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Public Bettors Backing Largest Favorite in NBA Finals History

May 30, 2018 8:01 PM EDT

The Highlights

  • The Golden State Warriors opened -12 against the Cleveland Cavaliers for Game 1 of the NBA Finals and have since moved to -12.5.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers are the largest finals favorite we’ve ever tracked, closing -12 against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals.
  • Bettors have not been deterred by the historically large point spread.

The 2018 NBA Finals will not tip off until Thursday, but lines are posted and sportsbooks are open for action. Not only is Golden State a historic favorite to win the series, but the Warriors are also a whopping 12.5-point favorite against the Cavaliers in Game 1.

Golden State has even crept up to -13 at Bookmaker.eu, a market-setting offshore sportsbook that accepts professional action.

 

Double-digit favorites are extremely rare in the NBA Finals, but favorites of 12.5 points are unheard of. Since 1991, the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers are the only team to come close in an NBA championship series, closing -12 in Game 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers. Behind Allen Iverson’s 48 points, Philadelphia actually pulled off the upset in that game before losing four straight to Los Angeles.

Despite the historically large point spread, most bettors are still happily laying the points.

With all seven of our contributing sportsbooks now reporting betting percentage data, 54% of tickets and 57% of dollars wagered have come down on Golden State. Interestingly, square sportsbooks such as Sportsbook.com (63%) are heavier on the Warriors, while Bookmaker.eu has 56% of tickets on the Cavaliers.

There’s still plenty of time for more action to come down on this matchup, so be sure to check in at The Action Network’s NBA Live Odds page for updated odds and betting percentage data.


More NBA Finals Coverage

Credit:

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Pictured: Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) and forward Kevin Durant (35)

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