Sports Information Traders 2017 NBA Finals Betting Preview
Last year in the 2016 NBA Finals the heavily favored Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and nobody has forgotten about it. Especially the two teams which will again meet in the NBA Finals this year to renew their budding playoff rivalry. The Golden State Warriors are loaded with talent, particularly with their two stars in Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, and will enter this series once again as the decisive favorites at -255 odds currently, but as they learned last season, thereís no other player as dominate as the Cleveland Cavaliersí LeBron James.
After last yearís crushing defeat in the Finals, the Golden State Warriors bolstered their roster by adding the star forward from the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kevin Durant. Everyone knew during the offseason that things were heading towards a repeat of the 2016 NBA Finals, and that the Warriors would again meet the Cavaliers to crown the 2017 Champion. Both teams have been a leg up on the competition all season, and itís fitting for them to once again meet in the NBA Finals this year.
LeBron James is entering his seventh consecutive NBA Finals, which is unheard of. A remarkable accomplishment by arguably the greatest player the NBA has ever seen. Handicappers are breaking down their picks and waiting to the last minute as we all know that, King James will look to further cement his legacy with back-to-back Championships in Cleveland. Steph Curry, the two-time league MVP has other plans as he looks to exact his own revenge on the Cavaliers from last yearsí heartbreaking comeback, and add his second NBA Championship to his resume.
Both teams have considerably strengthened their lineups since last yearís meeting. Kevin Durant being the biggest acquisition of either team is sure to help Golden State put up points, something they never struggle to do. Even though Durant missed 21 games this season due to injury, the Warriors still won 16 more games during the regular season than the Cavs.
The Cavaliers did some offseason work of their own by adding Kyle Korver, Deron Williams, and Derrick Williams, and play a great brand of team basketball. While theyíre definitely at a significant disadvantage in terms of star power and talent compared to the Golden State Warriors, they do more than make up for the gap with exceptional chemistry and solid team basketball fundamentals. And of course, the greatest player to ever lace them upÖ LeBron James.
One big storyline to pay attention to is who will be guarding LeBron James. Will the Warriors risk tiring out one of their stars, Kevin Durant, by having him stick with covering LeBron? Or will they try to keep Durant fresher by switching on defense for Draymond Green to come over and guard LeBron? Itíll be interesting to see how both teams play it out, but Iíd suspect that the Warriors want to save Durant as much as possible, and not have him matching up against James on the defensive side of the floor.
For those of you planning your wagers for the coming Finals, itís as tough a bet as it gets. Both teams desperately want to solidify their place in history, and while Golden State clearly has more talent, itís always tough to bet against LeBron. Whichever team wins this NBA Finals would arguably be an instant dynasty. With Golden Stateís success over recent years, this would be the cherry on top of whatís been a dominating performance over the last 3 seasons behind Steph Curry. However, if LeBron James can carry his Cleveland Cavaliers once again past a favored Warriors team, it would further prove his greatness as the best NBA player ever.