The Cavaliers have earned their share of believers among the betting market after staving off a 3-0 deficit in the NBA Finals with an emphatic 30-point win in Game 3. Cleveland, down 2-1, is a 1.5- to 2-point favorite at home vs. the Warriors for Friday night’s Game 4.
Practically left for dead after losing the first two games of the series by a combined 48 points, the Cavs were all over the Dubs early and often on Wednesday night, opening first-quarter leads as large as 20 and never looking back. The series, so far, cannot have looked any different after the change of venue from Oakland to Cleveland.
Game 3 also marked the first ‘over’ of the series. After two easy ‘unders’, the total has drifted downward from 211 in Game 1, to 209 in Game 2, to 206 in Game 3. The Game 4 number sits around 206.5 or 207.
Ironically, the Cavs did not have Kevin Love – their third best player(?) – for their lone win of the series. He should be ready to go tonight, but no one is sure how coach Tyronn Lue will use him. Inserting Richard Jefferson into the starting lineup and going small was key to Cleveland’s Game 3 win.
So was the Warriors shooting just 42.1 percent from the field and getting outrebounded 60-41. Shooting poorly plus not getting rebounds is not a recipe for basketball success.
And what is going on with Stephen Curry? He’s yet to have a good game this series. Two bad games in a row may have been a fluke; is three a pattern?
Cleveland’s stars shined in Game 3, with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving going for 32 and 30 points, respectively.
The first time we wrote about this NBA Finals, we discussed this series being personal for LeBron, who feels slighted by the omnipresent love for Steph. His Game 3 performance and demeanor certainly play into that notion.
Warriors vs. Cavaliers Game 4 picks
We have a few dollars on Cleveland to win this series at +175 odds, and we’re inclined not to double down on the Cavs tonight. So we’ll lay off the side and root for the home team to even things up and give our series wager a chance.
We will fire again on the ‘under.’ Game 3 got away from the Dubs, just like Games 1 and 2 got away from the Cavs. We see the first close game of the series happening on Friday night, which may mean each team tightening up on defense and playing a bit more conservatively offensively.
‘Under’ 207 is our Game 4 play.