Bookies Say The NBA Finals Are Already Over

The NBA Finals are set. It will be the Golden State Warriors vs. The Cleveland Cavaliers. If Las Vegas oddsmakers are to believed, it will be one of the most one-sided affairs in recent memory. In order to win $100 on Golden State, you will have to bet $1,000. Golden State would have to win more than 90% of the time for this to be profitable.

The perceived disparity between the two teams is somewhat surprising. While many, including your humble narrator, regard the Warriors as one of the greatest teams in NBA history, and expected them to blitz their way to the finals, this simply was not the case. Even with the return of injured, former MVP, Steph Curry, the Warriors required the full seven games to get past the Houston Rockets. There is a very strong case to be made that this victory was only possible due to the injury of Chris Paul, The Rockets' second most celebrated player, but perhaps more essential to their success than even MVP, James Harden. The Warriors were down 3-2 when Paul fell, and still had struggles in closing things out.

On paper, no team should stand much of a chance against Golden State. With a core of Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, as well as other key players, this was an explosive team that could overwhelm anybody on both sides of the ball. There was much discussion about their standing among the all-time greats. This juggernaut then added the likes of Kevin Durant, widely regarded as the second-best player in the game. At this point, playing out the season seemed like a formality. Even with an injury to any given player, The Warriors might still have been the best team in the league. Especially with all of that talent under the tutelage of Steve Kerr, one of the NBA's best coaches.

But things haven't materialized quite that way. Again, The Warriors beat The Rockets largely by a lucky break. Why are the markets still regarding them as invincible?

Perhaps this is as much an indictment of The Cleveland Cavaliers as a coronation of Golden State. The Cavs struggled, not only to win their conference finals, but to win their first round matchup against the middling Indiana Pacers.

In the Conference Finals, we've witnessed why LeBron James is probably the best player the NBA has ever seen, as he made 40 point nights and beefy triple doubles the norm. He almost single-handedly carried his team past the tenacious Boston Celtics.

So the thinking must be that, as great as Lebron is, his mightiest efforts only barely carried his teams past Boston, a good but non-elite team. Therefore, his best effort will not be enough against a historically elite team. Even though Golden State remains a historically elite team only on paper, having not quite yet realized the accomplishment required to enter the upper echelon.

When the odds reach this level though, you have to start factoring in things like injury, or very long stretches of poor shooting. We've seen both of these things occur for Golden State in these playoffs. Is Golden State really this good? Is Cleveland really this bad? We shall see.

If you'd like to take a longshot, you can find The Cavs at +725 at Betonline.

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Members Comments

  • Bulgaria sharpe


    Yeah of course the ods of Warriors are cut at least in half.
    I'm not saying betting on Cavaliers to win the finals would be a winning bet but if you have the cash out option of your bet it makes sense to me to stake that and if the series is relatively even there's a good chance of cashing out your bet at a win, that's value I think.
    These teams are of course more equal than the bookies odds shows.

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