Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Draymond Green and Kevin Durant
- We made a free NBA Finals Game 1 props sheet that you can download below.
- You can take it to your viewing party and bet with your buddies.
mightwill be considered the hero of the night.
Cavs-Celtics Game 7 had 166 total points scored, and ESPN still posted an overnight rating of 9.1, which matched the highest mark ever for an NBA game on the network. We’re assuming 90% of those viewers had money on the game, because, well, it was brutal to watch. And the same might be true for Cavs-Warriors Game 1, which currently has the highest spread ever for an NBA Finals game (-12.5). While the game might not be exciting come the third quarter, we’ve created 10 props for you to bet with your buddies at your viewing party. Even when Steph Curry is hitting his ninth 3-pointer and the Warriors are up 75, you’ll still have a sweat going.
More NBA Finals Coverage
- Moore’s Predictions: Investing in the Garbage Time Warriors and More
- Game 1 Trends: Underdog LeBron Has Been Historically Profitable
- Locky: Why I’m Betting the Over/Under in Game 1
- The Angles: The Importance of George Hill and the Power of the Switch
- Should Golden State Bettors Be Wary of a Rested LeBron?
- Finding Value in Betting NBA Finals Exact Series Odds
- Spread the Floor: NBA Finals Props with Zach Harper
Your Super-Secret-Don’t-Tell-Your-Party-Mates-You-Looked Cheat Sheet
Since you’re the go-getter who’s printing this out and organizing the betting festivities, here’s a cheat sheet of sorts with thoughts from a couple of our analysts …
Over/under 7.5 Splash Brothers 3s
Matt Moore: Under. Curry has been feast or famine, it’s rare they both go off when it isn’t a Game 6, and a blowout leading to smaller minutes might play a part as well.
Will LeBron James lead the Cavs in points, rebounds and assists?
Moore: No. Game 1 is the feel-out game. Tristan Thompson probably leads in rebounds; George Hill might lead in assists.
Points matchups: Kevin Durant +4.5 vs. LeBron James -4.5
Moore: Durant +4.5. Again, the feel-out game, plus Durant’s going to be anxious to get back in the spotlight with everyone talking about Curry.
Matt LaMarca: I’ll lay the -4.5 with LeBron. The Warriors have too many weapons, and LeBron is going to have to put up a herculean effort if the Cavs are going to win.
Over/under 0.5 Draymond Green techs (Over is 4 points, Under is 1)
Moore: Over. That guy’s been a volcano. He’s way past due to lose his mind over something innocuous.
Over/under 9.5 Jeff Green points
LaMarca: Over. Kevin Love is trending toward doubtful for Game 1, so Green will likely move into the starting lineup and pick up some of the offensive slack. He’s seen a usage bump of 4.3% with Love off the floor during the postseason, resulting in an average of 15.9 points per 36 minutes. He saw 42 minutes in Game 7 of the Boston series and could potentially play more in this series with the Warriors playing more smallball lineups than the Celtics.
Moore: Under. They’re going to make him a jump-shooter with how they’ll cover the Cavs. It’s Jeff Green. I’ll take my chances.
Over/under 3.5 J.R. Smith missed 3-pointers
Moore: Over. He averaged 2.6 misses per game in last year’s Finals. Now Kyrie Irving is gone, and outside of the Raptors’ series he’s shot terribly.
LaMarca: Over. Anytime I can bet against J.R. Smith I’m happy to do so.
Points matchups: Nick Young vs. Jordan Clarkson
Moore: Clarkson. Young gets minutes only because Andre Iguodala is out. Patrick McCaw may wind up taking a few of those, and when Young’s on the floor, he’s most often with the starters, when he knows he’s the worst option. Clarkson, on the other hand, is chuckin’. He really thinks he can be the creator for the Cavs offensively. He’s wrong, but he’ll get shots up.
LaMarca: Clarkson. He posted an average usage rate of 27.2% against the Celtics but shot just 30.2% from the field. If that improves even marginally, he should be able to blow past Young’s total.
Over/under 21.5 Kevon Looney minutes played
Moore: Over. Kerr LOVES him. He defends better than any other frontcourt guy outside of KD and Draymond on the switch, he provides rim protection, and he counters Thompson without slowing them down. He played just under that mark in the last four games of the Rockets series, and that was against a team that is much more likely to go small, especially with Love’s uncertain status.
Over/under 62.5 total combined 3-pointers attempted
Moore: Over. The Warriors put up 32 per game in a glacial series vs. the Rockets; they should play faster vs. the Cavaliers. The Cavs’ defense is worse, and the Cavs (especially LeBron) are always trying to get back into games with 3-point attempts.
Over/under 26.5 combined turnovers
LaMarca: Over. The Warriors were really loose with the basketball against a Houston team that presented much more of a threat than this Cavs team does. I doubt they come out 100% focused and locked in for Game 1 of this series.
Moore: Under. ISO, ISO, ISO. I don’t trust Durant to move the ball. I don’t trust the Cavs to play the passing lanes. LeBron’s had three days of rest, so he’s less likely to be sloppy with the ball. I’ll pencil in the Game 2 over and go under here.