Is it wise to bet against LeBron James in the NBA Finals? Las Vegas certainly thinks so.
According to Tech Times, Vegas has the Warriors taking home the trophy as this year’s NBA Finals champs — not LeBron’s Cleveland Cavaliers.
“Heading into the NBA Finals next week, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook currently favors league MVP Stephen Curry and his Golden State Warriors with 5-12 odds to edge LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers (2-1 odds) for the championship.”
A gamble if ever there was one. So what accounts for Las Vegas’ stance? Head NBA oddsmaker for the SuperBook explained it this way to ESPN.
“We made the Warriors a six-point favorite in Game 1, then we took the next six games and played it out. We take who would be the favorite in each game, by how many points and what the money line would be. We then put individual prices in and it calculates what the series price should be.”
Despite the bold prediction, Warriors players and fans alike know that Steph Curry is going to have to bring his A-Game to the NBA Finals if they hope to defeat LeBron’s Cavs.
“Yeah, he’s been here plenty of times before, five straight Finals appearances, I think, so we’ve got to bring our A-game if we’re going to beat a great team and a great player like that four times,” Curry told reporters after their Game 5 win over the Rockets. “We’re excited about the challenge. He had to win his first one at some point, and nobody on our team has experienced that, so we’re going to be fighting like crazy every night. We’ve got home-court advantage that we need to capitalize on, and it’s going to be a battle and it’s going to be fun.”
Aside from the killer match-up between Steph Curry and LeBron James, the Washington Post lists five factors that will ultimately decide how right Vegas is in their NBA Finals predictions. Those factors include three-point shooting, size, fast break opportunities, and role-players making an impact on the game.
The final factor, according to the article, is injuries, with both teams suffering from depleted lineups. Cleveland’s prize off-season acquisition (other than LeBron James, of course) was power forward Kevin Love, who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in their first round matchup with the Celtics. Star point guard Kyrie Irving has also been limited throughout with an injured back. The Warriors, meanwhile, could lose Steph Curry’s fellow “Splash Brother” Klay Thompson for Game 1 of the NBA Finals because of a concussion.
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