Game 4 Trends: Pay Attention to Spread Dollars on the Warriors

Game 4 Trends: Pay Attention to Spread Dollars on the Warriors article feature image

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Klay Thompson

The Action Network analysts John Ewing and Evan Abrams comb the Bet Labs database each day to bring you profitable trends for the slate. Here are notable historical trends for Cavs-Warriors Game 4.

When facing elimination, LeBron James has gone 14-9 straight-up and 15-8 against-the-spread. In home elimination games, he has gone 10-3 straight-up and 9-4 ATS. All that said, as an underdog in elimination games, he’s gone just 4-8 straight-up and 7-5 ATS.

In the NBA Finals since 2005 (not counting Game 7s), teams facing elimination have gone 7-9 straight-up and ATS. Underdogs in these games have gone 3-6 straight-up and 5-4 ATS.

Golden State is a 4.5-point favorite in Game 4. More than 60% of spread tickets are on the Warriors, but an even higher percentage of spread dollars are backing the Dubs. Since we started tracking spread dollars in 2016, playoff favorites receiving a higher percentage of spread dollars than tickets have gone 86-47-1 (65%) ATS. See live betting market figures here.

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Since the 1990-91 season, only four teams have been listed as a home underdog down 0-3 in the NBA Finals. The last two teams to be in this spot were the Cavaliers last season, who beat Golden State in Game 4, and the Cavs again in 2007; they lost to the Spurs. The four teams have gone just 2-2 SU but 3-1 ATS in Game 4.

  • 2017 Cavaliers (+4.5) vs. GSW: Won by 21 (Lost in 5 games)
  • 2007 Cavaliers (+2.5) vs. SAS:  Lost by 1 (Swept)
  • 2002 Nets (+4.5) vs. LAL:  Lost by 6 (Swept)
  • 1996 Sonics (+5.5) vs. CHI:  Won by 21 (Lost in 6 games)

With the Warriors favored in Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Cleveland, the last nine instances of a team being a home underdog in the Finals have involved LeBron James (including 11 of the last 12 overall). This is the seventh time in the last four Finals the Cavaliers have been listed as a home underdog against the Warriors; Cleveland has gone 2-4 SU and ATS. Overall, LeBron and the Cavs have gone 2-6 SU and 3-5 ATS as a home dog in the Finals, including 0-2 SU and 1-1 ATS vs. the Spurs in the 2007 Finals.

Did you know? The Warriors have opened the NBA Finals shooting over 50% from the field in the first three games of the series. The last team to shoot over 50% from the field in three consecutive games in the NBA Finals was the Detroit Pistons in 1988-89, who shot 53.8% in the first three games against the Lakers, all wins. The Pistons led the Lakers 3-0 heading into Game 4 and closed out the series with a sweep.

LeBron James has entered a playoff game having lost three consecutive games on six different occasions with both the Cavaliers and the Heat. His teams have gone 5-1 SU and ATS in that spot, with his only SU loss coming in 2007 in Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Spurs. His only ATS loss came in Game 1 of his playoff series against the Pacers last season.

In LeBron James’ playoff career, he has been an underdog in at least five consecutive games three different times, including this current streak: He was a dog in Game 7 vs. the Celtics and now the first four games vs. the Warriors.

In his career in the NBA Finals, LeBron has been listed as an underdog in 31 of 48 games, with a record of 8-23 SU and 11-19-1 ATS.

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