The Cleveland Cavaliers are facing elimination Friday night, as the Warriors try to become the first team to sweep an NBA Finals in 11 years. The Warriors took Game 3 by eight points and covered, but it was their smallest margin of victory in the series. The Warriors are once again road favorites, but have struggled in closeout games this postseason.
NBA Finals Game 5 Odds
The Warriors are just a five-point favorite in Game 4, and are unusually cheap on the moneyline at -175. The Cavaliers are +165 on the moneyline.
In Game 3, the Warriors opened as a 5.5-point favorite. That number was pounded by bettors, and closed around 3.5 at most sportsbooks. The Cavaliers led by a dozen points multiple times in the first half, but couldn’t survive 43 points from Kevin Durant en route to an eight point Warriors win. According to SportsInsights.com, 63 percent of spread bets are on the Warriors but 72 percent of moneyline bets are on the Cavs.
The total is set at 215.5 for Game 4, and the over is 2-1 after missing by just a few points on Wednesday. SportsInsights.com indicates that 71 percent of all bets are on the over.
Golden State is 2-4 all-time in closeout games against the Cavaliers in the finals, but has won six straight playoff appearances against Cleveland. It’s worth noting that both the Pelicans and Spurs stole a home game off of the Warriors, so there’s a chance Cleveland can take the Warriors tonight with on final haymaker.
It’s been documented at length how poor LeBron’s supporting cast is, but not enough has been said about the Warriors bench. Shaun Livingston has missed one shot in three games, shooting 13-14 from the field with 28 points entering Friday night. But not only have JaVale McGee and Jordan Bell contributed meaningful minutes in this series, they’re both shooting over 70 percent from the field.
If this is in fact the end of the series, it could be the end of a crazy four-year run between these teams. LeBron James potential free agency could alter the NBA landscape, and Golden State has several impending free agents including Durant, but he’s recently signaled his intentions to re-sign.
Game 5 Best Bets
Like they did on Wednesday, I expect the Cavaliers to come out strong early. Other than a blowout loss in Game 2, Cleveland has been tied or leading at the half in each game of this series. In last year’s Game 4, with the Cavs down 3-0, Cleveland scored a whopping 49 points in the first quarter en route to a 137-116 win.
That’s why if you’re feeling the Cavs tonight, a few good bets are Cleveland first half +1.5 and Cleveland first quarter +1.
If the Cavaliers win they’ll get a Herculean effort from LeBron, and the props are adjusted accordingly. But one line I like is LeBron Blocks + Steals Over 2.5 (-135). LeBron has combined for 2, 2, and 4 in this series, and he’ll be all over the floor making plays in Game 4.
If you’re hating everything I’m saying and think this series is over, you could go with an alternate line. The starters won’t come out in a Finals-clinching game, and that means overs and a blowout. The Warriors team total is solid at 110 and Warriors -10 is as high as +215 on 5Dimes.
Say it with me: Swaggy P, NBA Champion.