Thu, May 31, 7:34am by Staff Writer
2018 NBA Finals preview
The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers will meet for the fourth consecutive time in the NBA Finals after winning the Western and Eastern Conference finals respectively.
The Warriors are $1.08 favourites to claim their third Championship in four years, with the Cavs massive outsiders at $8 at Sportsbet.
The Cavs have had a turbulent season, which started by trading guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics. Isaiah Thomas was injured for a large part of the season, before Cleveland made a bold move at the trade deadline and overhauled their roster.
During the playoffs, the Cavs defeated the Pacers in seven games, with Victor Oladipo proving to be a thorn in their side.
The Eastern Conference semi finals were much easier to navigate for the Cavs, as they swept the top-seeded Toronto Raptors in an upset victory.
The Eastern Conference finals went seven games, as the Cavs snatched victory on the road in game seven, ending the Boston Celtics’ 10-game home playoff win streak this season.
Cleveland continues to rely heavily on superstar LeBron James, perhaps more than ever before.
Kevin Love was out injured in game seven against Boston, with Jeff Green stepping up and adding 19 points.
The Cavs lack firepower off the bench and desperately need another scorer, but have somehow made it to another NBA Finals.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors finished second in the Western Conference behind the Houston Rockets, but the latter part of their season was hampered by injuries to Steph Curry and Kevin Durant.
Nonetheless, the Warriors beat the San Antonio Spurs 4-1 in the first round, before a 4-1 win against a young New Orleans Pelicans team.
The Western Conference finals were the toughest test the Warriors have faced in nearly two seasons, as they rallied in the second half for a nine-point win against Houston in game seven.
Kevin Durant is the favourite to take out the NBA Finals MVP at $1.67 and his play during the playoffs has been electric.
Steph Curry has finally found his groove after missing games with injury and Klay Thompson remains a sharp shooter.
Andre Iguodala has been injured for part of the playoffs, with his defense integral to the Warriors.
These two teams met twice this season, with the Warriors beating the Cavs on both occasions.
A 99-92 win on Christmas Day was followed by a 118-108 win in mid January.
In both games, Kevin Durant led the scoring for the Warriors, netting 32 and 25 points respectively.
The Warriors will go down as one of the greatest teams ever if they manage to win the 2017-18 NBA Championship and given the team they are facing, they should encounter few problems.
In the series total games market, five games is the shortest option at $2.40, with a series sweep paying $3. An unlikely seven game series is $5.50.
All of the series correct score markets are favouring the Warriors, with a Warriors 4-0 win at $3 and 4-1 at $2.55. If the Cavs are to win, it is by a 4-2 scoreline at $21.
Game one takes place on Friday in Oakland, with the Cavs $7 outsiders and the Warriors $1.11. The opening handicap is 12 points.
Suggested Bet: Golden State to win 4-0 at $3
Sportsbet NBA Markets
Golden State $1.08 v Cleveland $8
Kevin Durant $1.67
Steph Curry $3
LeBron James $8
Draymond Green $16.50
Klay Thompson $16.50
Kevin Love $181
Series Correct Score
Golden State 4-0 $3
Golden State 4-1 $2.55
Golden State 4-2 $5.60
Golden State 4-3 $6.75
Cleveland 4-0 $151
Cleveland 4-1 $76
Cleveland 4-2 $21
Cleveland 4-3 $26
Series Total Games
4 games $3
5 games $2.40
6 games $4.50
7 games $5.50
Cleveland $7 v Golden State $1.11
Handicap -12 Golden State $1.95
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