2018 NBA Finals Betting Preview

It’s LeBron James vs Stephen Curry Part IV, as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will clash in the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive year.

The championship final tips off Thursday night in Oakland and the Warriors are heavily favored at home, coming in as a 12.5-point favorite at Bovada Sportsbook. Golden State has been a heavy favorite many times this season, being listed as a favorite of 12.5 points or more 20 times. In those 20 games, the Warriors were 18-2 straight up and 11-9 against the spread.

Through the postseason so far, Golden State has posted a 12-5 record SU and a 9-8 mark ATS. At home the Warriors have been practically unbeatable at 8-1 SU. However, they haven’t been a sure thing for bettors with a 5-4 ATS mark.

Cleveland enters the series opener as a pretty big underdog after going 12-6 SU and 8-10 ATS through its playoff run so far. On the road, Cleveland has been a relative coin flip with a 4-5 record SU and ATS.

The Cavaliers haven’t faced underdog odds this large this season. To find a game where they were listed as an underdog of 12.5 points or more, you have to go back to March 2017. That night, with James sitting out, Cleveland was a 14-point road underdog vs the Los Angeles Clippers and lost 108-78. In their last 15 games as an underdog of at least 12.5 points, the Cavaliers are 2-13 SU and 8-7 ATS.

Warriors big favorites in Game 1, series odds

During the regular season Golden State and Cleveland met up twice, and the Warriors won and covered the spread in both games. In their last eight matchups, including the playoffs, the Warriors are 7-1 SU and 6-1-1 ATS against Cleveland. At home the Warriors have won five straight vs the Cavaliers at 4-0-1 ATS.

Looking at their NBA Finals matchups a little closer, last season Golden State eliminated Cleveland in five games while going 3-1-1 ATS. In 2016, Cleveland won the title in seven games after rallying from a 3-1 deficit and was also 4-3 ATS. In their first faceoff in 2015 the Warriors took the title in six games with a 4-2 ATS mark. In the three NBA Finals matchups combined, Golden State has had the edge at 11-7 SU and 10-7-1 ATS.

Not only are the Warriors big favorites in Game 1, they’re also the series favorite at Bovada Sportsbook. Golden State will begin the series as a -800 favorite to claim a third title in four years, while Cleveland is a +500 series underdog.