Warriors Huge Favorites over Cavaliers in 2018 NBA Finals Game 1

NBA Finals Bets 2018 - Warriors Cavaliers Moneyline Bets

Lebron James and Kevin Durant were the last two NBA Finals MVPs .

The Golden State Warriors are favored by 12.5 points in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals against Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. It is the largest point spread in an NBA Finals game since 1991 and the line continues to grow as Game 1 approaches.

Several sportsbooks had the line as Golden State (-13) to beat the Cavs by Thursday morning. The last time a point spread was comparable was in 2001, when the Allen Iverson-led Philadelphia 76ers took on a Los Angeles Lakers squad led by Shaquille Oneal, Kobe Bryant, and Phil Jackson.

It should be noted that the Sixers took Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals by 6 points, in a thrilling 107-101 game. The Lakers swept the next four games to take the series 4-1, but an inspired performance by Allen Iverson led to a single game of suspense in that series.

Warriors v. Cavaliers: 2018 NBA Finals

Las Vegas sports bettors believe they have a better reading on Game 1 in 2018. The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers have played in the last 3 NBA Finals series. Golden State is 2-1 in those series, with the Warriors winning the 2015 and 2017 versions. The Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Finals series, but it took the Cavs coming back from 3-1 down to do so. That series also had Kyrie Irving playing lights-out ball for the Cavaliers, while Draymond Green missed a game due to suspension. Steph Curry had a nagging injury, while Andrew Bogut was out for stretches of the series.

Much has changed in the two years since the Cavaliers won 2016 NBA Finals in dramatic fashion. The Cavs have lost Kyrie Irving, while the Warriors added Kevin Durant. The Cavaliers struggled mightily at times in the 2017-18 regular season, while the Golden State Warriors open the series at home in Oracle Stadium.

NBA Finals Game 1 Moneyline Bets

Not everyone thinks the Warriors are certain winners, either in Game 1 or the series as a whole. Many have taken the Cavs on moneyline bets, which involve simply who wins the game or not. Jason Simbal, the VP of Risk for CG Technology, said in an ESPN interview, “We’ve taken zero moneyline bets on the Warriors [in Game 1]. We’ve taken over 100 on the Cavs.”

The nature of moneyline bets assures that the underdog gets a lot of action. If you bet $100 on the Golden State Warriors and they win, you receive a $10 payout. If you bet $100 on the Cleveland Cavaliers and they win, you receive a $700 payout.

Cavaliers 7:1 Underdogs, Warriors 10:1 Favorites

The Cavaliers are similar 7-to-1 underdogs to win the entire series. Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors are big favorites to win the series, as they are -1000 on a moneyline bet. Symbal said that has led high roller NBA sports bettors to bet on the ‘sure thing’ with huge bets, while mid-stakes bettors and casual fans have bet on the Cavs — hoping for a big payout.

Symbol said, “The average bet on the Warriors [to win the series] is $3,400. The average bet on the Cavs is $120.”

Betting Game 1 2018 NBA Finals

This site does not make recommendations on sports betting, but the odds appear to be the same on a single-game NBA Finals bet and a series bet. As the 2001 Sixers-Lakers Game 1 bet shows, it is far easier for an NBA team to steal any one single game than it is a best 4-of-7 series. If you get the same odds on a series bet and a game bet, then the underdog is far more likely to beat the odds once than 4 times.

Update: Golden State Warriors Sweep the Cavs

In an update, the Golden State Warriors swept the Cleveland Cavaliers in 4 games. The Cavs had a good chance to win Game 1. A career 80% free throw shooter missed a free throw that would have put the Cavaliers up 1 point with 4 seconds left. Then JR Smith collected the rebound for Cleveland, only to dribble out the clock, because he thought the Cavs were ahead by a point.

The Cavs ended up losing to the Warriors in overtime in Game 1, which led to a meltdown by Lebron James in the Cavs’ locker room after the game. Lebron James punched the team’s whiteboard in the game’s aftermath and, according to James himself, broke his hand. His average distance-per-basket dwindled from game-to-game and the Cavs were not nearly as competitive for the rest of the series.

2019 NBA Finals Futures

Most of the intrigue now is where Lebron James will go in NBA free agency. A few other NBA stars are entering free agency, including Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The NBA Draft is later this week, with college stars like┬áDeandra Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, Mohamed Bamba, and Jaren Jackson Jr. expected to go high in the draft. Luke Doncic, a 6’8″ point guard from Real Madrid, is also expected to be a Top 5 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Until the NBA Draft and free agency period play out, it would be unwise to make bets on NBA futures.

For instance, the Cleveland Cavaliers are 30:1 to win the 2019 NBA Finals, because most expect Lebron James to leave Cleveland. The Lakers are 100:1 at the moment, but their numbers would rocket up the futures list if Lebron James decided to sign with the team (one of about 11 to 12 different options discussed by the experts). Most expect the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs, or Houston Rockets to be more realistic possible destinations for Lebron’s talents.