Fri, Jun 1, 9:22am by Staff Writer
Date and Time: Friday June 1, 11am AEST
Venue: Oracle Centre, Oakland, California
The 2018 NBA Finals begin on Friday with the Golden State Warriors looking to take out their third NBA Championship in four seasons when they battle the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavs and Warriors have met now in four consecutive NBA Finals and have generated one of the fiercest rivalries in recent memory.
The Warriors are huge favourites to take out game one at $1.11, with the Cavs at $7.
Cleveland have had their struggles this season as they continue to rely heavily on LeBron James to score, rebound and assist, with inconsistent contributions from the role players around him.
The Warriors do not have that same dilemma, as they are blessed with a plethora of scoring options, headlined by NBA Finals MVP favourite Kevin Durant and former NBA MVP Steph Curry.
When Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are added into the mix, as well as role players Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, the Warriors have a potent mix of offensive and defensive prowess.
The Cavs and Warriors met on two occasions during the regular season, with Golden State winners by seven and ten points.
Both of those games were before the Cavs traded Isaiah Thomas in a trade that sent Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jnr to the Lakers. Neither player has been consistent enough for the Cavs, with former Utah Jazz acquisition Rodney Hood seldom appearing on court in recent playoff games.
The total points in this game is set at over/under 214.5, with four of their five NBA Finals games in 2017 eclipsing this mark.
In last years finals, the Warriors scored an average of 121.6 points per game, with their offensive prowess simply irresistible. The Cavs have shown that they can get blown out this season and in the playoffs, with a lean on the over the best bet in that market.
In the player performance markets, LeBron James is fancied to score plenty of points, as he has during the playoffs. LeBron to score over 34.5 points is priced at $1.76, with the veteran superstar likely to play over 40 minutes.
For the Warriors, Kevin Durant has been their most consistent scorer, with his mark set at over 30.5 points. George Hill may struggle to keep up with the speed and finesse of Steph Curry, who’s total is set at 25.5 points.
A LeBron James triple double is paying $3.25, with the superstar certain to be among the assist and rebounds in this match.
The Warriors have been a poor first quarter team this year, which makes the 4.5-point start on Cleveland to keep it close in the opening stages a promising bet at $1.82.
The third quarter has been the one the Warriors have owned both during the regular season and the playoffs. If that trend is to continue, the Warriors giving away a 3.5-point start in the third quarter is a good bet at $1.92.
The Warriors are 20-27 against the line at home this season, often giving away double-digit starts. They are 12-point favourites in this match and although they have the potential to blow the Cavs away, we are tipping game one to be a little closer than the oddsmakers suggest.
Suggested Bets: Cleveland to cover 12-point handicap at $1.92 and Cleveland to cover 4.5-point handicap at $1.82
Value bet: Golden State Big Win Little Win 1-12 at $3
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