After overcoming a 2-0 series deficit to knock off the Boston Celtics in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers hit the road to face the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals as heavy 12.5-point underdogs on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Cleveland’s run to the Eastern Conference title sets the stage for a historic fourth straight meeting with Golden State in the NBA Finals, which gets underway with Thursday night’s Cavaliers vs. Warriors betting matchup at Oracle Arena.
The Cavaliers have fallen to defeat in two of their three previous clashes with Golden State in the Finals, including last year when the Warriors needed just five games to get past LeBron James and company to claim their second NBA championship in three years.
The Warriors now look to Game 1 pegged as massive -960 favorites on the NBA championship odds, and face a Cleveland squad that trails as a +710 wager to win their second NBA title in three years despite overcoming adversity throughout these playoffs.
James played all 48 minutes in Cleveland’s 87-79 win over Boston as 2.5-point road underdogs in Game 7, draining 35 points and adding 15 rebounds to record his fourth double-double of the series. The 33-year-old has cracked 40 points on seven occasions this spring, and averaged 33.6 points in last year’s Finals, but sits as a distant +700 bet on the NBA Finals MVP odds this time around.
The Warriors also overcame adversity to earn their fourth straight trip to the NBA Finals. After needing just 10 games to dispose of the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans, Golden State found itself facing elimination for the first time since Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals after falling behind 3-2 in its Western Finals clash with the Houston Rockets.
However, the defending champions held Houston to just 89 points per game while taking the series in seven, and paying out on -225 odds on the NBA series prices.
Kevin Durant has played a key role in Golden State’s success this spring, averaging 29.0 points per game, including a 34-point performance in the team’s 101-92 win over the Rockets as 6-point road favorites in Game 7. Durant has emerged as a heavy -150 favorite to earn NBA Finals MVP honors for a second straight year.
Steph Curry missed the first five games of the postseason due to injury, but averaged 25.0 points per game against Houston, and trails Durant at +175 on the NBA Finals MVP odds.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports