The NBA Finals revealed a rocky start for the Cleveland Cavaliers as they are 0-6 straight up and 1-5 against the spread in their last six games against the Golden State Warriors. The Cavaliers will try to solve the Warriors on the road in Game 2 of the NBA Finals this Sunday night.
Cleveland is a 6.5-point road underdog in Game 2. With their loss in the series opener on Thursday night, the Cavaliers fell to 4-9 SU in their last 13 games as a betting underdog.
The Cavaliers powered through the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 12-2 SU and 9-5 ATS record, but the Warriors are clearly a far superior team to the ones that Cleveland has faced to this point.
In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Cleveland’s strong third quarter erased a 13-point Warriors’ lead, but Golden State eventually ran away with the game in the fourth quarter to cap off a 104-89 win and cover over the Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving led Cleveland in scoring with 26 points.
Toward the end of the first quarter, LeBron James drove and spun toward the basket for an easy layup, setting up the inevitable question: How soon will he have to start doing this thing alone? Each of LeBron’s violent drives carries this subtext, and in a way creates a game within a game, force within flow. One of the open questions about what it might require for the Cavs — and for anyone, really — to vanquish the Warriors, is which of these modes, force or flow, to choose.
After Thursday’s loss, the Cavaliers are just 2-7 SU and 3-6 ATS in their last nine road games against the Warriors. It wouldn’t matter, ultimately, as far as Golden State’s chances were concerned — the team has ways of syncing up even when Steph is out of sync.
On a night in which Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for only 20 points, the rest of the Warriors had a chance to shine. Seven players finished with at least 10 points including three guys coming off the bench in Leandro Barbosa with 11, Andre Iguodala with 12 and Shaun Livingston with a team-leading 20.
To put these performances in perspective, the entire Cleveland bench combined for just 10 points on Thursday. Golden State is 10-1 SU and ATS at home this postseason.
Friday night’s total is set at 207 points. The UNDER is 5-1-1 in Golden State’s last seven home games against Cleveland.
Cleveland’s inability to take advantage of a rare off-night from both Curry and Thompson doesn’t seem to bode well for the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. But this postseason has seen some big momentum shifts from game to game, and Cleveland could quickly shift the tone of this series with an upset win in Game 2.