After surviving the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics the Cleveland Cavaliers will take on the Golden State Warriors in the 2018 NBA Finals – but they’re listed as heavy underdogs for the series at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
LeBron James and company have been set as +675 underdogs (wager $100 to win $675) on the NBA Finals odds, with Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and the Warriors listed as the clear -900 betting favorites (wager $900 to win $100).
Cleveland also opened as an 11.5-point underdog on the Game 1 betting odds, with that line immediately moving to Cavaliers +12 at many online sportsbooks. The consensus OVER/UNDER for Thursday night’s matchup is 216 points.
The Cavaliers and Warriors met twice during the regular season, with Golden State winning 99-92 as a 4.5-point home favorite on Christmas Day, and 118-108 as a 5.5-point road favorite in the rematch on January 15. Overall the Cavaliers are just 2-6 straight up and 3-5 against the spread in the last eight regular-season meetings between the teams, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.
And the numbers aren’t much better for Cleveland against Golden State in the postseason. The Cavaliers have dropped two of the last three NBA Finals to the Warriors, going 7-11 SU and 7-10-1 ATS over the course of those 18 contests. In last season’s NBA Finals the Warriors rolled to a five-game victory, covering the spread three times with one push.
The Cavaliers paid off against the spread in each of their four wins over the Celtics in the Eastern Finals, including their 87-79 victory as a 2.5-point underdog in Game 7. That was the fifth UNDER result in the seven-game series for totals bettors, and the lowest-scoring game of the set. James tossed in 35 points on the night, while Kevin Love sat out with a concussion; he’s questionable for Game 1 on Thursday.
The Warriors also had four ATS victories in the conference finals, including their 101-92 win in Game 7 on Monday night over the Houston Rockets. That series also benefited UNDER bettors, with the OVER/UNDER going 1-6 in the seven games – the only OVER result was a 127-105 win by Houston in Game 2.
Kevin Durant had 34 points and Stephen Curry added 27 points in that Game 7 win for the Warriors, while Draymond Green chipped in with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Andre Iguodala continued to sit out for Golden State with a knee injury, and is also considered questionable for Thursday’s Game 1.