Golden State Warriors prevailed as the Western Conference Champions by defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder, 88-96, and to secure a rematch against the Eastern Conference Champions, Cleveland Cavaliers, with Game 1 starting on Thursday.
The Warriors barely escaped against the Thunder who posted a serious challenge that strengthened their stellar 73-win season, and they will use it as an advantage against Cleveland who’s in a long rest and preparation.
After a difficult Western Conference Finals, the Dubs are now favorites on winning the NBA Title. Golden State was named a -185 favorite to clinch the championship. On the other hand, Cleveland was given +165 betting odds.
However, the bettors quickly threw their support and assets to the Warriors because of its recent historical comeback that was last made in 1981, winning a Conference Finals series after being down 1-3.
On the other hand, the Cavs have a better chance in the online sportsbook. Cleveland was listed as +175 underdog and +177 at the odds in sports betting websites. Warriors have -210 odds also from both media sites.
Last 2015 NBA Finals, the Warriors were between -180 and -220 favorites on the sportsbook. Kevin Love injured his shoulder in the last postseason after wrestling for the ball against Boston Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk. While Kyrie Irving saw action for the Cavs in Game 1 before he tweaked his ankle.
Now with James, Love and Irving completed and at their full strength plus the hot shooting of Channing Frye and J.R Smith, the Cavaliers will pose a serious challenge to the Warriors whose in quest for a back to back title.
Last year’s finals lasted six games with Golden State claiming their fourth title in 40 years. This time, Golden State had +300 at the odds if the Game 7 will and +350 odds if they close out the series in Oracle Arena for Game 5. Cleveland has the best chance to win the finals in six games with +400 at the odds because they are playing at their home floor in Quicken Loans Arena.
LeBron James is 2-4 in the Finals. He won two when he was a member for the Miami Heat along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. His objective right now is to bring a championship to Cleveland which was never happened in the 46-year existence of the franchise. He is close for that in 2007 but swept by the talented and well-oiled San Antonio Spurs team.
Stephen Curry on the other hand, voted as the first ever unanimous Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the season. Although he had ups and down in the Conference Finals series, he showed up where it matter the most especially in crunch time where he delivered back-breaking three pointers.
The X-factors for both sides are Draymond Green for Golden State and Smith for Cavaliers. Green is the driving force of Steve Kerr’s motion offense and he must keep himself in check in order for him to have a thriving series. On the other side, Smith must need to be consistent in order to complement well to the BIG 3 because he is the main scorer outside of that group.
The dream rematch will now happen and both teams are healthy. It will go down on who will execute their plays perfectly, who wants it more and also who has the heart, guts and determination to lead their team into the promise land. Golden State wants to complete a memorable historic season while Cleveland wants to win its first ever NBA Title.