three games at Oracle Arena since dropping Game 2 to the Cavaliers in last year’s NBA Finals.

Golden State also has paid out regularly at home, going 11-3 ATS in their past 14 games, but faces tempered expectations at the sportsbooks in the series opener despite claiming victory by an average margin of 15.4 points in nine postseason wins on home hardwood.

The defending champions also have enjoyed considerable success in recent matchups with the Cavaliers, topping Cleveland in five straight since their last defeat in Game 3 of last year’s NBA Finals, and are 10-4 SU in their past 14 games when facing LeBron James on the court. James will be playing in the NBA Finals for the sixth season in a row.

Click for the 2016 NBA Finals schedule >>

Thumbnail photo via David Richard/USA TODAY Sports Images

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