Locky: Why I’m Betting the Over/Under in Game 1
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Stephen Curry
I’ll start by saying this game might actually be really fun. The series probably won’t be that much fun, but this game might be the most fun of all of them (especially if Kevin Love plays in none of them).
Cleveland has a shot here to be competitive (for a while) with an extra day of rest and with an absolutely inevitable letdown from the Warriors off the Houston series.
What we saw at the tail ends of both conference finals series was, honestly, an indictment of the schedule in that round of the playoffs, going every other day over the last four. The NBA Finals isn’t like that, and I think that the increase in time off will produce a lot more fun basketball.
With that opinion in mind, the number I am most interested in here is the over, currently sitting at 214 (after opening 218). There is a confusion going on in the market, concerning the schedule, how these teams performed last round and an analysis of what this series will look like.
Yes, Cleveland and Boston played a grind-it-out Game 7 that looked like the 1999 season. Yes, Houston played with maximum defensive effort in limiting the Warriors in the first half Monday night. That’s not this. It’s apples and oranges, and aside from the fact that the matchups are totally different, series always grind to a halt as they go along, and Game 7s are always lower scoring, hence their totals being lower than every other game in the series.
Golden State will not be bothered in this series from an offensive standpoint. The Warriors should basically be getting whatever they want, whenever they want, unless they settle into apathy at some point. They just played a team that was literally constructed to prevent what they were trying to do in all phases. Cleveland is constructed to … well, really the Cavs weren’t constructed, they were assembled, torn up, re-assembled hastily, and now exist in some weird hybrid state with ill-fitting parts.
Love not playing in this game (if announced) probably makes the total drop even more. If he plays, I am extremely interested in the over. If he doesn’t, and it stays at its current number (or drops), I’m probably a little interested still, but less so.
Golden State can name its point total here. Can Cleveland score enough? I think this early in the series, with how much different the matchups are for each team, the Cavs can get enough open looks to hit this number. We’ll call the over a lean for now, while we await the status of Love. No thanks on the spread, but I hope the Cavs are competitive because I don’t have any TV shows to catch up on right now if they aren’t. It’s a slow time.
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